Why Do Models Have To Be Tall?

why do models have need to be tall?So why do models have to be tall? I mean, Why don’t we see many shorter models? There are a couple of significant reasons for this. The truth is, models are needed in all shapes and sizes, but the one thing that they will all likely share is that they will be somewhat tall. Of course this does not mean that if an individual is not above average height that they cannot model. It is just a rule of thumb that models will be expected to be on the taller side. So what are the reasons for this? Generally speaking, Why do models need to be tall?

From a Visual Perspective. The main reason models are generally needed to be tall is that they appear to fit the clothing better. For example; take a woman who is 5’4″ and then take a woman who is 5’10”. The woman who is 5’4″ will not display the clothing as well as the woman who is 5’10”. The idea is that the clothing will hang nicely while on the tall individual, as if on a hanger.

If an individual is too short the clothing will bunch up and wrinkle, not looking as smooth and flowy as most designers desire. This is the same reason manikins are generally tall! (For more information on height requirements, check out: Why Models Have To Be Tall and How Tall Should Models Be?)

From a Physical Perspective. The other stigma is a matter of displayed confidence. Remember your mother telling you to find a tall, dark, and handsome man. No mother ever told her daughter to find a short, pale and ugly man. Being tall naturally puts off a confident and attractive display. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true as there are plenty of confident and attractive individuals in the world who are not tall. But at first glance, being tall is a symbol of confidence and attraction.

The hard truth is, being tall generally looks more appealing at first glance for the individual as well as the clothing. The model may look more confident and attractive if they are tall and the clothing may look better as it displays well on a taller model. But! There are always exceptions.

If you are not tall, do not let this stand in your way. There are numerous fields of modeling that do not require the same height standards. Fitness models, lingerie models, bikini models etc. (read, The Many Types of Modeling) are just a few examples of modeling fields that a shorter than average individual may pursue. Do not let height stand in the way of your passion. Passion trumps all standards.


  • be a model

    Reply Reply October 7, 2012

    Nice post! Because, tall height usually comes with long legs. And long legs is a must in modelling. Especially in runways. Models have to be tall to fit and elongate the clothes by the designers. In terms of high fashion, they don’t have to be “hot”, just have unique features.

    • admin

      Reply Reply October 13, 2012

      Thank you James, I truly appreciate your insight!

    • Levi Steinbeck

      Reply Reply February 24, 2015

      No, height does not determine length of legs. Long torsos can have short legs.
      Ballerinas usually are 5f2-5ft6 IDEALLY, with short torsos & long legs.

      • Name Man

        Reply Reply September 6, 2016

        Of course height has a correlation to leg length, this isn’t worth mentioning. Almost ALL women who are 5’10 will have longer legs than women who are 5’2. This isn’t even worth mentioning.

  • Caity

    Reply Reply April 26, 2013

    That makes a lot of sense, that the height is more about how the clothes are displayed on the person, like on a hanger as you said. I am tiny at 5’1. But my husband and his family are all giants. My hubby is 6’9 and his sisters are over 6 feet. They don’t work as models, though! 😉

    • Jordan from HK

      Reply Reply December 30, 2017

      there’s a term called proportionality right… This is just the western mindset injected to the world, giving standards to everything.
      There are people who have the same body proportions if you look at them by size… Meaning that there are people who are 5’2 that has the same proportion as a 6’2.. meaning the proportionality of for example the legs to his/her height. If we see a 6 foot 2 model and photosho it to a person who is 5’2 but has the same body proportion, it will be the same look. it is just how the dress or clothing will be made. if all dress are made customised to a certain individual, it will all look the same.I do not agree with the “If an individual is too short the clothing will bunch up and wrinkle, not looking as smooth and flowy as most designers desire”.. Again it is just the tall western mind set. Us Asians are somewhat moving out of it. Thanks to the new breed of designers…

  • lulu

    Reply Reply December 20, 2013

    i am over 6 ft tall and a girl and when i am walking down the road people stares at me, i didnt quite understand why and when i am far way my friends spot me from miles away, i can be quite anoying and i gets to me sometimes. people seem to get intimidated by me too.

    • Jonah Levi Taylor

      Reply Reply December 23, 2013

      Hey Lulu, this may seem like way negative aspect, but let’s turn it into a positive one! Being tall is a great thing. Think of all the women in the world who are 5 ft or shorter and wish they had some of your height. Perhaps you can eve do some Runway and have some fun with it! Don’t let it get you down, it’s a gift.

  • James

    Reply Reply January 25, 2014

    Visually , clothes can be designed for shorter people who have petite fit physics but why still tall? I mean clothes is just about a matter of size.

  • Abbey

    Reply Reply July 25, 2014

    I’m a girl and I’m right at 5 feet tall. People tell me all the time that if I had the height, I could be a model. But why should that stop me? And if the comments above are correct, why is it so hard to find people who want small models? After all, clothing comes in all shapes and sizes. We have plus size models for plus size clothing. I’ve searched and searched for people who had a shorter height requirement but gave up because it was getting me nowhere.

    • Jonah Levi Taylor

      Reply Reply July 28, 2014

      Hello there Abbey and Thanks for your comment. Height is always an important aspect of modeling, and though it is not completely necessary that a model be super tall per se, many agencies will require some type of height especially for fashion or runway modeling. There is still fitness modeling and petite modeling which may have less height requirements. Fitness modeling is likely the least height restrictive, perhaps you can try this field!!!

  • Levi Steinbeck

    Reply Reply February 24, 2015

    Men prefer petite women intimately according to research polls in most leading men’s journals. There is more physical satisfaction to be with a petite, beautiful, feminine woman, than a tall big boned amazon.

    Mothers don’t tell their sons to go out and find a TALL DARK HANDSOME woman. What a ridiculous notion.
    How scary.

    Tall women are selected so more fabric is shown as the clothes drape. EXAGGERATION OF EXTRMITIES.
    Like drag queens.

    • Jonah Levi Taylor

      Reply Reply February 24, 2015

      Thanks for your addition Levi!

    • Kelly Flores

      Reply Reply April 21, 2015

      Where do I begin… so because I’m 5’9 that makes me a tall big boned amazon who isn’t desired by men? Really? Sure, men may prefer petite women and there is nothing wrong with that. I think there are beautiful women who are petite and who are not. I think it’s incredibly rude to assume say negative things about taller women just because you like/prefer more petite women! I am tall, but I wouldn’t say negative comments about shorter women just because I’m tall. And guess what Levi, although it may come as a surprise to you, women don’t do things just for men and don’t always give a flying crap about what they think. 😉

      • Jonah Levi Taylor

        Reply Reply April 21, 2015

        Thank you Kelly! we offer nothing but support:) God bless!!

      • Roby

        Reply Reply June 10, 2015

        I like tall women, probably because I’m tall. It is less of a struggle to date someone near my height than with someone a lot shorter than me.

    • Roby

      Reply Reply June 10, 2015

      A small fraction of men are taller than 6′ 0″. Like 20% of men. Men generally prefer women close to their height.

  • Roby

    Reply Reply June 10, 2015

    Tall is sexy for both men and women.

  • Giselle Freude

    Reply Reply July 11, 2015

    I’m only 5”4”, but my body is very proportional. Like, I have really long legs! Clothes don’t bunch up on me. :/

    • Jonah Levi Taylor

      Reply Reply July 15, 2015

      Hey there Giselle! Great to hear from you:) Being short is sometimes a difficult task to overcome in modeling. One method that many hopeful models will try is to get started acting first and then try to transition into modeling. You may also be able to try petite modeling🙂 Check it out. God bless you Giselle!!!

  • Jess

    Reply Reply July 27, 2015

    I think the model industry should allow short models for one reason. Short people need clothes too! I stand at 5’2, it’s Impossible to find pants that I’m not treading over (even ones that are labelled short.) If we start picking people of all heights then this problem would be eliminated because designers would make clothes that would fit people of different heights. Most females don’t stand above 5’5 so why are we only making clothes that appeal to them.

    • Jonah Levi Taylor

      Reply Reply July 27, 2015

      Great point Jess and I agree:) God bless you and thank you for your insight!

    • Christina

      Reply Reply April 27, 2016

      I’m 5’7 and I like the way clothes are now haha :X

  • Niq

    Reply Reply February 21, 2016

    I am female wanting to do more androgynous things and even men’s clothing (even though very rare) at 5’5….I love fashion and have the looks so people say, just don’t think I’m tall enough

    • Jonah Levi Taylor

      Reply Reply March 2, 2016

      Though your height me be an issue, it still won’t know until you try Niq. Give it a shot!

  • Donny

    Reply Reply August 16, 2016

    Yes i do fashion photography as well as other types.
    But when it comes to fashion the models must be at least 5’8″ and that is considered to be on the short side for instance Elite modeling agency won’t even consider a female model under the height of 5 feet 8 inches and even at that height it’s iffy they like to see models at 5 feet 10 inches most of the supermodels where 5 feet 10 inches to 5 feet 11 inches or taller I believe that Cindy Crawford was 5 feet 10 inches in fashion modeling height is one of the biggest priorities to be considered in fact it’s usually the first question when a woman is seeking modeling however I’ve done all kinds of other photography like Playboy style nudes in height still can make an attractive nude photo but it’s not necessary even petite girls can look very attractive in nude modeling especially where they’re not always required to stand for a pose but as far as fashion is concerned height is a big requirement specially if you’re doing Runway because models walking down the runway is soda being used as an attractive walking coat hanger also the other requirement for height is that female models seem to be more attractive at first glance when they’re taller rather than somebody who is shorter just like it said in this post.
    The other reason 4 height requirement and the reason why it’s more appealing it’s because the female models look more sexier when they’re taller because usually a taller girl has longer legs and the legs seem to appear thinner especially around the thigh area rather would have shot a girl it’s much more in common for her legs to appear real thin.
    In the criteria that is always required most women it’s not naturally to look that way most of the models for supermodels anyway starve themselves to maintain the work that they have which in turn can cause psychological illnesses like anorexia but sometimes there are always exceptions to the rule just because I model isn’t all doesn’t mean she won’t be successful in modeling or should I say will never appear in high and magazines like vogue.
    Same thing with Victoria Secret’s models and Calvin Klein all these models are at least five feet nine inches you have to understand this is business and these clothing line manufacturers are trying to sell their product so when they model their product they want their products to look its best

  • Fatuna-julia

    Reply Reply November 3, 2016

    Am julia frm Namibia…. Am short but very much interested in modeling……wondering if i can take it on

  • ana p

    Reply Reply March 25, 2017

    Yeah tall, dark hansome guy, yet kost models are white and towards tge pale side. What abunch of crap.
    Other thing is that that hanger comparison is also bull. If you make a clothing that fits a 4″5 person as far as long size, the model should also be able to display it as if it fitted in a hanger. Not mention that what matter is how it looks on your consumer, not the hanger.

  • Vero

    Reply Reply August 3, 2017

    About the clothes bunching up on the short person.. You would tailor it to fit a petite person just like it is tailored on a tall person. This is why average height women cannot find clothes that fit right in the misses or junior section. -Because someone only wants to make clothes for 5’6 and above women. AND I am not talking about over weight women for someone to try to disagree.

    • Vero

      Reply Reply August 3, 2017

      Long legs…. sexy….sounds huhm, like there are other things being sold.

  • Jo

    Reply Reply September 6, 2017

    Im sorry
    But this is Ridiculous

    Clothes that fit people who are 5ft 3/4 5/6 /7 what ever height will look good in the clothes size for
    them they do not bunch up.
    Its based on one persons Idea of beauty it is extremely old fashioned and in my eyes should be scrapped.

  • Datenshi

    Reply Reply November 25, 2017

    Taken from reddit.

    The most common reason I’ve heard is that tall models make clothing look better and more elegant. Models also tend to have relatively small breasts because of the way the clothes fall, as larger ones would alter the line of the clothing (though I’m not sure why designers couldn’t just plan for that). Models are there to sell clothes, so their appearance is centered on making the clothes look good.
    Why clothes look better on taller models is a more difficult question. Outside of the fashion world, tallness isn’t typically an ideal trait for women. It’s common for tall women to struggle with people seeing them as unfeminine or even undateable. So it’s not simply because it’s an attractive ideal. But if you look at the words we use to describe tall women–words like statuesque and imposing–it starts to make more sense. Those aren’t negative words. Tall women are relatively uncommon, and tall people, in general, have a more commanding presence than shorter people. They draw attention, they stand out in a crowd, and they can be a bit intimidating.
    That’s the goal here. You find a woman who is tall enough that people notice her and find her somewhat intimidating to approach, and one who is also exceptionally pretty, which also draws attention and makes her more intimidating. Add in the ability to make that presence work in her favor, to get people to look at her and envy her but assume she’s untouchable, and you have a model. In short, the height plays into the attitude models are generally expected to have.
    I do want to clarify one key point–it’s difficult to word that idea in a way that doesn’t sound negative towards either short or tall people. Just bear in mind it’s meant to be from the viewpoint of the modeling industry, and that “intimidating” is not meant negatively. It’s more the “I can’t ask her out, she’s too pretty” kind of intimidating. The whole thing is also a bit of an exaggerated stereotype (obviously not all tall people can command a room, and plenty of short people can), but the modeling world exists in a very narrow window.

    • money

      Reply Reply May 18, 2018

      Very good response. I agree that in general taller people have that wow factor in terms of presence. Now of course there are other factors when it comes to presence such as how handsome/beautiful the face is, how sexy the person’s body/demeanor is and so on. However if you take two people who have the exact same beautiful face and exact same sexy atmosphere, the taller one would have way more presence. When it comes to modeling, the prettiest and the most handsome and unique looking faces come from all over the world so of course height will be one of the deciding factors in who gets the jobs. If there are thousands of hopeful models with beautiful sexy quirky faces then you might as well pick the taller ones to wear your preciously designed clothes.

  • Sharon

    Reply Reply April 5, 2019

    The average height of a woman is 5’3-5’4 – if the clothes don’t look good on a model or mannequin of that height, the designers are doing it wrong.

  • Anon

    Reply Reply September 23, 2019

    “Remember your mother telling you to find a tall, dark, and handsome man. No mother ever told her daughter to find a short, pale and ugly man.”

    Whatever you’re talking about, it’s a recipe for abuse and divorce. A mother and/or father selling their daughter off to a tall, dark, handsome man when she can run off with a short, pale, ugly one she’s been seeing him on the side since she is more comfortable and familiar with him than the tall, dark handsome one whom she eventually gets bored with because the son-of-a-b%&÷h is arrogant, violent, controlling, bossy, and demanding.

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