The modeling industry is rapidly growing and becoming inclusive. Until a few decades ago, the words ‘fashion’ and ‘model’ was synonymous with women. But that notion has changed and since then models of all genders have been an active part of this ever-growing industry. Consequently, one would assume that both male and female models would be of equal standing in the modeling industry. However, like any other industry, it is not always an equal ground for men and women. Modeling is one of the few professions where a woman model has an advantage over a male model. As a result, it is not an easy task for male models to make it big in the industry.
Modeling being “Unconventional” for Men
A common misconception among people, in general, is that modeling is a profession that best suits a woman’s domain. This does not come as a surprising fact because the modeling industry is full of women. Modeling includes trying on various styles of clothing and makeup, both seen as feminine. Consequently, people look down on an aspiring male model even before the start of his career.
The lack of support from the people around him can put the dreams of a male model to rest. They are also mocked for wanting to be a model. Consequently, fewer men become models, which leads to fierce competition. Thus, we see modeling as an ‘unconventional’ profession for men. Aspiring male models barely get a chance to showcase their talent because of these preconceived notions.
The Pressures of having The Perfect Body
Male models are under constant pressure to maintain their bodies. The most desirable look for a male model is to have a slim and toned physique, be muscular, and have those perfect abs. We tend to look down upon even the slightest bit of fat. As a result, they put themselves under a strict diet, and sometimes work out to absolute exhaustion.
Models, therefore, develop anxiety issues because of having unrealistic goals set for themselves. Many male models ultimately succumb to their insecurities. Some develop eating disorders, which can mean putting a full stop (or at least a semicolon) to their modeling career. Getting back into the modeling industry after having recovered can again increase pressure on the model, and the cycle continues.
A Striking Difference in Pay
The fashion industry is one of the very few industries where a woman is paid more than a man. This may or may not be a surprising fact. Because, as mentioned earlier, modeling is often regarded as a female profession. The point to note, however, is that the pay gap is much wider than expected. Insider details in the modeling industry claim to say that male models are paid close to around 50-75% less than female models.
A major reason for this is that the female clothing industry has a much higher net worth than the male clothing industry. This means that hiring women models to model for the clothing brand will be significantly higher than the hiring of male models. Adding on, women’s clothing has a larger variety for them to model for than what men’s clothing can offer. Therefore, male models find it difficult to earn in their field than their female counterparts.
The Future of Male Models
In an industry with a majority of women, being a male model takes a toll on the model’s confidence and self-esteem. However, this does not mean that men who are aspiring to be models need to stop and think of another profession. However hard a job might be, the excitement of entering the glamourous world of modeling has not died down. Male models find it hard, no doubt, to make it big in this industry.
The ratio between successful male models to female models is less. However, the working of the modeling industry is changing, with more variety coming up for male models to showcase on the runway and flaunt their talent. Hopefully, in the future, the opportunities for male models will increase and the pay gap will decrease, making this industry a great place for people of all genders to work in.