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What it takes to be a supermodel like these beauties!

Last updated on: September 14, 2011 18:48 IST

What it takes to be a supermodel like these beauties!

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Simki Dutta

Do you picture yourself on the cover of Vogue? Do you hope to walk the ramp someday wearing stunning designerwear? Well, it's time to stop dreaming and start acting upon it so you get closer to your dream job!

So you want to be a model and you don't know where to start? Fret not, we've got a few tips that will make things a tad easier!

See, modelling is a profession like any other and to succeed, you've got to go about things in a certain, systematic manner. And in the following pages is a step-by-step guide that will have you doing just that.

Just a pretty face?

You have the face. You have the height. You have the perfect pout. But that's not all that a model needs. Even though this profession lays a lot of stress on looks and that 'perfect' figure, it also calls for poise, intelligence and grace. A model should be able to carry herself with tremendous poise.

This profession also demands discipline. Whether it's your lifestyle or your attitude towards your work, you better be disciplined because that is what will take you a long way.


Image: You may have the looks, like Angela Jonsson, but you need poise, intelligence and grace too
Photographs: Cover of Elle Magazine, May 2011
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'There is no place for unprofessional people in this industry'

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"Confidence is a very important quality that models should have. It should be enough to make people believe in what they're selling! There is no place for unprofessional people in this industry," says Odette La Porte from Gladrags Media Ltd, a fashion house and modelling agency.

"If you want to make it big here, you have to keep yourself grounded. Also, be prepared to handle rejections as there are bound to be many on the way and if you're determined to become a model, don't let anything deter you," she adds.


Image: Confidence is an important quality -- for inspiration, all you need to do is look at Adriana Lima
Photographs: Victoria's Secret catalogue
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Jumpstart your career

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Gone are the days when you could just settle yourself in some coffee shop, look pretty and wait to get noticed by some modelling agency! Today, if you want to break into this field, you have to make a start yourself. The good news is that now there are many ways to mark your start in this industry.

"The conventional way is to take part in a beauty contest or a talent hunt. This gives you the benefit of experiencing the whole process firsthand and you get a lot to learn as well," says Debjoy Ray, Business Head at Globosport Modelling Agency.

It doesn't matter if you win the beauty pageant or not -- getting noticed is what counts.


Image: Supermodel Lakshmi Menon didn't wait around -- she took up modelling to earn money as a college-goer
Photographs: Cover of Elle Magazine, April 2010
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'Networking is very essential here'

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Another way is to get in touch with a good modelling agency that will groom you well and design the kind of portfolio that would market you best.

"These days, a lot of FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) brands are going to colleges and searching for the 'next face' of their brand. One can also try one's hand at that, because such events are getting immensely popular. Basically, there's no set rule to step into this field. Networking is very essential here. Make contacts and market yourself well in order to grow as a model," adds Ray.


Image: Unless you're Gisele Bundchen, networking is essential
Photographs: Calzedonia Swimwear ad campaign
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Slim, not anorexic!

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We all know this industry's obsession with having a perfect figure, but that does not mean that in the race to get slim, you give way to unhealthy ways to reduce your weight. There's nothing more important than being in good health. If you're not in the best of health, you cannot possibly do justice to your work.

"Due to time constraints when it comes to assignments, many models take shortcuts to lose weight," says Dr Vineeta Sharma. "What they don't understand is that they are just destroying their bodies in the process.


Image: Slim like Lisa Haydon is attractive; anorexic is not
Photographs: Cover of FHM India, August 2010
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Love your body and treat it well

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Dr Sharma also has some health advice for wannabe models:

  • Stick to natural foods and avoid junk and fried items.
  • Restrict salt intake and drink lots of water, which will help cleanse your body.
  • See to it that you take in more fibre than calories.
  • You can also fast once a week and stick to just milk, fruits and vegetables on that day.

So long as you keep a regular check on your health, go to the gym frequently and eat right, you're good to go. Love your body and treat it well, as staying fit is the key and being stick-thin is certainly not the right idea!


Image: You need lots of water, fibre and organic foods for a bod like Alessandra Ambrosio
Photographs: Victoria's Secret catalogue
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The perfect portfolio

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A portfolio is a model's tool to market herself/himself. It represents the way you portray yourself and you surely don't want to go wrong there! The pictures should be able to reflect your potential in the best possible manner.

"A good portfolio should be versatile. It should be able to showcase your different looks. Before a portfolio shoot, rehearse a few poses and work on your body. You could flip through magazines and learn from senior models too. During the shoot, keep improvising and better yourself to prevent the pictures from getting monotonous," says ace photographer Dabboo Ratnani.

According to Ratnani, models need to understand the briefing given to them and take it to a new level. "It's a give-and-take relationship. They should be open to experiment and inputs from their end are always welcome," he says.


Image: If you've set your sights on fame like Monikangana Dutta, you definitely need a portfolio
Photographs: Cover of FHM India, December 2010
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Dealing with competition

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The modelling industry is highly competitive as a hundred others are trying to make a name for themselves here every day and the pressure to sustain keeps growing. Competition is good, but it can turn ugly. You should make sure you don't give in to something trivial that ends up destroying your career.

"Ignore bad-mouthing and be friends with all, but focus on what you are doing. If you concentrate and work hard, there is no need to compromise or get involved in politics. There is nothing you cannot handle in this industry. It all depends on your outlook," advises fashion choreographer Lubna Adams.


Image: Supermodels like Doutzen Kroes get to where they are by focusing on their work
Photographs: Peter Kramer/Getty Images
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Mantras for success

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Once you get your foot in the doorway, only half the battle's won. Sustaining in this industry is a task on its own! We asked Alesia Raut, who's completed 13 years in Indian modelling to share her secrets of success. Here's what she had to say:

"You have to be passionate about modelling, love the camera and yourself, most importantly. Creativity is very important in this field. The ability to surprise yourself and the others every single time is very important. While you're there on the ramp or in a photoshoot, your attitude should be a combination of your personality and the briefing given to you. Just believe in yourself and give everything you do your best, because in this competitive industry, you may not always be given a second chance."


Image: Alesia Raut says you should give it your best, as second chances are not common
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani
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'Accept that with age, you have to exit gracefully'

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Continues Alesia, "Modelling is very exciting, so enjoy the process while it lasts -- we all know that it is a short-term career. Accept that with age, you have to exit gracefully. If you throw your attitude around it will only be your loss because there is no dearth of models. There are millions waiting to enter this industry. Make the best of your time here and as long as you have your principles straight, nothing can move you."


Image: There is no dearth of hot young models like Bar Refaeli in the industry
Photographs: Agua Bendita 2011 swimwear ad campaign
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