Should you go to modeling school? Probably not.
We’re going to rip off the bandaid right now: Modeling school won’t help you with a modeling career. In fact, almost nothing will. For about 99 percent of women and girls, it’s a completely unrealistic way to try to make a living, and many models have to have other jobs to get by.
Phew! Now that we may have crushed your dreams (sorry!), we just want you to be informed about people who may be taking advantage of your drive. Modeling schools are making a ton of cash essentially by scamming girls (and their parents) out of money. For a thousand bucks, you can spend four days learning to walk in heels, put on makeup, and tell the difference between a white wine glass and a champagne flute. One particular modeling school, Modeling Camp NYC, states that their specific goal is to “promote self esteem and self confidence” by teaching you to put on foundation and the right way to eat to stay thin. Call us crazy, but doesn’t genuine confidence come from liking yourself no matter what you look like on the surface?
Modeling Camp NYC markets itself as a “boot camp” style retreat. For four days (and a grand), girls get workshops, seminars, photo shoots and challenges with industry names.
The thing is, Modeling Camp NYC and other modeling schools don’t teach about a lot of the actual challenges in the modeling world: Sexual harassment, eating disorders, drug abuse, the fact that most models have “expiration dates.” Modeling schools don’t cover all the bases in preparing girls for what can be a really scary, potentially damaging business. In fact, by avoiding these lessons and warnings, going to modeling school can exploit girls just as much as the shadier sides of the business can.
In fact, former model Jenna Sauers claims, “A wannabe model who comes in the door toting professionally shot photographs is no more likely to be signed by any reputable fashion modeling agency than a model without. Agencies prefer to see plain, un-made-up, un-retouched, Polaroid-style digital snapshots.” Which isn’t to say she thinks modeling school is all bad–just the way they sell it to you. “I think if a girl has a healthy interest in learning self-presentation skills; that’s not something to denigrate,” she added. “It’s the manipulation I think is wrong.”
Those are strong words coming from Sauers, who has seen the dark and light sides of modeling and modeling school from every imaginable angle. If her name sounds familiar, it’s because she’s one of the of strongest and most vocal advocates of models everywhere.
Don’t get us wrong: If modeling school is something you want to get into to learn how to perfect your strut or feel more confident in social settings, more power to you. But confidence shouldn’t cost $1,000–and learning it shouldn’t be cloaked in a veil of modeling school scamming.
Have you ever gone to modeling school? Would you consider modeling school knowing it probably won’t help you actually become a model? Have you ever fallen victim to a modeling school scam? Tell us in the comments!