Requirements for a Male Model

  • Melissa Keen

Just like in regular modelling, the requirements for a male model are quite definitive. Male modelling has begun to match the same acclaim and status as women’s modelling. Since the ’80s, more men are becoming household names for their good looks – David Gandy, Tyson Beckford and Sean O’Pry have paved the way for men to become as successful and well-known as women on the runway.

Do you have the industry requirements to be a male model? Find if you have what it takes with our in-depth guide.

How Tall Does a Male Model Have to Be?

High fashion modelling has strict guidelines; male models should generally be between 5’11″ and 6’3” in height, their waist should measure 29-32 inches and their chest 39-40 inches. These figures will vary slightly depending on the agency, but scouts will always be on the lookout for toned, slim physiques.

Commercial models are expected to be 5’11” or taller but the niche is not as strict as high fashion.

It is important to remember that the boundaries are constantly changing, so don’t be put off if you don’t match the strict “guidelines” – personality and a unique look will count for more. Fitness/real-life models are very much chosen because of their characteristics, not their height.

If your height is something you are concerned about, please get in touch with us and we will advise you on areas of modelling that you are best suited to.

Different Types of Modelling

Male models are able to work as:

  • High fashion models. These are the models who represent designer brands and are most commonly associated with the catwalk.
  • Commercial/advertising models. These models are used to sell a product or service. High street brands fall under the commercial umbrella.
  • Catalogue models. These are models who wear branded/high street clothing for store catalogues and website appearances.
  • Real-life models. These men represent the ‘average’ male and are employed because of their natural looks. Customers can relate to them easily.
  • Classic models. The older male model. You will see him advertising golf clubs, expensive cars, holidays, retirement packages etc. Classic models are used so an older target audience can relate to them.
  • Fitness models. These models have a particular definition to their body and are happy to show it off in front of the camera.

How to Become a Male Model

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to modelling, which means there aren’t a strict set of rules with regards to who is deemed attractive enough to model. There are, however, some things that stand apart from the crowd; great physical health, white teeth, bright eyes and good skin will all help a male model get noticed.

Not every male model needs to be ripped – many guys are employed because of their small frame and lean features. Being tall helps, with male runway models being at least 6′ tall. Commercial models are usually around 5’11 and 6’2 and must fit into a 40R jacket.

Male hand and foot models must have straight fingers and toes, and an even skin tone.

A model must feel confident in their skin. Regardless of gender, a confident model will stand out from the crowd. Personality goes a long way at castings, with brands more often than not wanting their models to represent the company’s ethos and spirit.

Finally, requirements of a male model also include open-mindedness. Men will have to wear make-up during shoots to even the skin tone and cover blemishes. Some models are required to sport elaborate hairstyles, or may even be required to shave their hair off. While it’s important to know your own limitations and feel comfortable saying no when required, a male model must also be open-minded.

Male Model Grooming Tips for Beginners

Skin Care

Successful models have a grooming routine to ensure their skin is in great condition. Skin should be well looked after to avoid too much digital editing in photos. Learn to cleanse your skin morning and night with a suitable cleanser and invest in a moisturiser.

Ensure you wear SPF on your face and neck every day to avoid sun damage. If wearing make-up for a shoot, learn how to properly remove it – your make-up artist will have some great tips, so make sure to ask their advice on the best products to use.

It’s also important to drink plenty of water for healthy, glowing skin. Eating lots of fresh vegetables and fish will also help to keep skin clear.

Hair Care

Hair must be well-kept and neatly trimmed with no roots showing. Messy beards are also out – instead, try to keep facial hair neat so casting directors can still see the shape of your face.

Underwear models may need to think about shaving their chests and pubic hair for certain jobs. It is vital to ALWAYS check the requirements with the brand before a shoot; model Cory Bond says he once lost a job due to shaving his chest before a casting when they wanted body hair.

Physique & Diet

The modelling industry prefers that male models look after their physique. This means eating plenty of healthy food and working out regularly to keep muscles toned.

Getting Started as a Male Model

Some agencies will have specific heights or body types in mind and it’s important to remember that even the top models get turned away from some jobs. Don’t take rejection personally – you are very likely to face it during a career in modelling.

As well as taking care of your physical appearance as a male model, requirements for a male model also include looking after your mental health. This means saying no when you need to, and not letting yourself be treated poorly. Make sure you read contracts thoroughly before signing them, and don’t agree to anything you feel uncomfortable with. Research agencies before you apply to them to ensure you agree with their company ethos.

While the male modelling industry is just as hard to get into as the women’s, it’s not impossible. Stay determined, work hard and be nice to everyone you meet – you never know when someone might be able to get you your big break!

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Posted by Melissa Keen

Melissa's experience in the beauty and fashion world as a writer and blogger spans over five years. Her other interests include reading, yoga and music.