Many odds in glam biz, say models

Many odds in glam biz, say models

Behind the glamour of the modelling industry is intense insecurity. Models are constantly aware of how fragile and vulnerable their careers are.

Priyanka Preeth began modelling two years ago after she won a beauty pageant. A chartered accountancy student who ventured into the world of glamour, she was soon getting assignments. Within a short time, she also became aware of the intense competition.

“There are many models entering the industry every day and it is easy to get replaced by another in a shoot. A month’s break can affect one’s career in a big way,” she says.

Apart from the pressure to watch one’s vital statistics and skin, other insecurities are connected to the job, she observes.

Opportunities are greater for female models, men in the business say. Chaitanya Kabadi, model and actor, says it is difficult for male models to get projects continuously.

“There are a lot of male models but there isn’t work to go around. Female models are needed for just about any shoot or show but male models are called only for men brands or men’s lifestyle products,” he says.

Many experienced male models have moved from Bengaluru to Mumbai, he says, as that city offers more opportunities.

“Many fresh faces here are ready to work for free which makes it more difficult for experienced or professional models to survive here. Female models always have someone to turn to when they need advice or fashion tips but it isn’t a cakewalk for male models,” he says.

Chaitanya wants to diversify his talents and has acted in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu films. “I will continue to model but I also want to explore different avenues,” he says.

Sneha Nair, model-turned-actor, says models should invest in getting a good portfolio done.

While that may fetch them work, models must be prepared for other challenges.

“They often get taken for granted. They are assured work and then not paid well or appropriately; there is a lot of bickering they have to deal with when it comes to payment,” she says.

Clients can be unreasonable, too. “The weirdest part is that clients often ask for a bikini shot or rare close-ups even if the shoot is for a traditional jewellery brand,” she says.

Freelancing can be risky as one never knows how much work one can get, points out Winniee K S, professional model for seven years.

“I entered a beauty pageant and got noticed. It can be quite difficult to get noticed in modelling, especially as a freelancer. A freelance model also stands the risk of not knowing the background of clients and not having enough contacts,” she says.

Mediators ask models to ‘compromise’ on what was promised when a shoot is on. We have to make do with whatever facilities are provided. Even safety is a concern.
Sneha Nair, model and actor.