In the third and final part of The Insane Cost of Being a Model, expenses get more exuberant and harder to explain…
Although genetically blessed, looking good doesn’t come cheap for models. There’s hair appointments, waxing, dermatologist visits, nails… the list goes on. Of course, these are things that seem like they would be a luxury and a young model struggling to make an income wouldn’t choose to spend money on it. Agents and potential clients, however, have different expectations. A young model showing up on the set of a photoshoot or runway with un-kept hair, chipped nails and congested skin is a huge no-no. An established model could probably get away with it as makeup artists would be more than happy to manicure them on the spot. But it becomes a huge inconvenience if a model who is yet to make a name for themselves requires the extra time and effort to get them runway ready.
And then there’s the gym and personal trainer fees. Another luxury right? You’re probably thinking models should just go for a run around a park or something right? Well, staying in shape and keeping motivated to work out every. Single. Day. is not that easy. If it were, we’d all be fit AF.
Of course, agents will have their preferred options for all of these kinds of things. Favourite hair salons to send their models to and gyms they like to work with. The thing is, their preferred option typically isn’t the cheapest option and when the appointment is booked for you and you’re just expected to show up, like a lot of models report, you have yet another expense coming out of your pay check before you’ve even booked a job.
Random Admin Fees
Probably the strangest and hardest expense to explain of all; admin fees. No model knows what these fees are actually for yet there were a number of New York models who broke their silence on the dodgy parts of the industry and in the process, revealed they had upwards of $100 worth of random fees being taken out of their accounts each month with their agency. The fees were all in small amounts of a few dollars at a time but the name of the fee on their statement was just a bunch of random numbers and letters. They explained to CNN that even after asking what they fees were for, they were simply told they were admin fees and that was the end of it.
I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from pursing a modelling career. A lot of these situations came from reports of models trying to make it in America over the past 10 years or so. Thankfully, the industry has come a long way and is continuing to move forward toward being a fair, humane and transparent industry. But it pays to be aware of the catches and to fully prepare yourself for what lies ahead.