The challenges of being a Fashion Model: How to overcome them

Behind the glamour, makeup, photo sessions and magazine covers, lies a lot of pain - the reality of being a model. This article highlights some of the challenges models face and how to scale over them.

Every profession has its ups and downs, so does fashion modelling. It’s not all about the glamour, make up, photo sessions and magazine covers, behind the glory lies a lot of pain – the reality of being a model. Irrespective of the kind of model you are and the region of the world you find yourself, models share a similar challenge that is peculiar to the career path.

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Asides the struggle of reducing food intake for the fear of adding weight, and the stereotype that most male models are not straight, there are other problems models face.

This article highlights some of them as well as provides solutions on how to scale over them.

1. Unstable income

The modelling business in Nigeria is still growing and yet to have a proper structure, therefore some models, especially the up-comers, may not have stable incomes. In some cases, models are charged to enrol in agencies and pay for their own photo-sessions in order to get on the gram. Therefore, there’s no guarantee of getting paid, fairly and on time.

Tips: Be forward about your payment terms before the actual event commences so you make an informed-decision whether to take the job or not if you are offered nothing or something meagre.

2. Inferiority Complex

Hearing ‘you are fat and ugly’ is the last thing any model wants to hear as this can demoralise even the finest and tallest girl who has low-self esteem. Also, the light skinned girls seem to be making more waves than the dark skinned ones and this can make the later feel inferior in a pack of the fairest.

Tips: Find your uniqueness and appreciate your body statistics and colour just the way it is.

3. Sexual advances 

Due to the high competition in the modelling industry, some models may be lured and blackmailed to exchange sex for a casting job. From casting directors to modelling agents and photographers, models are exposed to a whole lot of different personalities every step of the way and can fall prey if care is not taken.

Tips: Know your worth and draw the fine line between work and pleasure. If your statistics can’t land you a good casting, your sexual submission won’t earn you one either.

4. Substance Abuse

Models share this common challenge with musicians – abuse of substances ranging from alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, caffeine, ecstasy, heroin, etc. Some models are very shy and reserved people, therefore resort to getting high on some substances just before hitting the runway as an escape to their fears and worries.

Tip: Build your confidence and people management skills with books and consciously make effort to do your next photo shoot or runway show clean of any substance.

5. Muscle Pull

Have you ever felt the brunt of standing for long or walking a distance on heels? This is the reality and regular work life of an active model. From rehearsals to photo shoots, and shows, wearing heels is inevitable and muscle pull is just the nerve’s way of reacting to that kind of stress.

Tips: Shop for heels that are balanced and has small room for your legs to breath. Go on flip flops during short breaks or at any free time you can grab and massage your feet from time to time – it’s one of your most useful assets you know.

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As long as you are determined, you can beat all the odds to become a successful model.