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The truth about model life

To work as a model might seem like something full of glamour, parties, free makeup and hair, beautiful clothes and good looking people surrounding you. But to be frank enough, it's an occupation which is very unstable and tough for your mental health as well. Why?
Dress by Companhia Das Marias
1. Free work
I've done this couple of years but only for a year full time. But still, I have come a long way even to come to this point where I can travel and actually earn. I wasn't scouted on a street and in the beginning I did a lot of free work and photo shoots or 'test shoots' to collect some portfolio. Many young models don't ever realize while they're working for designers collections and other things to gain 'experience' that they're actually working for free and are used because they're easily cheated. I support collaboration photo shoots and fashion shows where both the model and the photographer/designer get portfolio pictures but I don't support something like presentations where the models stands 6 hours showing off the clothes without payment. I know that is happening also in Finland and other countries. The worst thing I have heard is that some new models have paid for some newbie photographers or some fake model companies to prepare them portfolios. That is simply stupid. Models should never pay to get a shooting, they should be paid for doing it. Also all kind of model courses are pretty unnecessary. You can't learn modeling with a course, you have to experience and learn by doing it.
2. Model apartments
I could talk for years about how horrible most of the model apartments are. There usually live five to ten models in one apartment often two or three models in each room. There is probably one fridge, one bathroom and pretty limited space overall. And I tell you - the expenses are often the same as if you paid for the whole single studio apartment by yourself.  This is one of the reasons I often find my own place to stay. In addition to that, the apartments get into very bad condition because many young models don't know how to keep the places clean. Well, sometimes you might get really nice model apartment to stay but probably your expenses are double price from average one. Also you never know whether your roommate will be nice or a terrible person.
3. Unstable income and expenses
As well as in many other creative careers you might work like crazy and the payment is still very unstable. The problem is not often the amount of wage but the fact that agencies will always have their commissions and while travelling you naturally have a lot of expenses like flight tickets, accommodation, food, a prepaid card, a driver, a taxi or a subway card expenses, taxes and many other stuff. And yes in normal job and life you also have expenses but at least the income is stable. In model work income is never 100% sure due to the season or the current preference in certain countries.

4. No place to call home
Many models start to travel young (13 to 18 years old) so for many of them it might be only a life full of adventures and just a random contract every now and then. But when you get older you start to think getting your 'own life' and a place to call home when your parents don't support you the same way. I would never regret travelling and I will still continue it because I love it but the same time I kinda dream about having one place to stay and the same friends and people around me. It's really rough to meet amazing people and then after 2-3 months of staying somewhere for a model contract you just have to leave them behind. Of course the situation is different if you work only as a part time model among studies or other work in certain country or so. But most of the full time models travel and change the place quite a lot.
5. Super competitive
It's pretty obvious that a big part of your career depends on your look. You have to have perfect look, you gotta walk better than others, you have to be a nice person, you have to express yourself well, you have to maintain perfect hair, teeth, smile, body and skin. Also, you have to have perfect agency and good timing. And - no matter how perfect you are, probably there is always someone better than you. If there is something every model needs, it's very tough skin and a great confidence. You can't affect others opinions but you can change your own attitude towards yourself. Maybe your agency offers you bad contracts or your current hair color is not the best for the country you're at. Maybe you have to go to dermatologist or lose some weight. Learn about the industry and try to find out where and what kind of agencies you could work with the best! You're never perfect enough for everything but you can learn where you work the best.
If I realized before that I should have focused only on my own career and not compare myself to others, I would have done so much better in the first place. Every model is different and it's not a surprise that some looks work better in some places than the others. However - a good agent who focuses on you is more important than the great confidence. Sometimes models give up on modeling because they're treated wrong and they're stucked in the current situation. It's good to realize early enough that if you're in the wrong place in the wrong time, it's time for a change.

There are a lot of great things which make model work awesome as well. But it's not a secret that the model life is not always that awesome at the same time. Thanks for reading and remember to Subscribe my blog or Follow me with Bloglovin!

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