Basics of modeling in India: model’s look

Unlike most of the countries in the Modeling world, India does not have too strict requirements for the models in heights and measurements. If in another countries, especially high-fashioned Europe, you need to be preferably 174-182 cm tall if you are female (and MINIMUM: 170 cm for modelling in the world) and 184-192 cm tall if you are male, to be considered a good model, and having hips bigger than 89-90 cm for female models becomes a big trouble, in India models with such heights and measurements are needed but being considered too tall and too skinny often as well. Here it’s often possible to meet female models with heights less than 170 cm (even international models) as well and most of the girls have hips 90-93 cm (and can have bigger sometimes). People here need all the kinds of models, sometimes not standard-sized at all!

Also check: How to dress up for castings?

But there are some other requirements in Model’s look apart from the height and measurements, which you need to know about and follow if you want to become a Model in India!

Hair: girls



To work as a model, you can’t really have too much creative hair style. Models with medium length, naturally-looking and naturally-shaped hair styles are preferred by most of the brands & designers. With too short hair people can’t do too many hair styles and too long hair will take a lot of time of the shoot day (which is loss for a client if the model is being paid by amount of shoot hours, how it often happens). It doesn’t mean that the models with different hair styles can’t get work at all – in some cases they can even become famous because of it. But it is more a risky option and such models might be rejected by many people initially as well.

And what about the bangs? Such hairstyle also can reduce the chances of the model to get work though still not that much as more creative hair styles – especially if the model had her portfolio done with this hairstyle from the beginning and doesn’t change it. However, some Indian clients might not like this hairstyle.

Hair: guys

For male models it is as well preferred to have not too short hair, for the same reason: to be able to change the hair styles. There are some bald models but usually not in India and it is more risky option for someone who is just starting his modeling career. Male models can have shoulder-length hair as well, but it also depends on how the market will accept it.

Male models can be clean shaven and can have beards as well.

Eyebrows: girls



Female models are supposed to have good, naturally-looking eyebrow shape. Do not make your eyebrows too thin or too short, do not make them looking fake any other way (like permanent make-up, suppose). Eyebrows shape can change the face really a lot.


Male and female models, both, are supposed to always take care of their nails. The nails are not only visible on close-up portraits, but in full shots as well. Especially if you go to a paid assignment.

Guys: Take care of your nails to be clean and short;

Girls: When you go for casting, your nails can have any colorful nail paint on them, but not when you go for shoots. For shoots people prefer nude or transparent nail paint (french manicure and pedicure is fine option too), so it could match any type of clothes. Sometimes make-up artist may not have a nail polish remover and it would waste everybody’s time to go and buy one in the order to remove your nail paint (sometimes also the shoots happen in remote locations where are no shops around so it can become issue for the team). Especially better not to put a nail paint that does not go off easily, such as gel nail paint, suppose. If the client will need any specific color on your nails for their advertisements – they will ask someone from the team to put it on your nails. Female models preferably supposed to have not very long nails as well because long ones can spoil some clothes. But very short nails are not a problem unless it is some advertisement for nail paint, hand cream etc. where very good looking hands are required. Also, take care of your nails to be the same length (I have seen models coming even to beauty shoots to have nails of different length just because one/ few of them broke and they had to cut them but didn’t want to cut the long ones) and don’t come to the shoots with nail paint partly gone off – just remove it before the shoot.


Models should not have face piercing, tunnels, etc. kind of things. But female models preferably should have ear piercing, and well, in India nose piercing. It is required not only for jewelry shoots, but for garment shoots designers and brands. Nose ring is usually being worn only for jewelry shoots or some bridal wear assignments. International models usually do not have nose piercing hole, and it is mostly hard to wear the nose ring without the hole – it keeps falling.



Sun tan:

There is something important you need to know about sun tan being a model: it supposed to be equal. I know, in India people are usually very careful about the sun and sun tan, they do not wish to get it, unlike foreigners. Yet, it can happen that you get unequal sun tan because of T-shirt, top with straps, sun-glasses or even watches/ bangles. Why it is a problem? Suppose you will get off-shoulder dresses shoot and shoulder tan lines will all be visible. And no, it is not like it is easy to Photoshop it.


Other important requirements:

  • Fit body: healthy diet and gym. No strict diets!

It is important especially for male models: they are supposed to have dry muscular body, yet to be not to skinny and not too big. Preferable sizes for male models: M or L.

Preferable sizes for female models in India are S or M.

Male and female models both should take care of keeping their sizes stable. That is why better not to keep strict diets, because it will make your weight jump a lot;

  • Do not change your look without informing:

What it means: If you are already working as a model, especially if you have an agent, you can not just change your look drastically without informing about it. It applies to everything: hair style and color, your body size, beard, piercing, eyebrows, tattoos – everything. If you are a freelancer – you should tell about it to all the clients you know. Especially if you have the shoots booked already by the pictures of your previous look! Do not make your changes to be a surprise for clients – it might become a big problem on a shoot day.

Apparently, if you have changed too much, you as well would require to make new pictures for your portfolio, and you will not be able to use too much of the old ones – since you are looking differently. So no, being a model you can’t just do whatever you want with your look.

In case if any of such changes are required for modeling assignments, like guys can be asked to shave the beard (or to grow it) and girls can get shoots/TV-commercials where they would require to color or cut their hair – models and their agents are always being asked about it and can say “NO” if it will not be good for future career of the model.

  • No tattoos: Tattoos are not preferred in modeling, especially the big ones. They can stop you from getting many assignments. However, some models do have them, but it usually means they have got them before they started their modeling careers. In case you want to be a model, better do not get new tattoos, or get a small one in the most not noticeable on shoots body part you can imagine;
  • No scars: Of course, any of us can have scars. However, models with big scars, especially those which are hard to Photoshop, can have less assignments. It might look obvious to ask not to get new scars, because it is not something people usually try to get. Yet, be careful..;
  • No permanent make-up, nail and eyelashes extensions: Female professional models preferably should not do any of such things, that can not be easily removed. Because the client might have other plans for your make up, eyelashes and nails. Not all the clients put bright make-up and fake eyelashes on shoots and fashion shows – some people want the models to look natural for their advertisements;
  • Clean face: Your face is something you should take care of, probably, the most. Models who have smooth skin, without pimples and wrinkles, are the ones with whom it is easier to work. Yes, everybody can use Photoshop but extra editing means extra time, so more money to spend. Plus, it can be the problem to fashion shows and video-shootings. Of course, every human has pimples sometimes, it is not a big issue. But if you have acne problem and want to be a model, you need to cure your skin.

Generally, needs to say that models supposed to look naturally but taken care of. When I have started modeling, I was told that a model supposed to be like a clean paper for any designer to draw the look he/she wants.

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