Reaching New Heights
Question: My dream is to become a model one day, but I'm not tall enough. Do you think I still have a chance?
The short answer to your question is yes. The industry has evolved so much in the past ten years, especially with the influence of social media and the push for diversity. You don't necessarily have to fit into the "typical" model mold anymore to be successful. Kate Moss, Ashley Graham, Winnie Harlow, and Laetitia Casta are all examples of women who have redefined the term "supermodel" and are advocates for a more well-rounded industry that celebrates all bodies, heights, and races.
In the past, there was a physical criterion to be represented by a top agency. Models were between 5'9 and 6', and the "ideal" measurements were 34-24-34. Today, agencies look at the full package. Social media is part of that. An Instagram post is like a billboard, and how many followers you have equates to how many people will see it. A billboard in Times Square is going to be a lot more expensive than a billboard on a street with low traffic. It's the same concept. The more followers you have, the more money you can make off Instagram. It's an incredibly useful marketing tool and is very attractive to agencies. I, personally, find it hard to keep up with social media without letting it take over my world. It's all about finding a balance.
Most importantly, you need to have an identity. People want to know who you are; what are your passions, what are your strengths, how can we relate to you? It seems obvious, but it wasn't to me when I started at 15. Only recently, I learned to separate myself from my job, and take time to attend to my other interests. By not putting so much weight on my career, I felt very free and much more confident in myself.
Finally, I encourage you to ask yourself; why do I want to be a model? As exciting as the job is, it can also be very emotionally and physically draining. There's no right or wrong answer; it's just helpful to know what motivates you because it's not always as glamorous as it looks; I think every model can attest to that.
Lots of love,