Thu, Jan 06, 2005 - Page 15 News List

Six things you didn't want to know about becoming a model

By Chang Chong-yi, Chen Yi-chuan and Lin Cheng-chi  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Taiwan's top model Lin Chi-lin makes her job look easy.

PHOTO: TAIPEI TIMES

It takes a mixture of natural good looks and a bit of training to strut the catwalk and make clothes look irresistible. And for parents who want their children to follow in the footsteps of Lin Chi-lin (林志玲), Taiwan's very own supermodel, they should probably take a little time to see if their kids are really cut out for this career. There are a few questions you should ask yourself:

Is it as much fun as it looks?

We all want to have a job that is fun to do. But if you are just looking for something that seems fun for your kids, this is probably not the career for them. If kids show an interest in becoming a model, you should probably talk to them about exactly what they want: Is it the chance to perform? Or do they want to use their bodies as a medium of self expression? If the "fun" doesn't come from within, then you're not going to get much fun out of modeling.

Do you want to be at the cutting edge?

Natural good looks are important for an aspiring model, but so is keeping well informed about the world around you. After all, a model's body language is a form of expression, and as such this language needs to be informed by a knowledge of changing fashions and a knowledge of music, dance, theater and even literature.

Models are also the spokespeople for products and brands. It is not simply a case of putting on a pose. You should get into the habit of learning from everything you see around you and using what you learn to make yourself standout from the crowd.

Is height important?

Of course. You can have the face of an angel, but basically, if you don't have a great figure, you won't be getting anywhere.

The criteria for being a model in print media are less stringent than those for electronic media in regard to height. If you feel that some aspect of your body is outstanding, but you don't meet all the criteria, there is also the opportunity to specialize in specific areas, such as being a model simply for legs, hands or other areas.

Are you aggressive enough?

Success or failure can happen in a blink of an eye in this industry. When you get up on stage, how much time and effort you have put into preparing yourself is immediately evident to all. Knowing how to perform is one of the most basic skills for a model, for only with a solid foundation in performance will you able to be "natural." If this kind of repetitive training is too much for you, then, again, this career is probably not suitable either.

Are you special enough?

Looks are everything for a model. You might not need the quick wit of a TV host or the golden voice of a singer, but your looks have to stand out. You don't necessarily have to be the most beautiful person, but your features and figure must attract notice -- only then will you have that invaluable opportunity.

Can you work with others?

To be a model, you need to be easy to work with. You shouldn't have too many opinions and you need to be at the disposal of your agent for engagements. One of the things most highly rated by people in the industry is the attitude of a model, not just a level of professionalism, but also a commitment to working within the industry.

Translated by Ian Bartholomew

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