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Be America’s Next Top Model

How to Break into Modeling coverHow to Break into Modeling
Orenstein
1987

Submitter: I work at an academic fashion library and we have a very small section of books on modeling in the fashion industry. Just last week I pulled this mid-1980s advice book out of our collections. It’s a safe bet our students were not even born when this book was originally published. How to Break into Modeling contains a wealth of detailed advice for would-be models, including:
-Your haircut says a lot about you. It can say, “I’m a professional” or “I’m wild!” or “I mean business” or “I like to party.”
-If you’re wearing shoulder pads for a head shot, make sure they’re lying correctly and not popping up or sliding down your shoulders.
-The body type required for fashion models in the eighties happens to be very androgynous, so breasts, hips, and thighs are “out,” but the standards and politics of beauty are changing all the time. Perhaps very womanly figures will be the trend again. (Me: Wishful thinking?)
-Men aspiring to modeling careers should pay extra attention to updating their look and taking care of their hands—things that don’t come naturally to many men.

Holly: Oh for crying out loud. Glad you caught this one, Submitter. What a ridiculous book for a current fashion library! Also, Submitter and I chatted about how those striped leotards, pictured below, were standard issue in the 80s. They’re in every workout photo of that decade! As Submitter put it: “I’m pretty sure the striped leotards were issued to you when you bought a copy of Olivia Newton John’s ‘Physical’ to dance to.” Ha!

Head shots

fashion shot - man and woman

Striped leotard

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