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A model (from Middle French modèle),[1] sometimes called a mannequin, is a person who is employed for the purpose of displaying and promoting fashion clothing or other products and for advertising or promotionall purposes or who poses for works of art.

Modeling is distinguished from other types of public performance, such as an acting, dancing or mime artist, although the boundary is not well defined. Appearing in a movie or a play is not considered modeling. However, models may be considered to express emotion in their photographs or video.

Types of modeling include fashion, glamor, fitness, bikini, fine art, and body-part models. Models are features in a variety of media formats including books, magazines, movies, newspapers, and TV. The models themselves can be a featured part of a movie (Looker, Tattoo), reality television show (America's Next Top Model, The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency), or music video (Freedom! '90", "Wicked Game", "Daughters").

Social construction

Various representations of beauty and fashion using models have caused controversy and is known to have some social impact, particularly on young people - both male and female.

Fashion models


Fashion models on the runway.

Models may be used to display and promote clothing. Fashion modeling may involve catwalk or runway modeling or editorial modeling, covering photography for magazine spreads, ad campaigns, catalogues, print etc. The emphasis of fashion photography is on the clothes or accessories, not the model. Fashion models may be used to display or promote various types of clothing, such as lingerie, swimsuit, and bikini. Models may be used in showroom, fit modeling, fitness or sporty modeling. Some are used for petite modeling or plus-size modeling.

The first person described as a fashion model is Parisian shopgirl, Marie Vernet Worth. She was a house model in 1852, to her fashion designer husband, Charles Frederick Worth.[2][3]

Body types

Because clothing is needed to be modeled for all people, a variety of shapes and sizes is required in models. Many models weigh about Template:Convert to Template:Convert.Template:Citation needed

Female body type

Template:Main The British Association of Model Agents (AMA) says that female models should be around 34-24-34 in (86-61-86 cm) and between Template:Convert and Template:Convert tall.[4] The ideal measurements used to be 35.5-23.5-35.5 in (90-60-90 cm), which were the alleged measurements of Marilyn Monroe.Template:Citation needed However, today's fashion models tend to have measurements closer to the AMA recommended shape, although by no means do all models have these exact statistics, and fashion houses may require other sizes for their models. Although in some fashion industries, a size 00 is more ideal than a size 0.[5]

The often thin shape of many fashion models has been criticized for allegedly warping girls' body image and encouraging eating disorders.[6] Organizers of a fashion show in Madrid in September 2006 turned away models who were judged to be underweight by medical personnel who were on hand.[7] In February 2007, six months after her sister, Luisel Ramos - also a model - died, Uruguayan model Eliana Ramos became the third international model to die of malnutrition in six months. The second victim was Ana Carolina Reston.[8] Luisel Ramos died of heart failure caused by anorexia nervosa just after stepping off the catwalk.

Male body type

The preferred average dimensions for a male model are a height of Template:Convert to Template:Convert, a waist of Template:Convert and a chest measurement of Template:Convert.[4] Male runway models have been noted as being skinny and well toned to fit the clothes, whereas editorial models cover all body types from slender to muscular.[9]


File:Gisele B.jpg
According to Forbes and the Guinness Book, the richest model in the world is Brazilian Gisele Bündchen[10]


Supermodels are highly paid, high profile fashion models. These (usually female) celebrities, also known as cover girls, appear on top fashion magazine covers, in catalogues and in fashion shows.

The first model widely considered to have paved the way for what would become the supermodel was Lisa Fonssagrives.[11] The relationship between her image on over 200 Vogue covers and her name recognition led to the importance of Vogue in shaping future supermodels. Her image appeared on the cover of fashion magazine during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s from Town & Country, Life and Vogue to the original Vanity Fair. Models like Dorian Leigh and Jean Shrimpton have also been dubbed the first supermodels.

Glamour models

File:Glamour Models on Red Carpet.jpg
Glamour models posing on the red carpet - Hollywood, CA 03/09/2008


Glamour photography emphasizes the model and the model's sexuality rather than products, fashion or the environment. Glamour modelling often focuses on the body of the subject and insinuations of sexuality serve to enhance a product's attractiveness. Glamour models may be used for mass-produced calendars, pinup and for men's magazines, such as Playboy magazine. Famous glamour models include Pamela Anderson, Jordan, Jodie Marsh, Lucy Pinder, and Louise Glover.

Fitness models

Template:See also

File:Fitness Model Britt 2007.JPG
Fitness model posing with dumbbell

Fitness modeling centers on displaying an athletic physique. Fitness models usually have defined muscles like bodybuilders, but with less emphasis on muscle size. Their body weight is usually similar to (or heavier than) fashion models, but they have a lower body fat percentage due to increased muscle mass relative to fat mass.

Bikini models

Bikini models are also usually required to be obviously fit and with an appealing body shape. Bikini models can usually be shorter, around Template:Convert to Template:Convert

Models with other objects

File:Stainless Steel chair with yellow plastic in Rio de Janeiro Sea.jpg
Stainless steel chair in use in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The model is used for proporcional purposes and in order to combine her beauty with the chair design and supposedly, increasing sales

Due to various aspects, models are used to increase sell of a wide variety of products including: cars, food, furniture, electronic devices, etc.

Artist's models

Artist's model at work

Template:Main Art models are models who pose for photographers, painters, sculptors, and other artists as part of their work of art.

Models are frequently used for training art students, but are also employed by accomplished artists. The most common types of art created using models are figure drawing, figure painting, sculpture and photography. Although commercial motives dominate over the esthetics in advertising, its 'artwork' commonly employs models.

Throughout the history of Western Art, drawing the human figure from living models was considered the most useful tool in developing the skill of draftsmanship. In the art school classroom setting, the purpose is to learn how to draw humans of all different shapes, ages and ethnicities, so there are no real limitations on who the model can be. In some cases, the model may pose with various props, one or more other models, animals etc., against real or artificial background, in natural or artificial light and so on.

Models for life drawing classes are often entirely nude, apart from visually non-obstructive personal items such as small jewelry and sometimes eyeglasses. In a job advertisement seeking nude models, this may be referred to as being "undraped" or "disrobed". (Alternatively, a cache-sexe may be worn. Eadward Muybridge's historic scientific studies of the male and female form in motion, for example, has examples of both usages.)

In Western countries, there is generally no objection to either sex posing nude for or drawing members of the opposite sex. However, this was not always so in the past, particularly prior to the 20th century. In 1886 Thomas Eakins was famously dismissed from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art for removing the loincloth from a male model in a mixed classroom. Similarly, Victorian modesty required the female model to pose nude with her face draped (illustration). European arts academies did not allow women to study the nude at all until the end of the nineteenth century. Up into the present day some rare art classes prefer male models to wear a jockstrap.

Policies vary regarding male models having an erection. Some instructors don't mind at all (especially with younger or inexperienced models), while others, including the Register of Artists' Models (RAM) in the United Kingdom, consider this as cause for termination.[12] In any case, it may be inconvenient for the artists, as the subject is not exactly the same as when the drawing session commenced.

Gravure Idols


Alternative models

Template:Main An alternative model is any model that does not fit into the conventional model types, and may include emo, punk, goth, fetish, tattooed models or having a distinctive attribute. These mix with high fashion and art models. Publishers such as Goliath in Germany have enabled alternative models and punk photography to become known to a larger audience.

Body part modeling

Some models are employed for their particularly attractive body parts. For example, hand models may be used to promote nail care products, leg models are useful for showcasing tights, and wrist models are used to showcase watches or bracelets. Petite models or females who are under Template:Convert have found success through body part modeling.

Working conditions

Despite the stereotype of modeling as a lucrative and glamorous profession, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the median wage for models was only $11.22 per hour in 2006.[13] MarketWatch listed modeling as one of the ten worst jobs in America.[13]

See also

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