By Rhiannon Bamford-Purchon
If Kate Moss, Devin Aoki and the iconic Twiggy can do it, why can’t you?
Consider Commercial Modelling
If you’re very short, there’s a high chance fashion modelling will be out of the question for you. However many commercial modelling agencies will take models of all shapes and sizes for advertisements, campaigns and commercials targeted for the every-day person. Although it might not seem quite as glamorous, commercial modelling (especially for catalogue and commercials) can be a quick, easy and lucrative way to make money. It also won’t slow as you age, commercials need people of all ages not just young women and men. If you have a pretty, classic or conventionally attractive look, you have the opportunity to make a lot of money in this line of work.
Try modelling abroad
Plenty of modelling agencies in Asia actually prefer shorter models! A model who is 5ft9 is almost too tall. Models that are between 5ft6-5ft8 are preferred and will receive priority because the sample pieces are made for a smaller frame. In Australia we are one of the tallest nations in the world, so unfortunately so are the models. Find a Mother Agency that specialises in Asian Placements, I have heard of several petite models who have had plenty of success in Japan, China and Indonesia in high fashion and commercial work.
Focus on your face
When you’re a petite model, your face is your selling point. Having very unique or striking features can be very beneficial when differentiating you with other models for a job. Many petite models find most of their jobs come from beauty, accessory or jewellery modelling which only really requires shooting the upper-body and face. Making sure you have a wide variety of facial expressions, poses and ‘looks’ is a sure-fire way to get more jobs as a petite model. If you’re agent or management suggests a changing your hair, taking a big chop or a unique colour it’s a good idea to go for it. As a petite model you’re often going to be a liability for a client and they’re going to choose you because you’re unique or different compared to the other models, why not play into this?
Lingerie and Swimwear
Many petite models have amazing success in lingerie and swimwear modelling for catalogues and campaigns. Often lingerie brands are looking for a softer every-day look, and a very tall model can look extremely ‘leggy’ and ‘lanky’ taking away from the products they are trying to sell.
Learn to Pose
Learn to pose taller. A good petite model knows how to pose taller in photos. Looking down at the camera and tilting your head back, standing on your toes makes legs look longer, and extending the arms and neck can be really helpful also. Of course a good photographer will know how to work with you too, lower camera angles will become your best friend and a good pair of heels can make all the difference, especially if you’re paired with a taller model! If you look tall in photos, you have a much higher chance of getting booked!
Grow Your Following
So what agencies don’t want you? Don’t give up yet! We live in the world of the influencer, many agencies now have an ‘Influencer’ section where they represent models who may not fit agency standards, but they have a large following. Inka Williams who is only 5ft4 is attached to IMG, the largest modelling agency in the world and has done campaigns for Supre, Rip-curl and has been featured in Elle Magazine, all thanks to her large Instagram following of 1M.