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Modeling at Fashion Week 2007

A model (from Middle French modèle), sometimes called a mannequin, is a person who is employed for the purpose of displaying and promoting fashion clothing or other products and for advertising or promotion purposes or who poses for works of art.

Modeling is distinguished from other types of public performance, such as an acting, dancing or mime artist, although the boundary is not well defined. Appearing in a movie or a play is not considered modeling. However, models express emotion in their photographs, and many describe themselves as actors. Models are generally not expected to verbally express themselves unless to visually enhance a photograph.

Types of models include fashion, glamour, fitness, bikini, fine art, and body-part models.

Not all models are considered "beautiful": character models portray ordinary people and humorous types, mostly in print work and in commercials. Photo manipulation and cosmetic surgery also enable people with body imperfections to model and change their looks to suit a certain role. Many high fashion models have "quirky" attributes and memorably unusual faces. High end brands often use these unusual faces as people are likely to remember their brand name and associate it with an interesting face.

Various representations of beauty and fashion using models have caused controversy and is known to have some social impact, particularly on young people - both male and female.

Male models receive overall less publicity and are often paid less.

Fashion models


Models may be used to display and promote clothing. Fashion modeling may involve catwalk or runway modeling or editorial modeling, covering photography for magazine spreads, ad campaigns, catalogues, print etc. The emphasis of fashion photography is on the clothes or accessories, not the model. Fashion models may be used to display or promote various types of clothing, such as lingerie, swimsuit, and bikini. Models may be used in showroom, fit modeling, fitness or sporty modeling. Some are used for petite modeling or plus-size modeling.

The first person described as a fashion model is Parisianmarker shopgirl, Marie Vernet Worth. She was a house model in 1853, to her fashion designer husband, Charles Frederick Worth.

Female body type

The British Association of Model Agents (AMA) says that female models should be around 34-24-34 in (86-61-86 cm) and at least tall. The ideal measurements used to be 35.5-23.5-35.5 in (90-60-90 cm) which were the alleged measurements of Marilyn Monroe. However, today's fashion models tend to have measurements closer to the AMA recommended shape, although by no means all models have these exact statistics, and fashion houses may require other sizes for their models.

The unusually thin shape of fashion models has been criticized for allegedly warping girls' body image and encouraging eating disorders. Organizers of a fashion show in Madridmarker in September 2006 turned away models who were judged to be underweight by medical personnel who were on hand. In February 2007, six months after her sister, Luisel Ramos - also a model - died, Uruguayanmarker model Eliana Ramos became the third international model to die of malnutrition in six months. The second victim was Ana Carolina Reston. Luisel Ramos died of heart failure caused by anorexia nervosa just after stepping off the catwalk.

Male body type

The preferred average dimensions for a male model are a height of to , a waist of and a chest measurement of .


Supermodels are highly paid, high profile fashion models. These (usually female) celebrities, also known as cover girls, appear on top fashion magazine covers, in catalogues and in fashion shows.

The first model to pave the way for what would become the supermodel was Lisa Fonssagrives. The relationship between her image on over 200 Vogue covers and her name recognition led to the importance of Vogue in shaping future supermodels. Her image appeared on the cover of every fashion magazine during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s from Town & Country, Life and Vogue to the original Vanity Fair.

Model Janice Dickinson has asserted that she was the person for whom the term was coined, as she popped the term herself while talking to her agent at the climax of her career by saying, "I'm not superman, I'm a supermodel".In the 1980s, regulars like Gia Carangi, Carol Alt, Janice Dickinson, Cindy Crawford, Christie Brinkley , Kim Alexis and Paulina Porizkova began to endorse products with their names as well as their faces, getting in front of everything from Diet Pepsi to Ford Trucks.

Glamour models

Glamour models posing on the red carpet - Hollywood, CA 03/09/2008

Glamour photography emphasizes the model and the model's sexuality rather than products, fashion or the environment. Glamour modelling often focuses on the body of the subject and insinuations of sexuality serve to enhance a product's attractiveness. Glamour models may be used for mass-produced calendars, pinup and for men's magazines, such as Playboy magazine. Famous glamour models include Pamela Anderson, Jordan, Jodie Marsh, Lucy Pinder, Louise Glover , etc.

Fitness models

Fitness model posing with dumbbell

Fitness modeling centers on displaying an athletic physique. Fitness models usually have defined muscles like bodybuilders, but with less emphasis on muscle size. Their body weight is usually similar to (or heavier than) fashion models, but they have a lower body fat percentage due to increased muscle mass relative to fat mass.

Bikini models

Bikini models are also usually required to be obviously fit and with an appealing body shape. Bikini models can usually be shorter, around to

Fine art models

Nude art model at work

Art models are models who pose for photographers, painter, sculptors, and other artists as part of their work of art.

Alternative models

An alternative model is any model that does not fit into the conventional model types, and may include emo, punk, goth, fetish, tattooed models or having a distinctive attribute. These mix with high fashion and art models. Publishers such as Goliath in Germany have enabled alternative models and punk photography to become known to a larger audience.

Body part modeling

Some models are employed for their particularly attractive body parts. For example, hand models may be used to promote nail care products, leg models are useful for showcasing tights, and wrist models are used to showcase watches or bracelets. Petite models or females who are under have found success through body part modeling.

Working conditions

Despite the stereotype of modeling as a lucrative and glamorous profession, according to the USmarker Bureau of Labor Statistics the median wage for models was only $11.52 per hour in 2006. MarketWatch listed modeling as one of the ten worst jobs in America.

See also


  2. History from Modelworker
  3. AMA - AMA code of practice - Getting Started as a Model
  4. USA Today: Do thin models warp girls' body image?
  5. CNN: Skinny models banned from catwalk
  6. Ban on stick-think models illegal, Jennifer Melocco, The Daily Telegraph, February 16, 2007.
  7. Rosemary Ranck, "The First Supermodel", The New York Times February 9, 1997 (online) retrieved September 24, 2006


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