Height is one of the main assets of a model, and it is among the fundamental requirements for getting into the industry in the first place. The ideal height is always among the most frequent topics asked and discussed by aspiring models, and for good reason. Simply put, height does matter, and you need to pay close attention to that aspect to thrive in this field.
There’s no one universal height set for all models all over the world. Height specifications vary from agency to agency and depending on the gigs, after all. Still, there’s a prescribed height range that’s set for each gender—a rough guideline, if you will. For commercial modeling gigs, that’s 5’7" to 5’11" for women and 5’9" to 6’2" for men. The same range applies to men for fashion modeling and editorial gigs, while the range for women is 5’8" to 5’10".
The reason for picking out tall people—who incidentally have slender bodies to go with their height—is that clothes generally tend to look better on that kind of a physique. That’s particularly effective for catwalk gigs and editorials. As we’ve mentioned many times before, getting the height requirement part right is not the be-all and end-all of modeling. There are other factors that can sway casting directors, judges, and designers to pick your profile out from among the rest of the heap. An inch or two could be overlooked in favor of the most tantalizing set of eyes or an unparalleled smile.
In addition, there are also other types of modeling where height won’t really matter—or at least were it doesn’t matter as much compared to runways and editorials. There are lots of niches you could explore to see where you’ll be a great fit. Modeling only for certain body parts like hands and feet would eliminate the need to be vertically acceptable. Plus-size, petite, and fitness divisions, among others, can also accommodate body types that aren’t what pass for conventional as far as models go. When push comes to shove, it’s all about finding the route that best suits your attributes.
Without a doubt, height is essential for models. In a way, the above-average qualities—including height—are what make models stand out from the typical guy or gal on the street. The height requirements can be a tad prohibitive, but that’s an inescapable aspect of the industry. It’s tough when you don’t make the cut, but it is what it is. Some people have enough of the x-factor to compensate for slightly missing the mark in the height department, and you’re certainly lucky if you’re one of those.
For those starting out, though, already fitting the bill in terms of size is indeed a big plus. As they say, “you can’t teach height." Being tall enough is only the beginning, however—you have to have that look, need to be able to pull off whatever gig you’re eyeing, and you should still work hard to improve on your craft in order to reach your goals in the modeling industry.