How Much Do Models Weigh?

Whether they’ll admit it or not, anyone hiring a model considers their overall body shape, including their height and weight.

how much do models weigh
Photo by Lydz Leow

How much do models weigh? You might find it unfortunate that the modeling industry is heavily based around physical factors such as height, hair color, eye color, and bust size. Pretty much anyone hiring a model take into account their overall appearance. And a relatively low body weight seems to be the one thing ‘standard’ models have in common. The industry expects them to remain a certain size, even though the expectations are not always healthy ones.

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How Much Do Models Weigh?

A healthy weight depends on a person’s BMI (body mass index), which is calculated based on their height and gender. For example, a woman who is 4’10’’ is considered healthy when she weighs anywhere between 91-115 pounds. However, if a woman is 5’10’’ she is considered healthy when she weighs between 132-167 pounds. Anything below those numbers is underweight. Anything above those numbers is overweight.

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Even though our society has come to think of models as the ideal size for women, a lot of them are actually underweight. The average model weighs 113 pounds, which is 23% less than the average woman. It is no wonder why young girls develop body image issues when they grow up seeing models on the front cover of their magazines who do not look anything like them. They internalize societal pressure to meet unrealistic expectations. 

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Male & Female Modeling Standards

Of course, women are not the only ones in the modeling industry who are expected to keep their weight lower than is necessarily healthy. When it comes to male models, they are typically expected to weigh between 120 and 170 pounds, which is also lower than the healthy weight for men. A man who reaches six feet tall, which is the average height for male models, should weigh somewhere between 160-196. If he reaches 6’2’’ then he should weigh between 171 and 209.

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Although there are more and more plus-sized models appearing in magazines lately, the message to young girls has not changed all that drastically. This is mostly because plus-sized models are not always attired in plus-sized clothing. They are considered plus-sized because they are outside of the range of a standard model.

Plus Sized Models

A woman could be as small as a size six and be considered a plus-size model. Even though she is a healthy weight, even though she is the average size of a woman, she is considered abnormal for the industry.

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This can give young women even deeper body issues because they are seeing a woman of a healthy size who is being called plus-sized. It gives them the impression there is something wrong with their own body, even though their body might be the healthier one. It puts pressure onto them to look a certain way, even though it might put their health at risk. 

When a woman is underweight, she can have irregular menstrual periods and problems getting pregnant. She can suffer from dizziness, dry skin, and hair loss. She can develop fragile bones and a weakened immune system which raises her chances of breaking bones and coming down with the flu.

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Being underweight can be as damaging as being overweight, but the effects are rarely talked about because being skinnier is commonly linked to being healthier, even though that is far from the truth. Your weight should be somewhere in the middle.

Even though the average model weighs 113 pounds, it’s important for women of any age to remember that does not mean this is the ideal weight. That does not mean this is the weight they should aspire to reach. 

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There have been more and more campaigns showing different sizes of models in the last few years, so hopefully the modeling industry will change for the better over time. Hopefully little girls will start seeing women who look similar to them on the front cover of magazines instead of learning the wrong definition of healthy.