For the last couple of months doing modelling, I’ve been paying attention to things I never used to before. Maybe I do think too much sometimes but it definitely leads me to some conclusions. Yes, modelling is a real adventure and can be a fun job, that’s for sure. I’m very grateful for having this opportunity. Talking with other models, however, I realise how different our life is to what people from the outside might imagine.
Here are some nuances of being a model that have come to my mind lately
It’s not a typical job in the sense that we rarely know the people we work with. We don’t get a chance to get to know them. The location, the brand we work for, the people we work with – all of that changes every day. I remember when I was younger I would get anxious about meeting a new team day after day. After some time you stop paying attention to it because you get used to always being ‘the new one’. There are, of course, jobs which last for a few, even many days – then it starts to feel a bit like your typical 9 – 5 job.
Personally, I enjoy both types. It’s fun to meet new people every day; and even better when you have the opportunity to actually make friends with them. It’s very similar when it comes to relations with other girls. We live together for a day, a week, even a month and then we simply move on. Chances are we’ll meet again on the other side of the world.
Most of the time, it’s a very normal life. We live in normal apartments. We get to know the place we live in like a local. No hotels, no taxis, no expensive restaurants. (The exception are direct bookings – more on that later ). Model apartments are usually anything but luxurious. Bunk beds, 1 bathroom for 10 girls and a tiny kitchen to share – I’ve lived like this several times. It feels a bit like a school trip that lasts way too long. That’s why I try to find my own place to live whenever possible. There’s just one problem with that – you risk losing your own money when you’re supposed to be earning it. You’ll read all about our earnings here
An option. Any model reading this would probably agree that it’s a love and hate relationship we have with this word. Let me explain why…
You have an option for …<insert job>. That’s the most common phrase we hear when talking with our agencies. It basically means that a client is interested in you and is considering you for a job. We never know with how many girls we’re competing or what the chances are for getting the job. So it’s good, right? It’s possible that you will earn money. It gets you excited and gets your hopes up, at least a little bit. Options never guarantee you will get any job. You may have 15 options that never get confirmed.
So what’s the hate part about? It makes our lives totally unpredictable. We don’t know what we’ll be doing tomorrow, not to mention in a week. When you’re on a contract, it doesn’t seem such a big deal because that’s the point of it. Things get more complicated when you’re back home with your friends and family. You want to plan your days ahead, but have an option for a job abroad. You’re stuck because you can’t really promise anyone anything.
I remember when I was casually munching on my breakfast, still in pyjamas, 9 am and my agency calls me: ‘Zuza, they need you there, RIGHT NOW. How much time do you need before the taxi picks you up?’ – it’s a good thing I didn’t really have any specific plans for that day. That’s probably the best scenario.
More often, it’s more like: ‘You have a flight in 4 hours, the client just booked you last minute!!! Can you make it?!’ – while you’re sitting behind a school desk and, well, you don’t exactly live close to the airport and need to get back home to pack.
Just a shoutout here to our bookers for helping us however they can in situations like these! (Just to make it clear, it’s the clients that book us, who make these last-minute decisions, not our agencies)
Long contracts – to those who don’t know much about modelling this may be surprising. If we begin a contract abroad, it’s usually for 2 months or more. For me, a contract that lasts 3 weeks maximum is like a blessing. But it hardly ever happens. I think being far away from my loved ones is the most difficult thing about this job. Not necessarily a nuance but definitely the hardest part of modelling. Especially that there are so many young girls doing this. Living by yourself in another continent for 2 months when you’re 15 is a challenge, to say the least. Not knowing how to cook or take care of your finances can become a real struggle.
That’s it for now, I tried my best to explain everything as clearly as possible. If you have any questions, I’ll be very happy to answer them in the comments below! I will also be writing more about what a model’s life looks like (bear in mind we’re not talking about top models here 🙂 ). Is there anything that interests you in particular? Let me know below! I will definitely answer and maybe even write a whole post answering your question in detail.