The Many Different Types of Modeling

An example of a Runway Model

Runway Modeling

Modeling, much like other fields, is made up of a variety of genres, or types. Some types are big, while others are more niche, but they’re all types of modeling nonetheless. Let’s run them down. (This isn’t as much of a breakdown of each category, but rather a list of the main modeling types to give you an idea of what kind of modeling you may want to pursue!)

Editorial/High fashion

  • I think when people talk of modeling, this is one of the first two things that comes to their minds. Glossy magazine editorials, ads for the top designer brands, gigs at top designers’ shows—this is high fashion
  • In general, female models start early in this field, with requirements like 5’9" to 6′ for height and around 34-24-34 in terms of measurements. Males typically go from 20-25 years of age, with heights of 6′ to 6’2"


  • This is the second of two things that come to people’s minds when you mention the term modeling. It involves fashion shows, walking on the catwalk to display designer clothes and showcasing items from a particular brand or theme
  • Much as the same measurements as above, the main requirements involve being tall and slender, with a good grasp of the runway walk

Commercial Modeling

  • This category covers many subcategories across various media, from print to TV to live events
  • Physical requirements aren’t as strict here, depending of course on the actual gig
  • The emphasis is more on appeal and ability to showcase the product
  • The model will still need to be somewhat tall and slender


  • More focused on the physical appearance of the model, and thus the models here need to conform to a certain aesthetic standard
  • Can cover nude and non-nude assignments
  • Freelancers may do well in this area


  • Much like the genres mentioned above, except only for print media
  • Could include modeling for publications’ special features or articles, as well as print ads


  • Coverage depends on the kind of catalog, but it’s mostly modeling for various products in different industries, from apparel to hardware
  • Variety means there’s room for different types of models
  • Usually long days due to lots of clothes


  • Age-based
  • Needed to better market products geared toward the teen/child demographics
  • Requires permission from the parents (for models aged 18 and below)
  • Basically anyone under the age of 18 can be considered a teen model and under 12 being considered a child model.


  • Based on plus-size body type to cater to that market
  • Needs size 10 and above, around 5’8" through 5’10"

Petite modeling

  • Another body-type-based niche
  • Requires shorter but well-proportioned women (around 5’2" to 5’6")
  • Great for those who truly desire to model but do not meet the standard height requirements of runway or fashion

Fitness Modeling

  • For health and sports magazines, mostly
  • Could also include modeling for nutrition-related materials
  • Needs toned, well-built physiques

Parts Modeling

  • For advertisements and other items that require specific body parts like hands, eyes, feet, abs, et cetera
  • Hand models are the most prominent and frequently required of the lot
  • Whichever part a model chooses to ‘specialize’ in needs to look exceptional, of course

Booyeah! There you have it. Modeling indeed comes in many different types, so there are multiple options for aspiring models in case you’re targeting specific niches or roles. Even if you’re already doing some modeling, you can always try out other types to broaden your horizons and diversify your portfolio. Who knows, you might find one you truly like after trying out a few of these types!


  • amaka

    Reply Reply October 11, 2014

    I honestly wanna be a model , but I have not seen the opportunity to show my a camera freak , I love fashion and then the body is there too

    • Jonah Levi Taylor

      Reply Reply October 13, 2014

      Hey Amaka, I would suggest getting some professional pictures taken and submit them to some local modeling agencies! This is a great way to get modeling jobs if you serious about it!

  • rebecca

    Reply Reply February 20, 2015

    I have wonted to be a model. It’s one of my biggest dreams but I just don’t know how I’ve tryed alot of online things to become one but still nothing. I have sent in pictures and I just don’t know what to do. I don’t won’t to lose this dream of becoming a model it’s very important to me.

  • Arham

    Reply Reply July 3, 2015

    M 5’4 18 Years old
    is there any chance of being modle for me?

    • It may be a long shot Arham, but you will never know until you give it your best shot:) If it is really something you seriously want to do, then give it your best and let God work it out in the end. God bless my friend!

    • Loberster

      Reply Reply August 12, 2016

      The bible teaches that the one true God has a way for us to be forgiven for our sins which everyone has.

      The bible teaches

      For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God

      But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. -John 3:16

      To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

      Jesus was put to death on a cross but three days later God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly.

      *To be saved believe that Jesus Christ who is the son of God died for your sins and rose again.

      The Bible says in the book of Acts

      what must I do to be saved?
      And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…

      Now understand that salvation will last forever.

      As it is written in Titus
      In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

      • Allison

        Reply Reply November 24, 2017

        Hey, I’m a christian and to be honest I don’t see the relevance 🙁

  • Nicholas Stephenson

    Reply Reply August 6, 2015

    Hey I’ve never done anything like this or close to this before but I wanna try it and get the experience from it plus am really interested am 5’10 in height and 17 years of age do you think I have a chance?

    • Jonah Levi Taylor

      Reply Reply August 9, 2015

      You always have a chance Nicholas, you just have to have the determination to make things happen. So if you feel you are driven enough to make this happen, check out the how to become a model guide and may God bless you along your journey!

  • Alyssa Tudor

    Reply Reply August 11, 2015

    Hi I’m 16 years old and I’m a female. What if you don’t know what kind of modeling you wanna do? Can’t you go to an agency and have them recommend what you should do?

  • Chris

    Reply Reply February 2, 2016

    I’ve always wanted to be a model, but I’m too short, being 5’3″. However, I was told I could perhaps model for swimsuits or lingerie because of my curves. But there’s always that height requirement that gets in the way. Is height really that important? :/

    • Jonah Levi Taylor

      Reply Reply February 17, 2016

      It is Chris, modeling has always been that way. However, that does not mean that there is absolutely no room for shorter models. You can always give it a try and see if you can be one of the exceptions! God bless and give it a try!

  • Oyindamola

    Reply Reply February 10, 2016

    Very insightful.

  • Videlia Runels

    Reply Reply February 11, 2016

    I’m 5 8 and would love to go into modeling. But I’m not real sure on how to get there. I have no experience and no education on it. What should i do? And are there specific schools for modeling?

  • Molly

    Reply Reply May 9, 2016

    I have been willing to be a model I’m 5’11 and 29 yrs still believe that I will be a model it’s my dream BT I don’t know what to do for me to become one any help will be appreciated thanx.

  • rossie

    Reply Reply May 21, 2016

    i really admire modelling and for the height is about 168cm that is enough i think bt the problem is am kinda fat…..what to do

  • Santa

    Reply Reply June 7, 2016

    Hello, I was wondering what the odds of getting into modelling for someone like myself are.
    Just a few things about myself- I am almost 5’5, I love fitness, Im Eastern-European. I feel like my height will severely affect my chances of modelling. I was also curious about whether a modelling job would be a good idea to pursue aside from studying at a University.
    -Thank you!

  • Kaenna

    Reply Reply July 13, 2016

    I’m a 5’5 15 year old with a measurement of 32-25-36, I want to join IMG models, but I don’t know if I’m tall enough to be accepted in.

  • Deepa Parmar

    Reply Reply August 9, 2016

    I m 35+ yrs old but I look like 20s in age as people say.I have all the qualities that a super model can I enter into a modeling career

  • Victoria

    Reply Reply August 14, 2016

    I’m 14 and I’m 5’9″ and I’m quite skinny. Do you think I should give it a go?

    • Yosan

      Reply Reply November 13, 2016

      Your description is basically what agencies are looking for! You should give it a go and sent some agencies applications.

  • precious

    Reply Reply November 17, 2016

    everyone just say i have to be a model because i am beautiful but beauty is not all that counts, my wait is 32,i am at university and i wanna participate in university competitions but um nervous because of my body

  • precious

    Reply Reply November 17, 2016

    everyone just say i have to be a model because i am beautiful but beauty is not all that counts, my waist is 32,i am at university and i wanna participate in university competitions but um nervous because of my body

  • sam

    Reply Reply December 10, 2016

    Hi, i am sam and i am 18 years old n height is 5’9. There is any chance to become a model.

  • Tasha H.

    Reply Reply January 28, 2017

    I am a independent/freelance model that started my road to modeling through a modeling competition by The American Mall Model Search in San Diego, Ca. I won the competition and a contract with The Casting Board back in 2011, and i had a deadline to return the contract, which i did but the pictures weren’t to their standards , so they give me an extension on submitting the photos and i once again sent them in and never heard from The Casting Board ever again. So, from 2011 to now I’ve been building up my portfolio ( by myself) and contacting other agencies like John Casablancas Modeling and Career Center in San Diego, Ca, and Tower Studio West in San Diego, Ca , but they wanted me to pay an arm and a leg just to attend, (which I’m what u call “lower class”) that i couldn’t afford the fees and extra stuff like that. So, i joined and have been successful in working with photographers all on my own. I been doing TFP (time for photos) gigs just to build my portfolio to what i have now in hopes that one day an agency will pick me and work with me. But so far, being ur own agent seems to me to be more efficient then working with an agency. My reasons for saying that is, that if u sign with an agency, they can take a certain percentage out ur check to pay for fees , ur photographers, hair and makeup artists, wardrobes, and the list goes on. So, my advice to upcoming and aspiring models try out these agencies first, but if it’s not ur cup of tea, then try going independently and see which will best accommadate u.

  • Tasha H.

    Reply Reply January 28, 2017

    Im what u call a petite model. I’m 30 yrs old but look as if I’m still in my 20’s. I’m a mixed race, but look African American. My height is 5’3″ 1/2 or lets just say 5’4″ with measurements of 36/30/34. I been modeling off and on since 2011, u can basically I’m a independent/freelance model. Anyways, i tried agencies in the past but financially i couldn’t afford to attend and the one agency i had a contract with kinda flaked on me, so it was a lesson well learned. But if modeling is ur profession , ur dream, concore it. Don’t let nothing stop u on accomplishing ur goals as a model.

  • Amari Simmons

    Reply Reply February 25, 2017

    I’m 17 years old and I’m also 5’0. Would I be about to qualify for petite modeling?

  • Jose

    Reply Reply March 14, 2017

    I been doing A lot of research regarding modeling because I’m really interested i just don’t know where to start from I’m 20 years old and I’m 6’3 . My current weight is 150 but I frecuently work out to get more fit. I’m really looking forward to get a chance I believe I have what it takes

  • Britnie Sherouse

    Reply Reply March 17, 2017

    Hi my name is Britnie Sherouse and i am 27-year-old and I have been waiting all day to see if I can become a model but first I would have to see a catalog before i decided to see what is going on in the catalog

  • Danielle tan

    Reply Reply March 20, 2017

    I’m 16 and 5’3 in height… I dont look so good but if i do surgery and drink height building capse can I still be a model?

  • Morgan

    Reply Reply April 9, 2017

    Hi, I’m a 5’7″ 16-year old female and I want to model possibly. Is there any chance for me? I live in a small, middle-of-the-road town in Pennsylvania and I just don’t know how to get even close to any type of modeling even though I meet all said requirements for pretty much each category of modeling…Any would do, but I just don’t how how to get a start without moving somewhere. Is there a chance for me to be a model?

  • Niharika

    Reply Reply May 7, 2017

    Can I be a model . My height is 5’5 and I not that skinny but carvy .

  • Sydnee welch

    Reply Reply May 13, 2017

    I’ve been wanting to model but I don’t meet the height requirement, I was wandering if that’s exact bc I’m 5’3 1/2 so I’m almost their

  • Kaila

    Reply Reply July 13, 2017

    I’m 13 years old and 6’0 tall. I wanna be a model but I am still growing and I am wondering if I’m gonna be too tall when finished. What do I do?

    • Kaila

      Reply Reply July 13, 2017

      Im pretty skinny and excellent curves. Everyone in my family says I could be a model.

  • lydia poncian

    Reply Reply July 14, 2017

    tenkx for the class,am 21,height-5’9,waist-25″, bust-31″, hips 35″, shoes-6uk

    • Kadi

      Reply Reply June 28, 2019

      Hi! I’m 15 and I was thinking about modeling, but I’m not sure what type. My height is 5’9 1/2, bust 36C or depending on the brand and cup a 36D, thin about 160lb, and I’ve never measured my waist or hips.

  • nardos daniel

    Reply Reply September 3, 2017

    hi my name is nardos i am from ethiopia i am super skinny and i am 23 but i look like i am 18 i want to be a model since i was little everyone in my family says i should be a model and i have a very nice smile but i donot have any contact to any agency can you please contact me please

  • Angel

    Reply Reply October 7, 2017

    i always want to be a design but the day i saw model my mind set change completely

  • Al

    Reply Reply November 22, 2017

    I really really want become a model. I feel that I’m to short. I’m 16 years old and my height is 5’5 or 5’4 idk. Btw do u think I’m still growing?

    Also do petite models get to travel? Can u get lots of jobs from it?

  • Allison

    Reply Reply November 24, 2017

    I really want to be a model and I think I would be good at it…BUT I’m extremely short (5.2 and a half inches). I’m 15 and I have a pretty okay-ish body for modeling ((athletic) 32, 23, 32). I love clothes and fashion and I think it’s something I would love to do in the future. Do you think I have a shot?

  • Thunder

    Reply Reply January 4, 2018

    If I have the required body measurements: 34″-24″-34″ but am 5’6″ high, can I still become a high fashion model (not runway)?

  • Isabella

    Reply Reply February 13, 2018

    I have a 26 waist, a 33 waist, and a 33 bust, could I be a model or is my waist too big?

  • Shelby Young

    Reply Reply April 11, 2018

    I’m 17 years old, 4’11”, and 100 pounds. Sometimes my weight fluctuates between 94 and 100. I have a few tattoos. One on my right arm in memory of my dad and one on my left arm in honor of my mums time spent in the Marine corps. I have 3 small ones on my left forearm and two on my right hip. And i have 3 small dots on my left ring finger. Will my tattoos and size keep me from ever becoming a model?

    • Shelby Young

      Reply Reply April 11, 2018

      I also have 17 piercings and a dermal. And my ears are gauged to 00.

      • Shelby Lynn

        Reply Reply August 2, 2019

        Hey, my name is Shelby and I’m 5’8. I’m 14 and I’m (31,24,34).Do I have any chance at modeling)

  • Cindy

    Reply Reply May 6, 2018

    I have a 12 year old son that is 6 feet and one inches tall.He weighs about 160 pounds.
    Very lean body. Shoulder length brown hair. Green eyes.
    Looks amazing in a suit, skinny jeans or his motorcross gear.
    What would be his first step to becoming a model for catalog, motorcycle magazine’s or other teen type of modeling.

  • Keren

    Reply Reply June 21, 2018

    I honestly want to be a model my friends he before become a model we live together but now he became a model I’m happy for that.. and why so can’t me it’s my big dream to be a model indestuery and I hope one day I can be God bless the only thing is I’m still hear today

  • Zainab

    Reply Reply November 26, 2018

    Hy I am 16 years old I really wish to become a model nd i am praying to God to help me ave also read so many things on the requirements of becoming a model nd i ave d body of a model bt d problem is that I am short nd it is really painful

  • Leonie

    Reply Reply December 31, 2018

    I’m 170 cm (5’7 I think) and I weight 110 pounds, I started doing workouts a week ago (I’m 16) but I don’t know if I’m tall and thin enough and how to start modeling because I’m from Germany and I don’t want to visit “Germany’s next topmodel" (with Heidi klum) because they edit everything weird a few models are actually really nice in real life but they edit it like they would be not nice you know what I mean?😅
    Sorry for my bad English ❤️

  • Darabenny

    Reply Reply January 29, 2019

    It as been my greatest dream to become a model, I tried all my possible best to link myself with some model agencies, but it wasn’t successful

  • Jordis

    Reply Reply March 18, 2019

    hi i’m only 13 years old and i need a lot of support, being a model has been a long dream of mine but i just don’t know how to do it. I’ve told my parents when i was little i would like to be a doctor or something like that, but not anymore sometimes i would cry because i don’t know what to do. i’m very short for my age and sometimes i cry about that, and i know i have to be tall to be a model:( i’ve talked to my mom like a short conversation about it and she said she would look into it but never did. i don’t want to disappoint my parents and also i don’t know what to do to fulfill my dream:( please help:(

  • Ashley

    Reply Reply October 4, 2019

    I am right now a freshmen and I really want to be a model but do not know where to go exactly to have a chance to become one. I am 162cm.

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