By Michele Smith
Facebook – MicheleSmithMarketing

Sitting in the front row of a fashion show or flipping through a fashion magazine, doesn’t exactly speak to what really goes on in the industry behind-the-scenes. At first glance, it is all glamour, beautiful people and champagne, but the truth of the matter is that the modelling industry really does have a dark side. What exactly goes on behind-the-scenes? The following information may surprise you if you are an outsider to this crazy industry looking in.

Scary unknown fact number one:
Models sometimes have to wait 3 months to receive their pay checks. Yes, this also means when the work the model has done is for a multi-million dollar company.  Models typically have one of two options here. First, they can survive on chicken broth and carrot sticks or ask their agency for an advance. However, when any model ask their agency for advance, they are looking at ridiculous interest rates. The other option is to load up on food while on set, although taking a doggie bag is typically frowned upon (tacky, tacky).

Scary unknown fact number two:
Model housing is typically not a flat on the Upper East Side with one roommate and a view. In is an undisputable fact, that most models call home crying after their first experience with model housing. Many agencies will try to cram in as many people as possible, so most model housing can easily be described as a step above a crowded inmate housing situation. At least with model housing, you have the luxury of coming and going whenever you like. Last, if you are model, do not call your agency complaining that your just found a rat in your apartment, because their response will most likely be, “Did the rat kill you and did you make it to your job on time? Unfortunately, we are not joking.

Scary unknown fact number three:
Models may have to work in extremely dangerous working conditions. Yes, it is not all about smiling for the camera in a nice, warm, comfy studio. There are two very well documented cases that prove that this can actually occur. One example is when Kate Upton posed for the 2013 Sports Illustrated cover in Antarctica wearing a bikini in 48 degree weather. She shared with the Today show that she later experienced a temporary loss of vision and hearing due to frostbite. In another example, model Sara Ziff shared that when she posed for Air France Magazine, the photographer’s UV flashbulbs were so strong she experienced 6 layers of burnt cells in her eyes. While these examples are extreme, it is important to note that not all modelling work takes place on a runway or in a studio.


Welcome to the dark side of the modelling world. This goes so far beyond the fancy magazine covers, and unfortunately, despite regulations this is still a largely unmonitored industry.  The modelling industry is truly not about all of the glitz and glamour one sees as an outsider looking in.