The height factor is not just an issue with female models but male models as well. Unfortunately, there are even less “exceptions to the rule” when it comes to male models than female models. There are definitely the Kate Mosses of the world but as far as I know there aren’t any male models out there are are short but still super successful or fall into the supermodel realm.
In general, people think of men as being handsome, ruggard, sexy, and…tall! Height for men is super important, especially for photoshoots. I mean, if you’re posing next to a female that is 5’10” without heels and is wearing 4 inch heels and you’re next to her, you should be able to stand your ground, height-wise.
In general, the majority (not all) of agencies that sign on fashion/runway male models set a height range of between 5’10”-6’2″. The more picky ones set the minimum height at 5’11”. And yes, as with female models, there is such a thing as being “too tall.” Male models can usually get away with 6’3″ but any taller than that, and most agencies will more than likely pass on you.
I came across a beautiful male model (I use the term “beautiful” for men when it comes to modeling–just a thing of mine I guess!) via one of the online modeling communities I’m a part of and I felt so bad for him because he had been searching for an agency for a long time and kept getting rejected because he stands at 6’5″. Yikes!
For the male models or aspiring male models out there that don’t meet the height requirement for fashion/runway, I don’t have much advice to give you except to give freelance modeling a shot and definitely seek out commercial/print agencies. If you want, you can still submit your information to fashion/runway agencies but just be prepared to be told that you are too short.
I’m sure there are plenty of male models out there that are considered too short by agency standards but still mange to have a career doing it freelance, part-time or pursuing other categories of modeling, so that could totally be an option if you are willing to work and network hard enough. But it is important to point out that if you’re under 5’9″–actually, under 5’10” to be more realistic–your chances of being a signed agency model for fashion/runway will be lowered greatly, meaning that a career in fashion/runway modeling may not be a reality for you. And that’s okay.
Not being able to be a fashion model is not the end all and be all of life. Take it as a lesson learned and move on to something you are more suited for…there are plenty of other modeling niches where you can the perfect fit.
Modeling 101 – A Model’s Diary
By Dania Denise