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How to Become a Petite Model

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Think you’re not tall enough to be a model? Think again. The diversification of the modelling industry has meant that there is a place for models of all different shapes and size, including petite models. Look at Devon Aoki, Twiggy, Lily-Rose Depp, Kate Moss and Inka Williams, who all measure below 5”6’. Models are considered petite when they are no taller than 5”7’ for women and 5”9’ for men. While the runway and high fashion brands still tend to favour taller models, there are plenty of opportunities outside these niches for petite models. Read our list of tips on how to become a petite model to find out more

By Phoebe O’Halloran

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Image Source: Vanity Fair

Tips to become a petite model

Figure out what your best features are

Whether it’s your eyes, smile or legs, try drawing attention to that feature by wearing accentuating makeup or flattering clothes. Petite modelling is all about realising your strengths and understanding how best to market them.

Build A Portfolio

Next, to become a petite model you’ll need a portfolio that highlights these features to potential employers. Hiring a professional photographer who can help you to pose in ways that showcase your best angles and features will increase your chances of finding work. Your portfolio will need to show you in a range of different outfits and settings, and doing a variety of poses.

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Market yourself on Social Media

Your content and interactions on social media are what build your personal brand over time. It is important to post images that really showcase your personality and market yourself to potential employers. Having a large following is important to become a petite model, significantly increasing your chances of getting signed.

Know how to pose

A great skill needed to become a petite model is knowing how to pose taller for photos. Look down at the camera and tilt your head back, elongating the neck. Stand on your toes to make your legs look longer. Extending yours arms and moving your body into interesting poses can be helpful to show your versatility to potential clients.

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Image Source: Vogue

Start Applying

Now that you have a killer portfolio and know how to work it on camera, it’s time to research modelling agencies that take on petite models and start applying, usually through open calls or direct submission. Some of the larger agencies have open calls where they open their doors to meet with aspiring models. Direct submissions are done via email which can be found on the agency websites.

Types of modelling jobs for petite models

Commercial Modelling

Commercial modelling is modelling for ad campaigns or an editorial in a magazine to sell a product. Because these ads are aimed at selling a lifestyle to everyday people, the models used must therefore be reflective of society. This means that agencies and brands seek out diverse models depending on their product or service, including petite models.

Cosmetics and Beauty Modelling

Beauty modelling involves modelling cosmetics and makeup for brands or makeup artists. This type of modelling focuses on having a beautiful, symmetrical face rather than height. The camera captures close up shots and therefore models are required to have a great complexion and glowing skin.

Image Source: Maybelline’s Instagram
Image Source: Frank Body’s Instagram

Swimwear and lingerie

Fitness modelling, including swimwear and lingerie, focuses less on height requirements and instead on physique. Swimwear and lingerie brands tend to favour a toned and feminine body, regardless of height. For men, a fit and athletic body is desired. Having great skin, teeth, and hair is also sought after

Image Source: Bali Body’s Tumblr

Parts model

Parts modelling involves showcasing a specific body part such as hands, feet, smile and eyes for an ad campaign or editorial. As long as your body part meets the physical requirements and aesthetic of the client, there are no height requirements.

Image Source: Pandora’s Instagram


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