Learn the Basic Requirements to be a Model

This tutorial covers the requirements to be a model and, if you’re looking at Requirements to be a modelgetting started in this network, this is a must read.

The modeling world can look unbelievably glamorous and luxurious if seen from the perspective of an outsider.

Nevertheless, once you finally do enter the industry, you might soon discover that the modeling world can actually be quite brutal and extremely competitive.

After all, models can earn quite a hefty sum, and those who do manage to make it on the runway often earn large paychecks aside from getting the perks of meeting famous personalities and designers, and traveling around the world.

Therefore, if you feel that you are cut out for the industry and are not afraid of facing numerous rejections, then you should definitely scroll through and read up on some of these basic requirements to be model:


Initially, the industry only required that models possess rail thin bodies and legs that go for miles. Thankfully, a more diverse selection of body types and standards of beauty are now being considered and accepted by the more open-minded modeling agencies.

There are now many different categories and even sub-categories for models that you can try out for. Likewise, these categories carry various guidelines that are specific to that type. Therefore, you will just need to familiarize yourself with each category to see if you can fulfill any one’s requirements for being a model.

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Often, different clients will have different requirements for the models that they choose to hire.

Generally though, certain guidelines or requirements are required for each of the most common categories.

  • Runway or Editorial Models. Aside from the models walking runways for Victoria’s Secret, most female runway models should be at least 5’9 in height and have 22’’-26’’ waists, 33”-36” hips, as well as possess bust lines ranging from 32”-36” only.
  • Smaller breasts are preferred due to the fact that they do not distract from the clothes and create a cleaner silhouette.
  • They should also be between 16-24 years of age, or at least possess a very youthful appearance.

Requirements to be a Male Model

On the other hand, the requirements for male models are less stringent than they are for their female counterparts.

Male runway models should be at least 5’11 in height and be able to comfortably fit into size 40’’-42’’ jackets. They must have very taut muscles and bodies but still maintain a lean silhouette.

Underwear or Swimsuit Model Requirements

The requirements for being a model for underwear brands such as Victoria’s Secret models are slightly different than those for regular runway models.

Female models are required to have larger breasts in order to fill the brassieres and bikinis, but still have small waists and hips.

  • The general measurement requirements for female underwear models are at least 5’7 in height, 32”-35” C cup busts, 22”-26” waists, and 33”-35” hips.
  • Men are required to have inverted triangle body types and possess broad shoulders coupled with trim waists.Commercial Model Requirements
  • Naturally, commercial models must be able to register well on the screen as well as be capable of delivering spiels with ease.
  • Often, casting agents will hire female models who are as short as 5’6 in height and male models as short as 5’9 in height.
  • Charisma and facial proportion are given higher consideration for commercial models as opposed to runway models.
  • Plus Size Models. Plus size models often have fuller busts and hips than most runway models. Nevertheless, it is required that they be well proportioned bodies and faces as well as have curves in all the right places. Crystal Renn is one of the more famous and successful plus sized models.
  • Print or Catalog Models. The requirements for being a model in a catalog are less focused on height than they are on proportions. Nevertheless, the basic body measurements for print models are often the same as those for runway models. For that reason, many women are still unable to meet their standards and the few that do are highly prized and paid accordingly.

The minimum height requirement for female print models can go as low as 5’8, but their faces must be absolutely blemish free and their hair healthy and full of shine.

A cheerful personality are also required since shoots can often last for hours at a time.

  • Promotional or Tradeshow Models. Aside from attractive faces and bodies, charm and charisma are the traits that are most sought after for promotional and tradeshow models.
  • They are usually hired only for short periods in order to promote specific brands or launch new products. As such, those who work as promotional models often work as freelancers.
  • Likewise, these models will usually be assigned to work in malls, groceries, car shows, trade shows, bars or clubs, and special events.
  • Body Part Model. Even if you do not pass the requirements to be a model for the more conventional modeling categories, one other option is to model only a single body part.
  • You could be lacking in the height department, but if you possess exquisite hands, feet, hair, legs, etc. then you could try to model only that specific body part.


One of the most important requirements to be a model is an up-to-date and comprehensive portfolio. Often, the casting directors at go-sees or agencies will request to view your portfolio in order to gauge just how versatile you are as a model as well as see how well you photograph.

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Therefore, it is vital that your portfolio contain various poses and looks that will exhibit your range. Nevertheless, the most basic poses that should be found in your portfolio are clear profile shots, a head shot, and a simple full body shot.

Although more conceptual shots are recommended, it is also important that your portfolio contain more natural and barefaced shots taken under natural light.

These shots will really show just how well you register on the page or possibly in real life without having to rely on heavy make-up and perfect lighting.

Likewise, you should consider your portfolio as an investment that will bring you one step closer to your dream of becoming a professional model.

For that reason, it is best if you avail of the services of a professional photographer to take some of your pictures.

Additionally, a capable modeling photographer could even give you valuable advice on posing and finding the look most suited for your face and body type.

There you have it!

This lesson covers just about everything you need to know about the requirements to be a model so read this again and get going toward your career!. Best of luck! – Bob Pardue

Filed under: Modeling Tips