The popularity of my Modeling 101 - A Model's Diary blog has allowed me to help so many aspiring and establishing models realize their goals.

While my brain is totally open for picking when it comes to asking questions about the modeling industry, the number of questions grew so much that I had to create an entirely separate blog just for answering my reader questions!

So feel free to ask any questions or concerns you may have and here is where you'll find your answers, straight from me, Dania Denise!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Answering a Reader Question #948

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi Dania, I've just started reading your blog and really admire how much help and advice you offer here. I have a few questions that I've been struggling with since I've started modeling, and am hoping you don't mind giving me your thoughts. First, I have a rather large nose which makes my face look unproportional from the side profile. People (friends and family) try to tell me it isn't big, but I have never seen an agency represented model with a similar nose to mine, so I am afraid that it will prevent me from ever succeeding in modeling. Do you think this is something that agencies will look at when I submit side profile snapshots? Second, I am 28 years old now and am afraid that I am way past the accepted age for runway and fashion modeling. Is it too late for me to be submitting my information to large agencies? Third, I am a size 6 in pants since I have wide hips. From what I understand, that would make me a plus size model even though I am no where near plus size. I fit fine in XS tops, although I wear S so that they are not overly tight, and I can wear size 4 dresses depending on the style. Does my "large" pant size make me unconsiderable for runway and/or fashion modeling? My last question is kind of silly, but I have read that model's names can affect their marketability. My first name is so common that it is almost boring, but my last name is Tower. Do you think I should use an alias to become more marketable, or does Ashley Tower sound fine the way it is? I have been using my middle name lately to try to be more unique, but my middle name is Marie which is just plain boring! I'm sorry to ask so many questions at once! I just can't stop analyzing them in my head and it is making me crazy. I've done a few charity fashion shows and worked with many photographers to build my profile (currently working on updating it), and have been told by many that I have an exotic look and they love working with me, but no agency has responded to my submissions. I'm sure I haven't submitted my information to enough agencies, but I really think that the issues I have been questioning are what is preventing them from contacting me. Every time I post a professional shot or plain old selfie on Instagram I seem to gain a few "model scout" followers, but I think many are just a way to get me to sign up with their service which always seems to cost something, so that boost of confidence I get goes right back down the toilet when I look into those followers. I know I need to be strong in the modeling world, but I just don't know if it is even worth trying to be successful with those issues that I mentioned. Thank you so very much in advance for any help you can provide and I really appreciate you taking the time to read this.

Hey there, Anonymous!

I'm happy that you are a blog reader and I greatly appreciate you taking the time to send me your questions. Let's see what I can do...

There are many models who have distinct features that make them stand out, including the size/shape of their noses. Below are photos of several:

28 is considered past the cut off for fashion/runway modeling, according to industry standards. That being said, that doesn't necessarily mean you can't submit to larger agencies. Oftentimes, these agencies have other divisions that you could be a good fit for, including lifestyle and commercial/print. Many fashion agencies that have commercial/print divisions still require their models to be fashion height so that would be worth looking into.

To cover all your bases, it's always a good idea to submit to agencies both large and small. What doesn't work for one agency may be just what another is searching for so don't only focus on one type of agency over another or else you could be missing out on potential opportunities.

What is more important for agencies to know in addition to your clothing sizes are your actual measurements (bust, waist and hips in inches). Since I don't know that info, I can't readily tell you how an agency would receive your stats and is even more reason why I would encourage you to attend open calls and/or submit your snapshots and info to agencies. You'll get the definite answers you need by going straight to the source.

As far as your name goes, I always say start with being yourself. So if that's Ashley Tower, then be Ashley Tower (I think your last name rocks, btw). :-) You won't even know if you'd require a name change until you actually get signed so since we're not mind readers, don't even worry about that at this point since you haven't interviewed with agencies yet. If they feel you need to change your name, they'll tell you and work with you to find something suitable.

I can definitely tell you're the type of over analyze, lol. To that I say: stop and breathe! Don't let your thoughts and concerns run away with you to the point where you're overthinking and start to make easy mistakes, which can happen when it comes to submitting to agencies.

There could be any number of reasons why an agency may not be interested at the moment. The fact that you are allowed to resubmit after 6 months to 1 year (some allow you to resubmit after 3 months), means the door is always open so even if an agency passes the first time around, you do have the chance to try again.

Feel free to send me an email directly at: if you want to talk in more detail. Once I know which agencies you've submitted to and review the photos you've sent, maybe we can find out where any errors are being made and fix them so you have a shot at getting your foot in the door. :-)

Answering a Reader Question #947

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi Dania, I'm 16 and I want to pursue a career in modelling but I have really bad scars and acne on my face and back. Also I have psoriasis on my left feet and my legs. I don't know what to do to make it better or at least make me feel confident enough. Since I have had this I have had so much going on, I've been Bullied, told I can never be pretty or a model because I'm too ugly. I want so much out of modelling and if it works out I want to get into acting. hope you can respond and help me. I really want to improve my skin, so that when I'm 18 I can get on with my modelling career. Thank You :)

Hi, Anonymous!

First off, I'm truly sorry to hear about you being bullied. There's no excuse for anyone to bash another person and I know that being a teenager these days is hard enough with clowns like that distracting you.

It does sound like you have a lot going on with your skin issues and that the first priority is to get that back on track. Pursing acting/modeling is only worth it if you know that you are worth it.

Are you currently seeing a dermatologist and/or using products to remedy the acne/acne scars and psoriasis? I don't know what your daily skincare regimen is like so if I knew the details in regards to that, maybe I could help you a bit more effectively.

At your age, your body is dealing with a lot of changes that often manifest in the conditions you have. Stress also plays a huge part. Aside from finding products and a regimen to get your skin in order, you'll need to find a way to decrease any stress levels you may be dealing with. When you are focused and place yourself in a positive mindset that isn't distorted by bullies and toxic people, you can really start paving the way to becoming more confident in yourself and your abilities, not just as a potential model/actor but as a young woman.

And these things do take time so that is a huge factor in the process. But I can promise you that if you stick to your guns and keep yourself focused on your goals, when the timing is right you will be able to pursue all those things and be the best version of yourself there is.

If you'd like to discuss things in more detail, especially concerning your skincare issues, please don't hesitate to email me directly:

Monday, July 31, 2017

Answering a Reader Question #946

Anonymous Wrote:

Heyy! I was wondering about agencies in general; how critical are they if you have a few physical flaws? Like for example, knock knees or a slightly assymetrical face. If you're balanced out with positive physical attributes, would you be accepted regardless of your peculiarities? Or rather, if this question is too subjective, do modelling agencies only accept completely 'flawless' girls in apperance?

Hi, Anonymous!

Flawless only exists in Photoshop, lol, so believe me when I say agencies don't only look for models that have absolutely no flaws or imperfections whatsoever.

Things like an asymmetrical face (a lot of people don't have completely symmetrical faces), slight blemishes/scars and other things can be worked around, however, something like knock knees would be a bit more challenging--specifically if the model in question wanted to do runway. It'd be hard to disguise that.

However, that same model could easily fake it in photoshoots since that involves doing poses and holding still instead of being captured in motion.

The decision an agency would have to make, in this particular example, would be how much work could that model realistically book and if it would be worth it to bring that person onto their roster.

It's truly a case-by-case basis and each agency has its own preferences. What one agency sees as flaws it can't work with could be totally doable for the next agency. If a model has that special something, a great personality and can get the job done, agencies will weigh those factors and ultimately decide if a model is worth representing even with some peculiarities.

I know that's not a concrete answer but that's the beauty (no pun intended) of the modeling industry: you'll only know if you try and in the end you'll have an answer either way. :-)

Answering a Reader Question #945

Anonymous Wrote:

Hello! :) So I've just turned 16 at the end of May, and I was considering going into modelling, but only part-time since I'm still at school. (Sorry I've got a lot of questions!) I'm roughly 166cm/ 5'5- I may grow but is that too short for editorial jobs? Since I live in Malaysia, a Southeast Asian country, I've heard height is less of a huge factor when going into modelling but I'm not sure if it's true. As well as that, I was wondering if that since Malaysia has a small modelling industry, would it be better to apply at foreign modelling agencies which can get me bigger contracts but are harder to get into and are far away or local modelling agencies, which are closer but less successful? Which brings me to the next question- since I can only do part-time at this point in time, would it largely affect how good the contract is going to be or which agency would find me more suitable? Thank you for your help! 

Hey, Anonymous!

Let's jump right into your questions, shall we? :-)

In parts of the country like yours, the height requirement can often flexible BUT that doesn't mean that agencies will work with just any shorter model. He/she has to have that "It" factor and be a true exception to the rule.

Since I'm not a mind reader (or anyone else, for that matter), I can't say whether one person or another would be considered that exception. The only way you'll know for sure is by submitting yourself to the agencies.

At your age and height currently you do qualify for teen and commercial/print modeling automatically so those are categories you wouldn't have to worry about. As far as editorial goes, like I mentioned, you have to submit yourself to those types of agencies to get a definitive answer but in general 5'5" is considered too short for categories like editorial in a majority of major markets.

In terms of location and whether to stay local or try to model abroad, I would advise starting local in your situation. Because you aren't the traditional height for editorial and runway, that will make it very difficult to find those kinds of agencies in other countries that would be able to work with you.

Building modeling experience locally is always recommended because it allows you to test the waters and see what kind of work you can book. Additionally, any mistakes and learning curves are best done in a small pond instead of a large one. All of the experience gained will strengthen your career and reputation, should you find yourself in a position to work in another market/country and/or if you happen to grow taller and be able to do editorial modeling.

Agencies work with students all the time and are used to dealing with individuals who cannot model full-time. The contracts offered are standard regardless of availability so that wouldn't be a concern for you.

To sum things up:

1) Submit to local agencies in your area that represent teens and/or commercial/print models. That will get your foot in the door and give you relevant modeling experience if you're able to get someone to represent you.

2) Also submit to local fashion agencies and see if they'd be willing to make an exception for you or if they have flexible height requirements because of the country/market location you're in. Even if they say no, you'd at least have an answer and can focus on print modeling.

Best of luck to you!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Answering a Reader Question #944

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi Dania! I have a question, so I want to be part of this really good agency, so I entered the website to see what the process to apply was, and there's no info about how to summit pictures (don't worry, is one of the top agencies of the country, not scam ;)) but they do have contact info (numbers and emails) so, should I call them and ask or straight forward just send an email to the "new faces" director? Thankss

Hi there, Anonymous!

When it comes to agencies that just list their contact info and not specifics about what to submit or how, you should send an email submission to the New Faces Director with the following:

Subject Line: Your Name + New Model Submission

A brief intro with your name, that you're interested in representation and that photos are attached. You'll also want to list the following in the body of the email:

- Age/DOB
- Height
- Weight
- Bust
- Waist
- Hips
- Dress
- Pants
- Shoe
- Shirt/Blouse
- Inseam
- Hair Color
- Eye Color
- Contact Info (Photo/Email)
- Your Location (City/State/Region, etc)

For the photos, you'll want to attach digital, non professional snapshots:

1) Headshot/No Smile

2) Headshot/Smile

3) Full Body Shot: You should be facing the camera straight on and no can be barefoot or wearing solid colored heels. For wardrobe you should opt for a two-piece, solid colored swimsuit or a fitted, solid colored tanktop and dark skinny jeans or fitted shorts.

4) Full Body Profile Shot: Same as above but with your face and body in total profile

You shouldn't wear makeup in the snapshots and pull your hair into a low ponytail or have it pulled behind your shoulders if you wear it down.

Below are examples of the style your snapshots should be done in (these have a few extra shots but feel free to also submit the poses depicted in this image):

Make sure that the photos you attached aren't huge files. Resize them before attaching them or the email may get bounced back.

That should cover the basics enough so that if the New Faces Director is interested, he/she will respond back with requests and instructions for additional images and/or an invitation to an interview.

Best of luck to you!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Answering a Reader Question #943

Anonymous Wrote:

Thank you for writing this article! I just found your blog and have found it really helpful thus far. I have quite a few questions for you, if that's alright. First off, I am 14 and looking to be a commercial/ print model (I am 5'6.5" so I think I'm too short for runway modeling, but I may still grow). My measurements are 30-23.5-35. I am of mixed race (half Chinese, half Caucasian). Would that make me more "appealing" or "exotic" to agencies? Also, I have quite a few blackheads on my nose and some on my cheeks that I have been trying to get rid of but can't seem to find a way to. They are not very visible unless you look very closely, but would this somehow hold me back? Do you have any skincare tips for getting rid of them? Lastly, I'm kinda intimidated with the whole application process...should I apply to multiple agencies at once or should I apply one by one? Should I apply first to smaller agencies so that I have a higher chance of getting booked or should I apply to big agencies with less of a chance?
Thank you so much :)

Hi Anonymous!

That's perfectly fine to ask away...that's what I'm here for! :-)

Your age, height and mix all sound ideal for commercial/print agencies. As long as you look healthy, are well groomed, have a great smile and personality and are photogenic, I have no doubt you would get the interest of an agency.

Blackheads happen and the fact that you can't see them unless up close is good. I use Biore pore strips and they work fairly well. What is your daily skincare regimen and what products do you use? That info would help me give you more accurate advice when it comes to caring for your complexion. Also knowing what your skin type is would also be helpful (i.e. is your face dry, oily, combination, sensitive?).

I always advise submitting to multiple agencies, large and small, around the same time. This will improve the odds of hearing back from more than one around the same time as well. That helps greatly when it comes to making decisions if you happen to have more than one agency interested in signing you.

What matters most is that the agencies you submit to are ones you meet any listed requirements for (it'll likely be stated on the agency websites) so as long as you're good to go with that, you should be totally fine with your submissions!

Answering a Reader Question #942

Steve Wrote (in response to the Modeling 101 blog post, "Models, Technology & Communication"):

Hello Dania:

I agree with all of Sarah's comments! You have written some great advice! Well lets face it, most models are very young, don't have college degrees, many have not graduated from high school, and still learning about the world. So yeah, there are quite a few that haven't learned how to "speak properly to another human being”, but we are understanding, as this is normal for their age. So we teach them proper "etiquette", problem solved! Those who can't hold a "solid phone convo" aren't going to be very successful models, lol! The same advice follows for your proceeding blog (article), “Models, Shoots, Shows + Common Sense Tips”.
And yes, you are professional to a fault, mature and responsible for your age, and that is a necessary component of successful modeling. After reading your 5 part series on Modeling and Branding, I was really happy to see this article as a follow up. So if I understand correctly, “email still reigns supreme” over less precise forms of communications found on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, and even including texting. 

Perhaps many aspiring models don’t have enough to write about or enough credits to post regularly on social media platforms? When should a model start posting regularly? I find that as a newbie, Model Mayhem is a very good site to start with.

Back in 2000, when I was first learning how to use computers regularly as a student at the University of Colorado, my professor taught me how important it was to keep practicing every day, and that certainly includes emails! After writing more than 4,000 emails and earning a stack of college degrees, I learned professional writing techniques. So you learn how to use email effectively, like adding clients to your contact list so the messages don’t get lost or delayed in your junk mail. Spelling errors really turn people off, so you must use a spell check program to be considered seriously! Save the “What’s up and Hey” for communicating with established friends. If I don’t proofread my writing, it nearly always contains grammatical errors. Yes, so you sound out the words in your head, then translate the words into writing. I use my thesaurus frequently to find the perfect word (and spelling). Writing is more precise than speech.

I’ve only used Skype a couple of times so far. I think agents want to see what you look like and how you speak in addition to seeing your headshots. Is Skype more popular for use business use vs. personal use?

Email is great for me because I write a lot of emails after business hours. I’m still cautious about sending some emails too late at night, because your recipients will be notified what time you sent them. I’ve received many replies from business people evenings and weekends from well-written emails. Just wondering if a follow up to this article might reference additional educational techniques for improving email writing skills if this is not too far off the modeling topic? 

When I think about a running list of modeling topics you could write about in the future, what comes to mind first is the importance of maintaining good health, particularly as models age, and some basic tips. Even young models who gain a little weight might get passed over for a fit model. Your related label, “skincare and grooming”, does have quite a few related articles on maintaining skin, hair and fingernails. And you do mention multivitamins in your July 24, 2008 blog. Perhaps an article about teeth might be useful, since after eyes, it may be one of a models’ most important features? Do you have any basic dietary or other tips on maintaining healthy, white teeth? Are perfect teeth a little less important for commercial models, male models and older models?
Steve Norwood

Hi, Steve!

You're definitely ahead of the game when it comes to communication and etiquette so I have no doubt that you'll have an easy time networking and fostering the business relationships necessary to be successful in your goals for an entertainment career with modeling/acting!

I think for newer models just starting out, many use social media for their personal lives already so there aren't any real rules or guidelines established for when they should start posting regularly when it comes to posting about modeling related matters but once they start actively getting into the business, then they should start sharing their experiences on social media if they want to start connecting with other professionals to create future opportunities. It'll be up to them to decide if they want to use their existing social media profiles to do modeling related posts or create an entirely new one solely for that purpose (which is what I could recommend).

Skype is becoming more commonplace for business purposes, however, many agencies make it clear that they prefer to still interview models in person if that is an option. A lot of scams and fake agencies will "scout" models online and try to set up a Skype meeting to offer them representation. This is mainly true for situations where a model will be contacted out of the blue with an offer that appears too good to be true.

If a model submits to an agency or otherwise reaches out first and develops an open line of communication, then setting up a Skype meeting is more legitimate, especially if the agency is proven to be real and respectable.

A lot of new models get scouted on Instagram so that has started to change the face of how models get connected to agencies but I still say to exercise caution and take such happenings on a case-to-case basis.

As far as doing a follow up article about educational techniques for improving writing skills, that's too off topic in relation to modeling so I won't be doing any posts related to that but there are a ton of amazing resources out there for people to take advantage of if they want to strengthen their writing skills.

I have a running topic list written down for future blog posts that do include some of the proposed topics you mentioned about grooming and maintaining one's appearance so it's just a matter of time before I get those posted on my Modeling 101 blog so stay tuned for those. But in general, having a healthy and bright smile is important for models in general. Models don't have to have "perfect" teeth but their smile should be healthy and that can be achieved with at-home whitening kits or getting them professionally whited by a dentist.