The mere mention of the word ‘model’ conjures visions of lanky titans under bright lights, towering majestically above spectators and wearing splendid outfits to match their stature. True enough, there is a requisite height in order to get a footing in the modeling industry. But what about smaller people? That’s where petite models come in.
Granted, the demand for petite models is not quite on the level of your typical fashion or runway model; still, this is a niche that has its advantages, and can be a good avenue for those who want to be models but aren’t as tall as they’d like to be. There are many way through which petite models can get jobs. There’s print modeling for magazines, other print publications, catalogs, fitness modeling, and work in booths or in the showroom.
How does one become a petite model? Well, the process (or processes) involved should be similar to other types of modeling. You need to get yourself photographed in different outfits or settings, and you’ll be sending out your portfolio and comp cards to prospective agencies. You’ll wait to be contacted or invited to auditions or casting calls. Once you’re signed, you may be trained further before you’re given gigs or the chance to compete for them.
The difference is that you’re going to have to find out which agencies specifically will take on petite models as clients, as not all will be able to give you a chance. There has been a notable decline in the number of agencies who have a dedicated petite division, but there are still some of the bigger ones who field such divisions or at least have enough range in terms of clientele that they can provide gainful employment for aspiring petite models.
As for the physical requirements, it will also vary from agency to agency and from job to job. Typically, petite models cover a range that’s slightly under the typical model size. It should be safe to consider the 5’4” through 5’7” range as a good one for women who want to make it as petite models. It’s not just women, either—male models who aren’t as tall as the standard ones can still make it. The range for men should be around 5’7” to 5’9”, although it can be a bit harder to break through depending on the field of work one chooses because of the limitations. Weight and/or build will also be determined by the particular type of work, but it’s safe to say that having a fair amount of fitness would help.
Thanks to a diversification of the fashion market, and the availability of other modeling jobs outside of the runway, there’s a need for petite models—even if the demand isn’t on par with the conventional model. The important thing is that there is an opportunity for those who aren’t as gifted in the height department to still make their mark on the modeling industry. Just make sure to give it your all and always strive to do your work well . Good luck on your petite modeling career!