As glamorous as the modeling industry seems, I'm sure you're all pretty aware by now that it has just as many downsides as upsides. I feel this is particularly true for male models. Sure, picturing yourself as a male model may seem really amazing at first. I mean, what guy wouldn't want to strut his stuff down the runway or be photographed in a steamy pose with some of the world's most beautiful women? But if you look past the glitz, you'll be pretty surprised by the fact that male models are often overlooked by the public in general and in some cases even their own industry.
Think about it: how many countless times have we seen the faces and bodies of top female supermodels in all forms of the media? Probably too many to count. Now what about the male models in the industry? Unless you're a super fan of the modeling industry or stay on top of the fashion world and the players in it, chances are you can't really name a list of top male models with the exception of maybe Tyson Beckford (and I only am able to recall his name right now because of his show, "Make Me a Supermodel"). Don't you ever wonder why that is? While I don't have the definite answer to that question, I will say that the modeling industry is one dominated by females and is one of the few career fields where the women will always make more money than the men.
While top female models can rack up as much as $1 million or more per year, most male models make less than that, usually only as much as up to $500,000 a year. Sure, that kind of money is nothing to sniff at, but I still find that pretty amazing. I mean, what kind of success do you have to have as a male model to earn the same paycheck as Gisele? It's a known fact that female models make 2-3 times more than male models for doing the exact same thing. That just blows my mind. And another thing: as far as I am aware, the title of "supermodel" has only been given to female models, not male models. Is there a male supermodel? Feel free to dp research and see if you can dispute that.
Of course there have been many male models that have become the "face" for a number of advertising campaigns, appeared in countless editorials, and graced numerous catwalks but in the end, male models generally do not garner as much acclaim as their female counterparts. It's pretty crazy how much the public seems to flock towards female supermodels but not so much the male models. The poor economy also doesn't help. Just as work is becoming limited for working female models, it is affecting the guys just as much, if not more. The fact that many male celebrities (actors, singers, etc.) are being chosen to replace male models in many advertising campaigns and editorial work is also killing the potential for male models to earn a living and make a career for themselves.
However, the lack of attention doesn't mean that male models out there aren't doing their thing. If you want to be a successful male model, obviously you'll want to have a stellar agency supporting you. Next, you'll want to go where the money is, which can be found in doing advertising campaigns for famous designers and even fragrances. Doing such work can carry a paycheck of between $8,000-15,000 PER DAY. If you want a great way to network, also take on editorial shoots. Even though they pay the least (often between $150-300 a day), this is a great way to work with known designers and photographers. Many male models have gone on to successful careers because of their connections with photographers and designers who used their star power to put unknown male models into the spotlight.
The bottom line: being a male model isn't easy. But then again, what is ? If you are determined to succeed in this field, stick to your guns, network your butt off, and secure agency representation. Then see where the cards fall. Either way, you'll definitely have your work cut out for you!