Male models are the epitome of modern beauty standards for men. Because of this, the industry has certain guidelines. Though there are exceptions, there are still individual physical requirements that male models have to fulfill today.
Male models are usually around 6 feet tall. Male runway models should also have a 38 to 40-inch chest, and a 30 to 32-inch waist circumference. However, agencies still hire models that do not strictly fit these requirements as long as they have something that the agency is looking for.
For male commercial models, the torso requirements are not that direct.
Even if you do not fit those numbers above, there is still a chance that you can be cast. Agencies take on models that do not strictly meet those standards, and many of them are very successful. What’s important is that the agency will find something unique in you that will make them want to sign you.
A study by Mulgrew et al. (2015) found that younger men are susceptible to idealized depictions of what a man should physically be. This also translates into male modeling. Male models are subject to ideal descriptions of body and physique for casting purposes. The industry is challenging to get into, as many are clamoring for space. Below are the different types of male modeling niches and what their specific requirements are.
Types of Male Modeling
The industry has different types of male modeling that also have different physique requirements. Though being overall attractive will make you appealing in any male modeling niche, certain features are specific to each type of modeling.
In this study by Cafri et al. (2006), they found that men who wanted to improve their bodies through exercise and dieting were also more likely to lean towards a muscular body than a thin frame. In modeling, such is also the case. Even though slender models do runway shows or high fashion shoots, these models are still generally muscular and lean.
Runway male modeling shows tend to take on male models who are on the slender side. This requirement is there so that the models fit into the clothes that are in the collection. These models’ heights can range from 5’11’ to 6’2″ on average. However, there are still successful runway models who are not within this height range. Aaron Frew, for example, is a successful male model that stands at only 5’7″. He has starred in campaigns for Calvin Klein. However, even he admits that he has trouble booking runway shows.
For maximum efficiency, male runway models usually have to fit a size 40 to 42 suit. These models have to fit the clothes in the collection as the clothes are not tailor-made.
Editorial models are quite similar to runway models in that they model high fashion clothes. They are also typically subject to similar qualifications.
This type of modeling focuses on fashion, similar to runway modeling. Models also have to fit the clothes provided, which is part of the reason agencies or clients enforce these requirements.
Commercial modeling probably has the most varied male models. This type of modeling focuses mainly on advertising. It’s wide range and scope allows for different kinds of men to enter the commercial modeling scene. Commercial modeling is for the average man. Although you still have to look attractive and have some defining characteristics, commercial modeling is not as challenging to get into as fashion modeling. This relative ease may be because different companies will want specific requirements, creating a relatively large pool of specifications.
This looser pool of requirements doesn’t mean that it’s easy to get into, though. Commercial models who are tall and at least 5’9″ are preferred. You still have to look attractive and appealing in a way that the client requires.
Underwear or Swimwear models can come from editorial/fashion modeling or commercial modeling. Many brands have lines solely for underwear or swimwear. These models tend to be bigger than fashion models walking the runway because they don’t have to fit into a specific size.
However, since underwear and swimwear modeling exposes most of the body, being fit and toned is necessary. Different brands have different requirements in what they look for with their modeling candidates. For example, some campaigns might not even show the face of the model. So if one brand does not take you on, another might not pass up.
Male fitness modeling greatly relies on fit body shape and lean features. The model’s features should be marketable to a general audience as fitness models star in specific sportswear campaigns.
To be a fitness model, one does not necessarily have to be a body-builder or have an extremely ripped body. However, many fitness models do stem from this kind of body-shape.
A parts model focuses on hands for watches, feet for shoes, and more. This kind of modeling allows male models of different sizes and shapes as long as they have what the shoot requires. A male parts model has to have particular physique traits as the modeling will focus mostly on one area of the body.
For example, if a shoot requires the model to have a beautiful hand for a watch advert, they may not necessarily look at the other parts of the body. Though, of course, this is subject to certain limitations. Parts models have to generally fit into sample sizes of the thing they will be promoting. This rule is not always the case as parts modeling can be for health or beauty products as well.
As an example, shoe modeling has a range of shoe sizes that they prefer the male model to be. A male parts model for shoes has to be about a size 8-12. This is also to facilitate convenience on the part of the client.
How to Get the Perfect Male Model Physique
Now, comes the question, how do you achieve those sought after model looks? Though different types of modeling have different specific needs, there are still common physique requirements throughout them all. You generally need to be fit and look exceptional.
Being a male model has a lot to do with winning the genetic lottery. It would be best if you had attractive and marketable looks while also maintaining a great body. Not everyone is born with these characteristics, and models have to work towards maintaining their shape continuously.
Getting that model physique requires working out and getting your body into a proportionate and attractive shape.
Click here to read about what is the most optimal attractive physique, according to science.
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The male modeling industry is one that is difficult to get into. Agencies have stringent requirements with height and body size. But if you’re dedicated, you can make it. All over the world, the definition of what it means to be a model is continuously changing. What you have may be the next thing that agencies are looking out for. Just don’t give up when attempting to walk into the world of male modeling. Work towards getting that perfect model figure.
Male models do not make it by waiting for discovery. However, certain guys may indeed have that luck. But many of them go to casting calls and wait in line with other male models hoping to get cast. Male modeling is not as big as female modeling, and that plays into the demand for male models.