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So you want to be a model

Thinking of becoming a model? Looking for fame and fortune? Love the idea of traveling the world? Maybe marrying a rock star or a Fortune 500 businessman? If this is your idea of modeling, you aren't alone. However, if this is how you think, you're in for a rude awaking!

Fashion shows are often frantic and sometimes you'll only have a minute or less to change into your next outfit.
Fashion shows are often frantic and sometimes you'll only have a minute or less to change into your next outfit.Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images

The truth of the matter is that most people never know what it takes to be a professional model, and, even those dreaming about a career in modeling are often delusional and unrealistic. For example, if you are 5'3" and weigh 150 pounds, you willl never be a fashion or runway model. In fact, you wouldn't even meet the qualifications for a petite model. Today's fashion and runway models must be a minimum of 5'9"and most agencies won't take you unless your height is 5'10" (which is now considered the unwritten lower limit of height for women.) And being a size 2 is far more preferable than being a size 4. Any larger and you'll be placed into the special categories list (if you even meet those requirements.)

In other words, the average girl doesn't stand a chance. And sure you get to travel. What you don't know is that there is rarely time for sightseeing or down time. More often than not it's straight to the photo shoot from the airport and often times returning to the airport that same day to move on to your next location.

Fame and fortune? Well, hmmm, sure. A few lucky ones in the tippy top. These are the models booking jobs every day and are well known with in the industry. Most have incredibly strong runway walks (and none of that pony walk nonsense). Rather walking the runway in a manner that shows off the garments to their very best and knowing it's about the clothes and designer and not about her or him. And, virtually all know how to pose for the camera without looking poised.

Sounding a bit less glamorous now? Modeling is a brutal business and only the most thick skinned can survive in the environment for more than a year or two. However, if the modeling bug still has a hold on you and you want to give yourself a shot here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • A legitimate agency will never ask you for money. Not even for photos.
  • A legitimate agency will encourage you to bring a parent or guardian with you to explain the entire procedure to you.
  • A legitimate agency will test shoot with a professional crew from photographer to make up artists.
  • And, a legitimate agency will offer you a written contract.
  • Big name agencies such as Wilhelmina or Elite Model Management have offices in major cities such as New York, Paris, Miami and Milan. You won't find them in WheretheheckamI, Kansas.

If you still think what it takes and believe enough in yourself to pursue the dream. Go for it! The worst that will happen is that you'll be told no and you'll need to find another dream. The best that can happen? You might be discovered and be the next Heidi Klum, Karlie Kloss or Brooklyn Decker. Good luck!