You might have seen pictures of glamorous women in various stages of undress in the magazines and wondered what it would take to be one of them, or you might just be thinking about cashing in on your youth and good looks. Honestly, more power to you! But what goes into modeling lingerie? Is it for you? What can you expect from this career?
There are many things to consider in whether or not you want to pursue a job as a lingerie model. Let’s unpack them together.
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What is a Lingerie Model?
A lingerie model is a model that showcases underwear. If that’s the case, why not just call them underwear models? The answer is because of the connotations. Lingerie is sexy, and there’s a certain prestige that comes with being able to call yourself a lingerie model.
It’s important to be aware of that because as a lingerie model, you may have to do things other people may not be comfortable with. A lingerie model is selling a product and also seducing the audience. If that isn’t something you are comfortable doing, finding another kind of modeling may be best for you.
Whether on the page or the runway, a lingerie model showcases the best look for a product. That product just so happens to be underwear. Unlike other models, however, becoming a lingerie model involves dedication on another level. You have to cultivate your image for seduction rather than just for beauty.
Rather than caring for a specific part of your body, like hair, face, or hand models, a lingerie model must show that care to her whole body. That means careful dieting and exercise, knowing your best angles, and posing artfully in front of the camera. It also means taking good care of your skin and keeping it free of blemishes.
How Much Does a Lingerie Model Make?
The average lingerie model makes around $58,000 a year. Of course, that is before you take experience into account. As a baseline, a lingerie model earns closer to $35,000 per year. The rest comes from opportunities for extra income, like commissions and profit-sharing.
If you are considering going into lingerie modeling, policies regarding these things are something you will want to look into to ensure you’re getting the best deal. If you’re doing a job that’s as difficult as modeling lingerie, you’ll want to make what you deserve!
How to Become a Lingerie Model
More goes into becoming a lingerie model than most might expect. Of course, there’s fitness and grooming to consider, but there are also business moves you’ll need to make to land the jobs you want.
Consider the State of Your Body
Fitness is one thing, but grooming is another entirely. As a lingerie model, you will be expected to maintain your hair, nails, and a low percentage of body fat. You will also have to keep your body free of bruises and scars.
Tattoos and piercings might be acceptable or even desirable for some brands. Alternative-style companies may even prefer a model with many tattoos and body modifications; if you already have some, they won’t exclude you from seeking work as a lingerie model. They will only limit the sorts of jobs you can take.
Put Social Media to Work For You
Websites like Twitter and Instagram are perfect for getting started. A good Instagram account can function as a portfolio and help you gain popularity before you apply for your first job. Many lingerie models started their careers by posting pictures on Instagram; at that point, companies wanted them to model because of the fan following they already had.
Put Together a Portfolio
Whether you have a successful Instagram account or not, it is still a good idea to have a professional portfolio with plenty of pictures to show when approached about jobs. For this, professionally taken photos are best. Put your best foot forward and show off what versatility you have.
Find a good photographer that knows how to take the kinds of pictures that modeling companies want. A strong portfolio will let agencies know that you have the skills to be a professional model, even if you don’t have any pro experience.
Even if you can’t find gigs in lingerie right away, gaining any experience in modeling will only benefit your career. If you’re able to, build your portfolio by taking smaller jobs in other areas. Not only will this show that you are dedicated to modeling, but it can also connect you to the opportunities that you want.
If you can’t find any modeling jobs near you, see if you can find a theatre or dance company to train with. These will help you build your performance skills and be comfortable in front of people, as well as train you in different forms of movement.
Find an Agency
For a lingerie model in particular it is important to find representation. Of course, there are the small things, like making sure the jobs you’re taking are reputable enough to pay you, but having a good agency is also a matter of safety.
Lingerie models are more likely to face harassment or unsafe work conditions. Even a job that pays what it said it would and looks safe on the surface can have its problems. Vet your agency before you sign anything. Ask the other models that work for them about their experiences, and find an agency that is willing to support you legally.
The lingerie industry in particular is full of scam artists and other people who will take advantage of models. An agency gives you a measure of protection and someone to step up and take your side if things go sour. You can afford to be choosy; there are plenty of agencies across the country who want your talent just as much as you want to model for them.
Lingerie modeling is a facet of the modeling industry with both glamor and stigma surrounding it. It can be very lucrative financially, but also creatively rewarding. As long as you can maintain a certain degree of fitness and know how to stay safe while navigating various jobs and clients, there’s no reason why you can’t become a lingerie model.