How to Be a Model if You Don't Look Like a Supermodel


You don’t necessarily have to be 6 feet tall and weigh 100 pounds to be a model. Those are runway models, and although this is often the image that comes to mind, there are other modeling opportunities.

At the age of 30, I booked my first gig as a professional print model. The job was an ad for Sallie Mae, and a milestone in my personal and professional life. Many of my friends, and even family members, found it strange and unrealistic that someone my age wanted to be a model. However, it was a desire I had held since childhood, and I knew that all models aren’t 18 year old waifs.

The following types of models are ranked in order of prestige, potential for notoriety, and earnings:



Allie Maxi Top w/Side Splits


This is the most prestigious type of modeling. These models are featured in the world’s leading fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. Supermodels fall into this category. Keep in mind, times have changed. When I was a young girl (back in the early 80’s), it wasn’t the norm to see actresses on the covers of the fashion magazines as it is now. Most editorial print models have also been runway models on the catwalk at some point.

peekaboo shoulder sweatshirt


This is the type of modeling that I do. The physical height and weight requirements are not nearly as stringent, as with runway models.

“The purpose of an advertisement is to sell … or to promote a line … along with a designer or company name. Rates for advertising work are generally higher … depending on usage (magazine, point of purchase, billboard, etc.) and length of usage, bonuses can sometimes be earned on top of the daily rate (Esch, 65).


As the plus-size market continues to grow in the U.S., as does the demand for the full-figured model. However, many plus size models would not be considered “plus size” by non-industry standards. They are basically just larger versions of their runway counterparts: “tall with long legs, well-proportioned limbs and torsos and attractive faces, and they wear dress sizes ranging from size 10-20 (Esch).”


  • · Parts,
  • · Fitness
  • · Petite
  • · Showroom
  • · Ethnic


Promotional modeling encompasses a wide-variety of jobs. Essentially, it is live marketing and requires that you be attractive, outgoing and personal. The physical requirements are minor in comparison to the other types of modeling with the exception of certain trade or auto show opportunities. These positions also demand a much higher rate of pay than a “brand ambassador” or standard promo modeling gig.

Think outside the box. Contact local boutiques near you and offer to model their clothes.  Many stores like Blush Boutique Maryland offer regular opportunities for young women to gain modeling experience and build their portfolio. 

Good Luck & Don't Give Up!


The Pinkwell


Staff Writer: Holly Lowe Jones

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