Short Model Sensei: You're Never Too Short to Model! (And More Thoughts on the ANTM Premiere)
Short Model Sensei: You're Never Too Short to Model! (And More Thoughts on the ANTM Premiere)
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Hey ANTM fans! Please help me in welcoming our America's Next Top Model guest video blogger, professional petite model Isobella Jade! Each week she'll be sharing her insights about Cycle 13 with us here at BuddyTV from her vantage point as a pint-size model trying to make it in the industry.

By Isobella Jade

As one of the shortest models working in NYC, I do not live and die by America's Next Top Model, but the underdog appeal of Cycle 13's contestants appealed to me.  It isn't easy being a short model even without Tyra's photo challenges, and overall I think the girls cry way too much on the show.  However, watching the show's premiere and first episode inspired many questions from me, such as: How much could this short model stampede affect the fashion world, if at all? Will Tyra involve any print modeling aspects into the show? When the girls are kicked of, what will happen to them? Will they give up, thinking they truly are too short to try to work with modeling agencies afterward, or will we hear of these girls again? 

Quality photos that flaunt a short girl's assets are a major part of whether she gets ahead or not, and gets in the door with a print modeling agency. Here are some tips on how any aspiring model can start making Tyra's eyes pop, and intrigue a print modeling agent as well. 

Stretch those short legs.

For a shorter girl it is important to know how to stretch your body in a natural way and angle your legs and arms so that you appear long, lean, and proportioned. For the first photo challenge I thought Rae, with her angelic pose as a ballerina, showed her legs and proportioned body off well. Jennifer's stretch in the sand was screaming Sports Illustrated, and a shorter girl can create great full body shots if she can angle her legs and stretch her body in a natural way while working with a product. Also be aware of your limbs. If your arm is too close to your body, you can easily look larger than you are, and creating some space between your limbs can make you look longer. I think Sundai, the shortest girl on Cycle 13, might have had a bad critique from the judges, but she just needs to focus more on positioning and posing her facial features, which are very stunning. Her short hair makeover is just whispering "hair ad!"

Work what you got to get ahead.

So you might not be giraffe tall, but if you have strong facial features, there is print work and editorial modeling that awaits. Modeling is more than the runway, and more than high fashion ad campaigns. Many cosmetic brands, hair brands, and skincare brands use all types of models. I stress that an aspiring model should have a very nice beauty shot, an energetic smiling shot, and shots from the waist up that show off your great smile, eyes, lips, and hair. Put on some earrings and make the shot look like a jewelry ad. Make the focus be your eyes and skin. Also don't forget "parts modeling" is a great area for a shorter girl to excel. This includes: hand modeling, shoe modeling, leg modeling and using your "parts" to model for product ads. Modeling is not just about being lanky and skyscraper tall, but you have to focus on what you do have to get ahead. Work what you got. I think Laura, posing with the baby doll and her beautiful lips, with her calm expression and vibrant eyes, did a fabulous job. If she cropped out the baby and made the shot a beauty close-up, I'd give it 5 stars.

Observe ads from magazines you want to be in.

Look in magazines that are not fashion forward. Look at travel magazines, fitness, business, and lifestyle magazines, and you will notice models are used, but they are not all stick fashion models. While you shoot, keep the ads in mind, and think about shoe ads, handbags, and everything from a cell phone to a coffee brand. To make your legs appear longer, look at ads that show a model's legs for body lotions while you pose, and notice how the model sits, stands, and bends her body to give it length.  You can learn a lot about "how to pose" just by observing product ads. 

Cheese! A smile is a short model's best asset.

Don't fret if you have braces, or not the whitest teeth, but a smile is a short girl's best asset. Tyra's challenges might show the high fashion poses and perspective, but for a shorter girl, print modeling agencies typically don't welcome the forced, stiff, mean looks, so don't forget to work that smile into your shots. Many girls decide to show their bare skin before their smile, and I think showing your smile in a natural "I can model anyway" confidence is important to show on your model comp card. I think Courtney has a very nice smile. Maybe Colgate will be calling? 

Model Upkeep.

Enhance what you do have to show your lack of height isn't a letdown. I thought the makeovers during Episode 1 were just okay. I didn't love them. I think Nicole's red locks should have been cut shorter. I thought Rachel and Brittany looked nice dark, but they are now too similar, and I wished Brittany's hair was made shorter and with a more vibrant brown. It looks kind of dull and dirty already. Bianca was brave, but I think messing with eyebrows can be a risky thing. Tweeze, but take caution when dying them. She obviously hated the experience, I would too. Model Beauty Tip: My favorite find recently are the small pint-size Noxzema bikini shavers, perfect for touch-ups on the go, down there or anywhere, before castings, at shoots, etc.  

If you are petite, short, or not fashion height, then you have to focus on where you fit into the modeling business. Maybe your own foot could actually get you in the model door: Did you know that most shoe models are petite? This is because the sample size for shoe brands for showroom modeling and print ads is a size 6. Most girls who wear a size 6 shoe are petite.  See, use what you have to get ahead. Aim high! 

For more insight, here is a video on what stood out for me while watching the ANTM premiere, including what I didn't like about the Premiere and Episode 1:

Isobella Jade is known as one of the tiniest working models out there. She is also the author of Almost 5'4", her modeling memoir, and the upcoming graphic novel, Model Life: The Journey of a Pint Size Fashion Warrior. Daily Isobella gives modeling insight and advice on her blog on being a shorter-than-average model, and speaks weekly on her radio show called Model Talk. Jade has booked modeling jobs for Marshalls , Victoria 's Secret, Easy Spirit, Macy's, Time Magazine, TLC, and more, and has been featured in The New York Daily News, The New York Times,, Page Six, The New York Post, and Nylon.

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