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How to Become a Model at 13

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Becoming a model at 13 differs from becoming a fashion model as an adult. Thirteen-year-old boys and girls are considered minors in the workplace and, as such, need the permission of parents or guardians to work. Fashion modeling, which may seem glamorous, is physically demanding, and minors' working hours are limited. It's also a very tough and competitive business, so parents and teens must be willing to work very hard to break in.

Assess your qualifications to model. Take note of your own unique style and look. Models come in all shapes and sizes. Models with ultra-thin figures can go into fashion modeling, while wholesome, clean-cut-looking teens are sought after by catalog companies and others for advertising photo shoots, catalog and clothing modeling.

Talk to your parents about becoming a model. Your parent or guardian must accompany you on every photo shoot and interview, which is time-consuming. Are they willing to invest the time? If not, you may need to wait to begin your modeling career until you can drive yourself to your appointments and no longer need parental permission.

Ask a friend or parent to take several photos of you. You don't need to invest in expensive photographs at the start of your modeling career. At first, agents want to see candid photos of your face as well as some full-length shots to see how well you photograph. Make sure all photos show you to your best advantage.

Find a modeling agent who works with teens. Look through the local telephone directory under "Talent Agencies" or "Modeling Agencies." You can also search the internet. Call for an appointment. Many will ask to see your pictures before the appointment. Don't be offended if they don't agree to see you. Agents often get hundreds of calls in a single week from ambitious models, and not everyone is suitable.

Assemble your sample portfolio. A black case with clear plastic sleeves inside will hold your pictures and keep them from smudging as people handle them. Take your pictures with you to your agency appointment. Expect questions about your height, weight and any experience you may have.

Gain experience by volunteering for local modeling opportunities. Many charities, churches and schools hold fashion shows to raise money. Volunteer to model at such shows to build up your portfolio.

Tip

If you're only exploring a modeling career, don't bother with modeling schools. You may not be suited to this career or you may not like it, so don't spend the money yet. You need to accept a lot of rejection as a model. There are few jobs and many people applying for them.

Warning

While many models need to be slender, becoming obsessed with your weight isn't healthy and can lead to eating disorders. Do not spend hundreds of dollars on a portfolio before you've seen an agent who can honestly assess your potential in the business. Always take a parent or guardian with you on appointments to keep you safe.

About the Author

Jeanne Grunert has been a writer since 1990. Covering business, marketing, gardening and health topics, her work has appeared in the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books, "Horse Illustrated" and many national publications. Grunert earned her Master of Arts in writing from Queens College and a Master of Science in direct and interactive marketing from New York University.

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