14 Models Reveal What They Wish They Knew When They Were First Starting Out

Real models explain what the the modeling industry is really like.

God & Man

Despite the beauty and glamour of the modeling world, modeling isn’t always what it appears to be. Behind the flashing lights and the magazine spreads, many models are just getting by in this industry. While not all models make it big, every model has their own unique story to share.

Models from all over the world have had both successes and failures throughout their journey in the modeling industry. Luckily for you, these models have words of wisdom to share about their start as a model. Read on to find out what models wish they knew when they were first starting out.

1. “You don’t actually get paid that much at the start. You expect this romanticized reality where you have bookings every day and you are making tons of money. That is not the case. The truth is these bookings aren’t regular at all.”

— Jill, 23

2. “People talk. Don’t be a doormat, but don’t talk poorly about other models, photographers, or designers. It will get back to them and then you will suffer the consequences.”

— Casey, 22

3. “Even the models that you see on Billboards have body issues and insecurities. Just because you are a model doesn’t mean that you are impervious to body shaming. Stay true to your body, own up to your insecurities, and have the confidence to love yourself no matter what.”

— Leah, 20

4. “Just because you are signed with an agency doesn’t mean you are on the fast track to success. Getting into this industry is a process, don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself.”

— Alex, 22

5. “Don’t believe all the stereotypes about drugs and addiction. However, know that these issues exist. Modeling can lead to stress and anxiety, yet resorting to drugs isn’t the answer. Work to cope with these stresses in a healthy way.”

— Terry, 21

6. “Don’t expect it all to be glamorous. You are going to be changing and getting ready in less than ideal places. You will have to wear and do things that are uncomfortable and wacky. Learn to go with the flow and open up your mind to try new things.”

— Carli, 19

7. “Modeling isn’t a 9-5 kind of gig. A shoot can happen any time and any day. In the modeling world these hours are fair game. Be prepared for early wake up calls and long nights.”

—  Leo, 24

8. “Be mindful of your health. Over time, your skin and hair will start to suffer due to the excessive amount of product and makeup. Make sure you are taking care of your body and prioritizing your wellbeing.”

—  Emily, 21

9. “Recognize that not everyone will get it. You may have family and friends who don’t understand this profession. At the end of the day do what makes you happy. Follow this dream, but know that some may never understand it.”

—  Zach, 22

10. “Know your limits. There are photoshoots where you may be naked, there will be photoshoots where you will be in your underwear, there are limitless possibilities for these shoots. Know where you stand and what you feel comfortable doing.”

—  Gina, 25

11. “As strange as this sounds, there are times when you will be sore after a photoshoot. You may have to stand for hours or stay in one pose for a while. Take care of your body, but know that his soreness isn’t abnormal.”

—  Ann, 26

12. “Modeling can be tiring as hell. It’s hard when you have to be on all the time, but keep your head in the game and do your best until the end of the shoot.”

—  Ricardo, 20

13. “You will compare yourself to others. It’s natural in this industry. However, do your best not to do this. I wish someone told me to spend more time focusing on myself instead of others in the modeling world.”

—  Becca, 23

14. “As hard as this is, don’t take things too personally. While it can be SO sucky when you don’t land a job, keep your head up and keep moving forward. Sometimes they are looking for a really specific look, keep searching for the right booking for you.”

—  Ricki, 21