Answering a Reader Question #55

Anonymous Wrote:

I have dark skin and it is uneven. I've tried glycolic peels and Retin-A for quite some time now. I am very self conscious about this because everything I do to reverse the problem skin isn't working such as eating healthy, staying out of the sun when possible and wearing sunblock. my question is will my uneven skin be a problem when submitting snap shots to agencies? in addition I don't really have acne just uneven skin light and dark spots on my face and neck. so how clear does ones skin have to be when trying to find an agency. because my skin is holding me back from even submitting because i'm afraid it's not descent enough for an agency. so i just need some advice please:).

Anonymous, I feel your pain, I really do and I am sorry that traditional treatments have not helped your situation. In regards to the state of your skin when it comes to submitting to agencies, your skin does not need to be "perfect" but it does need to be "good" or "healthy." Extensive discoloration that is highly noticeable, especially on the face isn't very desirable to agencies. While there is Photoshop, agencies would prefer a model with skin that needs as little retouching as possible. It's just about time and money on their end--after all, it is a business.

When submitting photos to agencies they definitely should not be touched up, which I know is very scary for you since you feel your complexion currently may not be what they want. Have you thought about attending an open call instead of just sending in your photos via online or snail mail? The reason I suggest this is because the only way you will know if your skin would be an issue for an agency is to hear it from the agency itself. And more than just one...the more agencies you are able to see, the better your odds that you will find one that likes you. Talking to more agencies will also help you compare notes on their feedback to you concerning your skin. As much as you may not want to hear their feedback, I would highly suggest doing this and face the music sooner than later. By sending in your pictures via email or snail mail you won't get a direct answer from an agency--either they'll like you and contact you or you just won't hear from them at all and if your results are the latter, then you'll never know for sure if it was your skin they didn't care for or if it was something else. Do yourself that justice and attend the castings--if they're available--and see what the different agencies say.

As a side note, have you tried using special cover-up? Many models with skin discoloration issues (myself included) and those with the skin condition vitiligo (a skin disorder that causes loss of pigmentation of the skin, resulting in white patches) have turned to body makeup such as Dermablend and similar cosmetic products to help create the appearance of uniformly colored skin. Such makeup is easy to apply, especially on the face and neck. If you can manage to consult with a professional makeup artist at a makeup counter like Sephora or MAC, they can test different shades on you to hopefully find the right one. If you can find the right shade and learn to apply it, you may be able to pursue modeling without anyone being the wiser. Of course if you wear the makeup to an agency I would recommend still being honest with them about using the product to cover up your discoloration. If the agency likes you enough they may be willing to work around your skin issue, especially if the body makeup successfully evens out your skin tone.

I hope that helps somewhat and I definitely wish you luck in pursuing modeling. Even if an agency doesn't sign you, look into freelance. Always create opportunities for yourself when you can, even if there are others that close such opportunities to you.

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