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Male Modeling 101: A Starter’s Guide to the Industry  

While many of the principles that hold true for female models carry over into the realm of male modeling, there are some significant differences between the two industries. Male models generally start their careers later (in their 20’s) than women (in their teens) but have a greater opportunity to maintain longer careers. Men also tend to have fewer opportunities than women in modeling and tend to earn less money.

Because of these last two differences between the sexes, it is important to be well-informed before you enter the industry. Here are several tips and vital nuggets of information that every male model should know as he casts off into this highly competitive business.

Height and body requirements

If you are interested in doing runway or most editorial modeling work, there are some basic height and body types that are most sought after by booking agents and their clients. Generally, male models should fall into the following ranges:

• Height: 5’ 11” – 6’ 3”
• 38 – 40 inch chest
• 30 – 32 inch waist
• 32+ inch inside leg

While there are of course exceptions, these figures represent the “industry standard” and consequently book most of the work.

Age requirements

One of the most distinct differences between the male and female modeling industries is career longevity. Simply put, men can find work consistently well into their 40’s – while all but the most elite female models begin to see their stars dwindle much earlier. Men who stay fit and take good care of their skin can maintain a successful career for decades.

Preparing a Diverse Portfolio

Creating a book of photos that showcases you in a variety of fashions is absolutely crucial to your success as a male model. Sportswear, swimwear, and most importantly formal/business attire should all be well-represented in your “book”. The better your book, the more doors that will open up to you as you expand your modeling career.

Focus on hot topics for your portfolio

Men’s skin care and hair care products represent booming industries. And with that, comes additional opportunities for male models. Try and include good hair and close-up-facial shots in your book to appeal to these big-time markets. Be creative, and show that you’re on top of the hottest parts of the business. (If iPods are HUGE, then try to get a shot of you with an iPod, etc.)

Fitness Modeling

An industry-apart from fashion modeling, fitness modeling has become the genre of choice for many young, fit men looking for their big break. The fitness modeling industry differs from the fashion business in two distinct ways:

• Different body types – You can be “big and sculpted” in the fitness modeling industry and book plenty of gigs. That kind of size in the fashion industry may hold you back.
• Geography is not as important – Fashion models need to be near major fashion hubs (New York, Los Angeles, etc.) but fitness model jobs tend to be available all over the country (or at the very least, are scouted all over the country).

When pursuing a career in fitness modeling, remember to stay fit – but NEVER take it to the extreme. Never take steroids or other performance/appearance enhancing drugs that can have serious ramifications on your health.