Modeling & Stretch Marks

Stretch marks...ugh. No one likes them and if you are a model or want to become one, this may seem like a huge setback to your goals. However, if you know about stretch marks and how to handle them, having these unsightly marks doesn't have to be detrimental to your modeling career. Unfortunately, there are many myths and so-called "miracle treatments" that promise to get rid of your stretch marks forever. Before you invest any time or money, it's important to know the real deal.

You don't have to be overweight or pregnant to get stretch marks:
This is a common misconception. The skinniest of people can still develop stretch marks and it affects both men and women, although women are more likely to suffer from it than their male counterparts. Stretch marks occur when the skin is stretched over time. This happens not only during pregnancy (which results in stretch marks on the stomach and breasts), but also during growth spurts and even weight lifters that build up a lot of muscle will notice their new bulk can also be a common area for stretch marks.

Beware the miracle products and treatments: Because stretch marks develop in the middle layer of the skin, this makes it very unlikely for a topical ointment or lotion to penetrate deeply enough to completely eliminate your stretch marks. However, applying such products or cocoa butter can help to lighten the color or slightly fade your stretch marks (this is especially helpful if you have those terrible purple/reddish type of stretch marks). Even though laser treatments have been shown to reduce some stretch marks by 20-50%, this method according to medical experts is not a fool-proof way to be stretch mark-free. Laser treatments are most effective on reddish/purple stretch marks and ineffective on light, white, older stretch marks.

Take action sooner than later: The key to this is to begin treating the area as soon as you get your stretch marks. The sooner you take steps to tackle the problem, the better the results. If you've got stretch marks that have been there for years then chances are you won't be able to make much of a difference--even with expensive products and costly treatments.

Tanning for stretch marks is very far fetched: Some swear by using indoor tanning as a way to make stretch marks blend in better with tanned skin but this couldn't be further from the truth. The reality is that stretch marks are located in the middle layer of skin and contain its own pigmentation (color). Stretch marks don't actually tan, which can make them stand out more against your tanned skin. What does work in some cases is the use of self tanning products (tanning lotion, fake bake tans, etc) because these actually create a layer of pigment that sits on top of your skin. But the results aren't always guaranteed. Remember, tanning under the sun or in a tanning bed is bad for your skin anyway so avoid it if you can!

Stretch marks don't mean you can't be a model: Just because you have stretch marks doesn't mean you can forget about pursuing a modeling career. It all depends on what kind of modeling you want to do. If you want to become a swimwear model but have really bad stretch marks all over your butt, stomach or breasts, then you may have a difficult time breaking into that field. But if you've got minimal stretch marks or really light ones, these are easy to retouch in Photoshop and generally won't be a problem. Fashion models don't always show a lot of skin and are all about showing off the clothes so in those instances, stretch marks won't work against you. In addition to retouching pictures, many makeup artists use body makeup to cover up stretch marks. In a nutshell, stretch marks can be worked around and vary on a case to case basis. Some clients don't mind working with a model with stretch marks, while others do. When it comes to modeling agencies, be honest and see what they have to say. You aren't the first person with stretch marks they've seen and you definitely won't be the last so don't over analyze things. As long as you take care of your skin to the best of your ability, you can continue your modeling career without a hitch.

Pictures from Second Mocha Bride Shoot

Just wanted to share two of the photos I was able to get from Mocha Bride Magazine. These are from the second shoot we did. I can't wait to see the rest!

Answering a Reader Question #47

Jam Wrote: Hello! I too was interested in submitting a photo to Jet Magazine for Beauty of the week. Do you have to use a famous photographer? My hair is natural, would it be a good idea to keep it that way for the photos I submit? Thanks and congrats for your photo shoot with Jet!

Hey, Jam, and thanks for the kind words, very much appreciated! To answer your question, no, you do not have to work with a famous photographer in order to be considered for Beauty of the Week. As long as you work with a professional photographer that knows what he/she is doing, you will be good to go. If you love your hair natural and can rock it, then by all means, do so! JET likes to showcase different types of women and wants them all to have their own style so if you know you look good with your natural hair, then definitely wear it that way in your photo. Good luck and let me know if you make it--I always love to hear success stories from others! =)

More Mocha, Please (Mocha Bride, That Is!)

So it was sometime around 7:30AM last Monday when I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. Being the businesswoman I am, I decided to take the call. It turned out to be Sandra, one of the cool folks from Mocha Bride Magazine. As I struggled to remain awake (haha), she told me that a model cancelled on their shoot last minute and wanted to know if it was possible for me to fill in for her. When I asked what time I needed to be there, she replied, “As soon as you can get here.” Needless to say, I took the quickest shower of my life! But it was a welcome change to most Monday mornings.

I got ready, grabbed what I could (I was visiting my parents so I wasn’t at home with all my stuff), got directions and headed to Oakland for another bridal shoot. When I pulled up I couldn’t believe my eyes…the mansion was amazing. I don’t even want to call it a mansion—it was more like an estate or something! There was a huge gate and I let myself in through a side glass door that was propped open. I walked in and saw nothing but exquisite elegance and expensive taste. White, marble floors, three stories, white walls filled with gorgeous artwork, and a spiral staircase. And among the luxury was the Mocha Bride crew getting down to business. Models were scattered, some getting their hair or makeup done, while others were doing fittings and getting dressed. I found Sandra and ran into Pamela and Jasmine, the two fabulous ladies in charge of the magazine and after our brief reunion, I was ushered into a dress, which fit me to a tee. After the fitting, I had downtime while waiting to get into hair and makeup.

Some flicks I took of the palatial space we shot in (it was three stories although we were only working on the ground floor and the backyard):

This is the actual panoramic view the owners have of the Bay Area (it was so wide I had to take the picture in sections!):

This shoot was different from the first one I did because this time there was both male and female models. There were 6 brides and 6 grooms. And I was the shorty in the group haha. This particular shoot was cast for female models that were 5’8” or taller but it wasn’t anything 4-inch heels couldn’t help with! It was great to see the familiar faces of the Mocha Bride crew again and it was great to know that they kept me in mind, especially in case of emergency cancellations.

The only concern was that they didn’t want me to be readily identifiable as the same model from the first shoot so the tactic was to make me look like a completely different model. And they succeeded! As opposed to the soft, more natural bridal look I received before, this time I was more edgy and fashionista with a heavy smoky eye and more lip color. My hair was put up but was decorated with a really cool feather hair clip. I was paired with my groom, a very attractive male model originally from New York, and we set out with our photographer (there were about 3 photographers to help expedite the process of the shoot). Our first scene was in front of a wall of cape ivy with a lot of close-ups. My partner and I got very close (probably too close for comfort for my boyfriend! Haha) but hey, it’s part of the job! Needless to say, we had great on-camera chemistry and I can’t wait to see how hot the pictures are. After that, I went solo and did a couple of shots in my dress (it was a shorter style with multiple layers—sorry, I’m not fashion-oriented so I may not have gotten that lingo right lol) posing on the stairway and I gotta say, the pose in question came out pretty good because it hurt like hell to hold it! Ah, the perks of modeling! If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not doing it right, I always say! The last shot was a cool concept, which had all of the brides in pairs, standing on top of these pillars (I guess that’s what you’d call them), striking fashion poses. And then it was a wrap!

I had a lot of fun and Jasmine, Pam, and Sandra (who got to be one of the brides) were amazing to work with as usual. They have one more photoshoot set up to round out the magazine and then the first issue will be out on June 1st! Woot! If you’re in the Bay Area, I definitely say to check Mocha Bride Magazine when it comes out (and not just because I’m in it!)…the website is also up and running and looks great so check that out, too!

Answering a Reader Question #46

deep beneath the tides wrote:

Hey, I also tried out for this cycle. I'm a model mentor and started out as a goth/fetish model. Cheers to the little girls ^_~

Anyhow, do you know when they are casting this thing? I haven't heard a thing from the show as of yet, and at least a "no" would even be better than just not knowing.

Keep up all the awesome work! i love your blog.



p.s. Good luck!

Hey, Joy! I definitely wish you luck as well! From what I know, they will be making the callbacks sometime in late April. According to the rules and regs, people will be contacted for either the semi-final or final rounds (it is up to the producers whether they want to have semi-finals and then finals or if they will just cast right away and do a finals round), one week before being required to be on the show and move into the model house. That should put production for the new cycle around early May and should last until June or early July. While it's probably too much to ask, I agree that even getting a rejection notice would be helpful...I mean, you could potentially be asked to block out 2-3 months of your life and to only be given a week's notice that you've made it officially onto the show is definitely going to a tough transition for the lucky gals that make it.

Answering a Reader Question #45

Anonymous Wrote:

Thanks so much for answering my question! I'm sorry one more please (sorry I'm being a bother), when does a model's shoe size become a problem? When she exceeds a size 9, 10, or 11?

The thing about being tall is that usually the shoe size is big as well. While this may be inconvenient, it isn't so detrimental to the point where it would really negatively affect your modeling career. Almost all tall models have larger feet, so this is something that agencies and clients are already accustomed to dealing with. But if you happen to have an out of the ordinary shoe size, this is something you would talk about to your agent. If you are searching for an agency, then don't bring so much attention to it. List your shoe size honestly and leave it up to the agency to decide whether it's something that can be worked around or not. There are many agencies out there so chances are you'll find at least one that won't mind your big feet.

Just know that when it comes to fashion shows and other type of events, models are often asked to wear shoes that are too small and you've gotta grin and bear be prepared for that!

Answering a Reader Question #44

Anonymous Wrote:

so why is it that fit models can't be tall. I am 5'11" and have never been able to do fit modeling because of my height. Isn't there somewhere that needs tall people to try on clothes?

The thing about this type of fit modeling is that the clothes that are being tried on are for regular consumer sale in stores, and are not tailored for runway models or the runway itself. Fit models are used for the purpose of trying on clothes that will ultimately end up on an actual, average person. The sample sizes tend to be different and more realistic than those of garments used by high fashion designers. While fashion and runway models with your height and measurements tend to try on garments made by high fashion designers, fit models are wearing clothes from companies such as Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic. Needless to say, the two types of clothing are completely different and targeted towards a different audience.

I'm sure there are some clients that may be looking for tall fit models but it would be rare. When trying to figure out what clothes would fit well on the average woman or man, fit models that actually represent those same heights and sizes are needed. I'm sure if you were to look hard enough you may be able to do fit modeling for a company that tailors its clothes to people that are taller but for general fit modeling, you have to accept the fact that such companies are looking for models a tad shorter than you.

Answering a Reader Question #43

Anonymous Wrote:

Thanks for this...

I hope people learn, I went through this when I was seven. Got contacted by a smaller agency, but never heard from them afterward. My mom and I have learned definitely.

I have a question, that coincidentally relates to the video in a way. When you send pictures to agencies online, some (for example Ford, Elite and IMG) have a "message box" separate from entering your measurements, height, etc. What do you suggest you type in there to catch their attention? And if you don't mind, could you provide an example.

Any help is great! And thanks again for the video, though my mom probably wishes she would've seen it eight years ago lol.

Hey, and thanks for the question! I'm sorry to hear that you've experienced what I'm sure many others have. I hope that I am able to tune in to the full episode when it airs...I'm sure it will go pretty in depth and really show people what to be on the lookout for and what to avoid.

As for your question, yes, I know exactly the box you're talking about. Most message boxes are optional so you don't have to fill it out but it is totally up to you. I personally don't think it will put anyone at a higher advantage. However, putting the wrong thing can definitely harm your chances of gaining an agency's interest.

There really is no formula to writing something in the message box but you definitely want to keep it short and sweet. Most have a character limit anyway to avoid long, drawn out pleas for model stardom. Ha ha. But I would advise writing a few sentences, introducing yourself and what type of modeling work you are interested in. Depending on your situation, describe what you are looking for. In my case I used to have agency representation but am now freelance and seeking new agency representation. Below is a sample of a similar message I've written in a message box when submitting to agencies online:

Hello, my name is Dania Denise and I am seeking representation through your agency. I parted ways with my agent in December of 2008 and am now freelance until I can secure new representation. I have years of experience in commercial/print modeling and am known for being dependable, punctual, fun, professional, and easy to work with. Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.

I never mention the name of my previous agency in these message boxes or in general to another agency unless they ask. The industry is filled with competition and while the name-dropping could work in your favor, some agencies may have their own notions/stereotypes of what another agency is like as well as their models. This could result in them unfairly thinking one thing or another about you, making it their reason to not consider you altogether. It may be far fetched but in the past I've had an agency respond to me saying, "I am no fan of [previous agent]. As a word of advice, do not state who you used to be with unless you are asked." Ouch! Ha ha.

Be sure to at least mention your name, that you are seeking representation through their agency, what type of modeling you want to do (or are doing), and whether you have experience or are a new model. Keep it basic, keep it simple, and keep it short and sweet.

Must Watch for my Readers - Modeling Conventions

Hey, readers! I came across this video post in a forum and after watching it, felt I had to share it with you. This is a video report from MSNBC, which takes a quick insider look at modeling conventions...namely, IMTA, which I'm sure many of you model hopefuls have come across in your search for how to make it in the modeling industry. I highly encourage you to watch this video as well as your parents--especially your parents! They state plainly why these conventions are not such a good idea if you want to pursue modeling or acting.

I've stated that modeling does not have to cost you a fortune and is as simple as sending in pictures for free or attending open casting calls for free. I've said this until I've been blue in the face and I think this video report illustrates beautifully what I've been saying all along. Even the head of Elite Model Management is interviewed and he says the same thing I'm saying. I think the next time I get a question asking about modeling conventions, I'm just going to refer them to this video! LOL.

If you still think this alternative route will make you a star, then I don't know what to tell you except that I wish you luck and really do hope that the thousands of dollars paid will result in you being a success story. Check it out:

The Truth About the Male Modeling World

As glamorous as the modeling industry seems, I'm sure you're all pretty aware by now that it has just as many downsides as upsides. I feel this is particularly true for male models. Sure, picturing yourself as a male model may seem really amazing at first. I mean, what guy wouldn't want to strut his stuff down the runway or be photographed in a steamy pose with some of the world's most beautiful women? But if you look past the glitz, you'll be pretty surprised by the fact that male models are often overlooked by the public in general and in some cases even their own industry.

Think about it: how many countless times have we seen the faces and bodies of top female supermodels in all forms of the media? Probably too many to count. Now what about the male models in the industry? Unless you're a super fan of the modeling industry or stay on top of the fashion world and the players in it, chances are you can't really name a list of top male models with the exception of maybe Tyson Beckford (and I only am able to recall his name right now because of his show, "Make Me a Supermodel"). Don't you ever wonder why that is? While I don't have the definite answer to that question, I will say that the modeling industry is one dominated by females and is one of the few career fields where the women will always make more money than the men.

While top female models can rack up as much as $1 million or more per year, most male models make less than that, usually only as much as up to $500,000 a year. Sure, that kind of money is nothing to sniff at, but I still find that pretty amazing. I mean, what kind of success do you have to have as a male model to earn the same paycheck as Gisele? It's a known fact that female models make 2-3 times more than male models for doing the exact same thing. That just blows my mind. And another thing: as far as I am aware, the title of "supermodel" has only been given to female models, not male models. Is there a male supermodel? Feel free to dp research and see if you can dispute that.

Of course there have been many male models that have become the "face" for a number of advertising campaigns, appeared in countless editorials, and graced numerous catwalks but in the end, male models generally do not garner as much acclaim as their female counterparts. It's pretty crazy how much the public seems to flock towards female supermodels but not so much the male models. The poor economy also doesn't help. Just as work is becoming limited for working female models, it is affecting the guys just as much, if not more. The fact that many male celebrities (actors, singers, etc.) are being chosen to replace male models in many advertising campaigns and editorial work is also killing the potential for male models to earn a living and make a career for themselves.

However, the lack of attention doesn't mean that male models out there aren't doing their thing. If you want to be a successful male model, obviously you'll want to have a stellar agency supporting you. Next, you'll want to go where the money is, which can be found in doing advertising campaigns for famous designers and even fragrances. Doing such work can carry a paycheck of between $8,000-15,000 PER DAY. If you want a great way to network, also take on editorial shoots. Even though they pay the least (often between $150-300 a day), this is a great way to work with known designers and photographers. Many male models have gone on to successful careers because of their connections with photographers and designers who used their star power to put unknown male models into the spotlight.

The bottom line: being a male model isn't easy. But then again, what is ? If you are determined to succeed in this field, stick to your guns, network your butt off, and secure agency representation. Then see where the cards fall. Either way, you'll definitely have your work cut out for you!

Male Models & Height

So I realize that many of my posts are directed at female models because, well, there are so many of them out there! But I do acknowledge and recognize the male models out there, too, and believe me I do my best to try and squeeze in posts that relate to you guys as well. While I will say that much of the information I provide (casting calls, submitting to agencies, etc.) can be applied to male modeling as well, I don't want anyone to get confused or feel they have to sort out exactly what applies to females and what applies to males so I decided to start trying to do more posts for male models or those aspiring to be one.

The height factor is not just an issue with female models but male models as well. Unfortunately, there are even less "exceptions to the rule" when it comes to male models than female models. There are definitely the Kate Mosses of the world but as far as I know (and feel free to comment and educate me!) there aren't any male models out there are are short but still super successful or fall into the supermodel realm.

In general, people think of men as being handsome, ruggard, sexy, and...tall! Height for men is super important, especially for photoshoots. I mean, if you're posing next to a female that is 5'10" without heels and is wearing 4 inch heels and you're next to her, you should be able to stand your ground, height-wise. So what are the requirements for male models?

In general, the majority (not all) of agencies that sign on fashion/runway/editorial male models set a height range of between 5'10"-6'2". The more picky ones set the minimum height at 5'11". And yes, as with female models, there is such a thing as being "too tall." Male models can usually get away with 6'3" but any taller than that, and most agencies will more than likely pass on you. I came across a beautiful male model (I use the term "beautiful" for men when it comes to modeling--just a thing of mine I guess!) via one of the online modeling communities I'm a part of and I felt so bad for him because he had been searching for an agency for a long time and kept getting rejected because he stands at 6'5". Yikes!

For the male models or aspiring male models out there that don't meet the height requirement, I don't have much advice to give you except to give freelance modeling a shot. If you want, you can still submit your information to agencies but just be prepared to be told that you are too short. I'm sure there are plenty of male models out there that are considered too short by agency standards but still mange to have a career doing it freelance or part-time, so that could totally be an option if you are willing to work and network hard enough. But it is important to point out that if you're under 5'9"--actually, under 5'10" to be more realistic--your chances of being a signed agency model will be lowered greatly, meaning that a career in modeling may not be a reality for you. And that's okay. Not being able to be a model is not the end all and be all of life. Take it as a lesson learned and move on to something you are more suited for.

Answering a Reader Question #42

Joanna Wrote: hi !i'm joanna and i m from greece.well, i m 18 ,1.72 heigh(34-23.5-34).what do u think,can i be a model??? thanks :)

Hey, Joanna and thanks for the question! While your measurements are ideal, your height falls a tad bit short (no pun intended!) of the requirements for fashion/runway modeling. However, you are the ideal height for commercial/print modeling. So if you want to pursue that type of modeling, you'll want to find modeling agencies in your country that represent commercial/print models.

To help you out, here are modeling agencies in Greece and their websites. Because the modeling market in Greece may be very different from modeling here in the USA, it couldn't hurt to still submit yourself even if you are a bit shorter. If you have a great look, they may make an exception for you:


Ace Models

Action Management

D'Model Agency