Fashion diva fix my look

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Fashion Diva, I heard you were a model before, I want to be a model, so can you give me advice? Is it as glamorous as it looks and how can I do it? Can I make money as a model?

We continue from last week

Part Two Cont . . .

1. Modelling is not prostitution or a way to find a husband.

It has been given a very bad image, not because of the industry but because of some people in the industry. In my time, our modelling patron would say to all her top models “girls it is my desire for you all to meet a rich man, so that you do not have to work all your lives”, she was not joking. She would host many parties where we were brought in just to be seen. And yes, one, two or three girls met wealthy men and became mistresses or wives. Some of those in my time are now featuring prominently in society because of their men, but they are not happy. I know that this is still happening today, there are girls who join modelling just to become someone’s woman or to make money from someone’s husband.

This saddens me, because this is not what the industry is about at all. There are many of us — models who represented our industry well and kept ourselves out of scandalous society magazines. There are many of us that made money through hard work and discipline and not through unspoken means. My point is modelling has it’s bad and will always be viewed that way, not because of the industry, but because of some individuals in the industry.

2. Modelling is hard work before it pays

To be a qualified model and to avoid model mistakes, one has to at least do the whole course which is nearly one year. There are three stages which are: Beginners, Intermediate and then Advanced. Many models do not even get to the Advanced stage which is by “invite only”. During that year of training, most models should not expect to be paid. They will do photo shoots for free, shows for free etc., all in the name of getting experience. Only after you graduate can you expect payment which can be anything from $10 a piece to $60 per piece or more if it’s out of town, and $100 for shows stretching over days. The benefit however, is that you get to meet big people in the business and the creative world. Some models are lucky enough to be hired before they graduate like I was, because a company may like their look, body or voice. Then there are photo shoots that are not always to your liking. You can sit around for hours just waiting. I remember doing many swimwear shoots in the middle of winter in a pool. My point is that what people see at the end, is not what the journey was like

3. Modelling is an expensive career and there is a price to pay to get to the top.

Do not let anyone tell you that modelling is easy. The course itself is expensive, because there is a course fee, photography fee, graduation fee and props to purchase. Also if it was easy, why does the international world only recognise seven original “Top Super Models” (Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Elle Macpherson, Helena Christensen, Linda Evangelista & Naomi Campbell), yet there are thousands of models everywhere and hundreds of supermodels? It is because staying at the top takes discipline. Modelling has to become a lifestyle. It is more than a career, it is who you are. From your hair to your skin, you have to spend a lot of money on yourself making sure you look your best at all times.

You are selling yourself to the highest bidder (per sae) and there are many of you doing the same thing. Even if you are born close to perfect, you will still have to maintain that. Also you do not get to keep the stuff you model. If you want it, you have to pay for it just like everyone else.

You have to watch what you eat especially just before public shows. At some stage you will have to give up control of your life and allow your modelling agent to take control. You have heard testimonies from people like Tyra Banks who pulled out after a few years because she couldn’t take it. But people like Naomi Campbell are still on top of their game yet she is over 40 years old. Naomi was willing to pay the price, Tyra was not. But of cause Tyra used her experience to make her money which is great. But not every model has a happy ending.

4. Yes you can make money depending

Locally it pays but the work is far and in between especially if you are not a ramp model. Also we do not have very many magazines produced in this country where professional models are required. Adverts are the main thing in magazines or TV and most companies will choose to use their own employees, church members, friends or local artists rather than hire professional models which cost too much. But if you are active and if you have your face and name in important places, you could make quite a bit of money. In my day I never got out of bed to go to work for less than $2 500. Most people are shocked when I say that, because now models get out of bed to do shows etc., for even $5. But remember in the 90’s our economy was still booming and we had many advertising agencies and many modelling agencies and many pageants etc. So it was easy. We also had international fashion houses who produced stuff in this country also, so they held fashion shows monthly all over the country to showcase their clothing lines. The country also had at least five magazines under Munn Publishing produced using models all the time. We used to have hair and make-up shows that demanded lots of model.

This has not been so for a while now especially in smaller towns. Models make money off an active or booming industry, without that you have to set your eyes on the overseas market or even South Africa) for now. But this is going to change soon, Zimbabwe is coming up. For now however, if you want to do modelling as a career, I would encourage you to do it part-time to get mileage and experience, complete your education first, then pursue your modelling.

Well that is it from me on modelling, I hope everyone is now educated on the issue.

Ann can be messaged only on 0772933845, or emailed on Anas