Bikini Models: Do You Have What It Takes?

  • Claire Louise

There are two types of bikini models, the ones that adorn magazine covers wearing a bikini top and briefs. The other is a fitness model with sculpted muscles that win competitions. Both demand dedication, commitment and confidence due to the exposure of skin wearing just a swimsuit.

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Bikini Fashion Models

Swimwear brands and designers require models to pose in a bikini to promote their latest designs. Depending on the niche, fashion models could be gracing magazine covers of Vogue, walking the runway of Victoria’s Secret (the ultimate dream) or shooting for a brands campaign wearing a bikini top and briefs.

The likes of American models, Gigi Hadid, Sommer Ray, Ashley Graham and Emily Ratajkowski have modelled in a bikini numerous times during their career for commercial purposes. Many post images of themselves wearing a bikini to their social media accounts especially Sommer Ray. These ladies are not afraid to expose some flesh! Being a successful bikini model could take you around the world visiting the likes of Australia, New York or Portugal as location shoots need an exotic backdrop to seduce the customer.


Love the Skin You’re in

A model needs to be comfortable in their skin to reveal their physique on a global scale. Make-up will be applied in intimate areas and the room will be crowded with people. Self consciousness is not welcomed when shooting bikini models pictures or on the Victoria’s Secret models runway. Every year the Victoria’s Secret models are announced with top names hoping they’ve landed a spot on the catwalk. Gigi Hadid has been a regular on the runway yet castings are held to mix it up every year.

Typically, the Victoria’s Secret line up features one body type, slim and slender. Many activists campaign to witness a range of body types in the industry. Ashley Graham works hard to showcase diversity and has a very successful modelling career, which regularly includes wearing a bikini top, bathing suit or lingerie. It is clear to see that the fashion world has started to listen yet there’s a long way to go.

Bikini Fitness Models

Bikini models: the term simply does not do them any justice. As they’re more commonly known in the industry, bikini fitness models are women who go through extreme lifestyle changes to get to where they are. They’re more akin to bodybuilders than glamour models, and so there’s a whole host of dedication that needs to go in, across a range of areas.

Models work as hard as they do in order to compete for titles, which differs from other types of modelling in some respects. It is almost more like pageantry, although they often model for fitness and healthy living brands as well.

If you want to become one of the top bikini models, you must be strict with yourself in a range of areas:

bikini models

Build a Toned Physique

The overall physique and muscle definition is the most important aspect. In order to attain the ultimate figure for this type of modelling, a lot of dedication and sacrifice is needed. Unlike many kinds of modelling where a model must look after their body, this is on an entirely different level; one where it’s a lifestyle in itself. A strict regime that involves the correct exercises to build a bikini body must be implanted into your daily routine.

A bikini model is less bulky than the image people typically think of when they think of ‘bodybuilders’. They’re athletic looking and toned, and have less muscle bulk than bodybuilders, but you can still see noticeable definition and muscle mass. These models are slightly more petite and traditionally ‘feminine’; figure models have slightly wider shoulders. Make no mistake: both sets of women are incredibly strong.

models posing in bikini

UK Fitness Model, Charlotte Pickstock

As an example, Charlotte Pickstock is a UK fitness model; which is synonymous with bikini modelling in that she competes to show off her gains on stage in a bikini. However, the physical sporting aspect is the most important part of her, and she spends hours upon hours in the gym.

Starting off as a dancer, Charlotte always enjoyed fitness and of course, dancing is a way to achieve this whilst also being visually appealing. She became more interested in the aesthetics in her mid-teens, as well as her health, and started working out in the gym. The weight training led to visual evidence of her hard work, and from there she turned to competing.

Training at Body Tech Wirral has become as an integral part of her daily routine as she strives to attain her goals, which she’ll push herself further on every time.

Maintain a Strict Diet

fit model in a bikini

There are no two ways about it; you will have to make a lot of sacrifices in order to be one of the best. Anything else simply isn’t going to cut it.

Charlotte’s diet is one of tailored nutrition, and may not work for everyone. She responds to high fat and low carb, and must eat clean with rarely any ‘cheat’ days. Proteins are really key.

Alcohol should be consumed in moderation (if ever), and hydration is super important.

Sadly, food may often seem a little plain, but to be on track, it must be part of a strict regimen – you can learn to get creative though!

The aim is to get as low body fat as possible, which means even in the ‘off-season’ where you’re not competing, you should still be training and maintaining the lifestyle. It’s a commitment, not a quick fix.

How to Get ‘the Look’

Despite the most important part of being a bikini fitness model is the bodybuilding, it is still akin to bikini modelling at the end of the day. This means that there is a certain aesthetic that must be adhered to at all times when showcasing your efforts.

For example, a tan MUST be obtained before they compete. It is not only to look healthy, it’s just proven that a tan highlights the contours better and so muscle growth is much more evident.

model pageant

You should also observe pristine conditions when it comes to grooming. For example, hair should be shiny and preferably long – extensions can be used if needed, providing that they blend well. A hairdresser can help with the application. It’s best to also have a trim and ensure that hair colour is fresh and no roots are visible.

Finally, make up must be glamorous and visible from the stage at all times. You’re parading among other girls, so you have to match with a typical aesthetic. Of course, swimsuits also come into play showing the carefully sculpted physique to its best. When choosing a models bikini a lot of thought goes into the decision considering the colour and style. String, thong or micro bikini’s are very popular amongst the candidates.

Charlotte has had the chance to compete for titles both nationally and internationally, and she has had to learn to ‘pose’ on stage, which is part of the criteria for showing off all her hard work.

Once you make a name for yourself, you’ll win titles like Charlotte, and even get sponsorships and more.

Do You Have Stage Presence?

To compliment your sculpted physique, models on stage require a great personality and showmanship. It is essential to step out onto the platform and deliver with confidence for the duration of the competition. It feels so rewarding in that moment that all your hard work, dedication and commitment has paid off. Shy, retiring types will not be well suited to the arena as the niche demands self assured models who ooze confidence.

models in bikinis posing with medals

Posing in a string bikini to create a hot, sexy image is vital to win the competition. A high self-esteem is very much a part of building this perception and stage presence. Some opt for a thong bikini to showcase their physique as much as possible.

Competitions can be tiring and even tedious, but you’ll need to keep up energy all day, and have a big smile on your face! Remember pictures and videos will be taken so it is vital to look your best at all times.

How to Become a Bikini Model

  • Create a toned, athletic physique through exercise. 
  • Eat a balanced, nutritious diet.
  • Be confident exposing your figure in front of an audience.
  • Gain a great understanding of body awareness.
  • Possess a personality that truly shines on stage and throughout the competition.

Do you think you have what it takes to be among top bikini models?

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