Modeling sounds like an exciting job, but a proper career takes time and patience to develop. It’s not always glitz and glamour. It’s early mornings, long commutes, levelheadedness under pressure, packing and unpacking, dealing with criticism, staying relevant, and keeping your attitude in check. Modeling isn’t all about earning money from looking pretty. It’s actually a tough job to make a living from.
What separates the pros from the amateurs is how a model deal with rejection. Rejection is a huge part of modeling, especially as a beginner. Designers, agents, clients, and photographers will have no problem in pointing out your flaws or imperfections, and if they don’t like what they see, they’ll move on to the next model. You’ll need to have the thick skin to work in this market because for every job, you are competing against numerous, sometimes hundreds, of other models. No matter how ridiculously good-looking you are, there will be photographers looking for something else you don’t have or agencies who don’t see your true potential.
Supermodel Gisele Bündchen was turned down by over forty agencies before she was signed and is now one of the highest paid models of all time. Kate Moss was often told no because she was “too short” to model.
So how do you deal with rejection and keep on going?
How Do Models Deal with Rejection?
Never take it personally.
Remember, you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the whole world, and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches. While aspiring models find it hard to break into the industry, model scouts and clients on the other hand are also overwhelmed by the many new faces they meet during go-sees. Because of the huge number of attractive or physically qualified people, scouts may now look beyond smooth skin and an hourglass figure when selecting models to represent their agency.
For every project, clients and casting directors already have a plan that involves size, height, and looks. Sometimes you are not selected because you just are not the person they had in mind for the job, and there isn’t much you can do about it. Rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough.
Embrace constructive criticism.
If a client does take the time to give you guidance or criticism, accept it in open arms. Learn from others’ points of view. Don’t get defensive or argue with them, even if you don’t agree with their direction. Constructive criticism really can be helpful if you use what you are told to improve your modeling skills.
Forget the open call after it’s over.
Try to forget about every go-see after it’s over. As you walk out the door, don’t think about it again unless you get a call from your agent saying you’ve booked it. Note that it is not common practice for a client to explain to you why you weren’t chosen. This can indeed leave you wondering or obsessing over the reasons why you “weren’t good enough.” Please don’t do this. Professional models do the best they can at every casting, forget about it, and then move on.
Keep improving yourself.
Instead of moping over one rejection, invest time, money, and effort to improve your physique, personality, and comp card. Eat right, hydrate, adopt a self-care routine, exercise, do yoga, travel, and make your Instagram interesting. Be continuously inspired by other successful models’ work. Don’t lose your identity and what makes you unique along the way..
Don’t stop looking.
If you found out you weren’t the model chosen for a gig you had set your heart on, it’s probably tempting to curl up and take a break from putting yourself out there. The problem is, while you are busy recovering from rejection, other models are busy getting out there and being hired for the jobs you want and that you’d be perfect for! For every modeling job out there, there are a hundred other models trying to get it, so ask yourself: is it just you or is this gig worth the tears? Keep in mind, the longer you avoid getting back out there, the harder it’s going to be when you do.
Never forget that you are beautiful regardless of what they think and that no one is perfect. The mountaintop can be reached; you just have to keep climbing. Good luck!