#2297 Is Male Modelling A Risky Business?

Benoni Loos and Marcel Castenmiller backstage at Gucci F/W 2011. Photo: Sonny V

Charlie asks: Last week you spoke about the perils of young girls getting into modelling. Are things just as bad for the boys?

Male modelling is an entirely different kettle of fish. This might be my inherent sexism coming out, but I’ve always thought there was something less seedy about the job for a young guy. First off, you won’t find so many male models in their mid-teens; next, young boys aren’t hyper-sexualised in the same way that the girls are; and finally, since it’s an industry in which the women’s side makes something like 90% of the profits, most male models can never hope to earn enough money for it to really be considered a viable career option, so they treat it as a chance to travel the world and have an adventure. They’re therefore far more likely to quit if something shady goes down, as opposed to, say, a girl who is the sole breadwinner for an impoverished family in a developing nation.

That’s not to say the boys’ side of the business doesn’t have its problems. I’ve heard horror stories of sleazy male stylists ‘helping adjust’ guys in their underwear, renowned photographers requesting private meetings in hotel rooms, and rampant athletes foot outbreaks due to filthy model apartments, but many of the nastier conditions I mentioned last week just don’t apply.

For example: It’s less likely for a photographer to try and get a male model 100% naked (because let’s face it – penises aren’t considered as artistic as breasts); promoters don’t make money off the boys; and since fashion is just like high school, even the popular boys don’t get drugs thrown at them with the same regularity as the hot girls.

If the unexpected did happen and a 16 year old boy was asked to leave school and fly across the globe for a fashion week appearance, my advice to his parents would be exactly the same as everything I said last week.

Tomorrow for Throwback Thursday I’ll post a story I wrote two years ago about the seedy underbelly of male modeling which has some pretty dark insights straight from the horses’ mouths.

Until then…


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