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Zachary Joseph


What is Petite Modeling?


Many people have heard of models before. All someone has to do is look at a magazine cover, and there they are, posing for the camera wearing whatever clothes they were paid to. Many youths see models as the standards for beauty, and they cannot be blamed. After all, a model is picked based on what the company decides is most attractive so that their product can sell and the models themselves make living off their beauty. Models also appear to not need a lot of skills that many students struggle to master in school every day so the idea of simply posing for the camera and making money sounds appealing to exhausted kids and adolescents. Not everyone is tall and the model industry generally prefers taller women. But what people might not know is that there are several subgenres of modeling, one of which being petite modeling.


Naturally, there are different subsections to any field and modeling is no different. In this case petite modeling is a field where the models are, well, petite. Ironically, petite models do not have much to do with body-type as it does with height. Petite models are simply short. To qualify for becoming one, a petite model must be under 5’7” for women and 5’9” for men. Ironically, there is a minimum height as well; 5’1” for women and 5’4” for men. Although, if any person wants to be in the modeling industry they should take care of themselves and make themselves look as good as possible. After all, a model’s brand is their body and the better quality the brand the more money it will make.


For a long time, especially in the west, the standard for models included having long legs. In other words, the system favors taller women. However, the petite model industry has been growing over the past several years meaning shorter models is now in higher demand. There are also several products that do not require tall models, such as jewlery, swimwear, and cosmetics. High-fasion is not the only field for models.


The west is not the only place where models do business. Companies hire models all over the world. However, different countries have different populations of people. That fact also means the average height of people there can differ from one location to the next. One example is Australia, a place known as one of the tallest countries and yet many women there are only 5’3”. Shorter women are especially prominent in Asian countries like Japan where the average height is 5’5” for men and 5’2” for women. This average height can pose problems for potential customers.


At the end of the day, the purpose of models is to advertise a product, whether it be a car, cosmetics, jelwery, or clothing. For the most part these products are designed with specifically sized people in mind. Even if the product a model advertizes is not related to size, such as a car, people will generally relate to someone who looks like them. If a model is to tall for the population they are selling to customers may not want to buy the item. This idea is especially the case for clothes as they are designed for a specific size. In other words, people in shorter countries are going to want shorter models. Shorter models will make it easier for the customer to imagine themselves wearing or using the product, gauge how well it would look on them, and therefore more easily formulate whether they will buy it or not. 


As stated above, there are many products that do not require great height to sell. Cars are one as it makes no difference who is driving or promoting it as long as they look like they can ride it. Another example mentioned before are cosmetics and jewlery as any person can wear them. The same applies to cosmetics, as smaller products like those would not reach a feasible market to be successful if they were marketed by only taller people. Another obvious type of modleing petite models can do is swimsuit or lingerie modeling. These kinds of clothes emphasize a person’t figure over their height and many people who are not tall would want to see how they look in them. Shorter models can also do close-up shots to their face, use their body parts like arms, anything that does not show their whole body for certain pictures. If the customer cannot see the model’s entire body then they will not know they are short, making height irrelevant for this kind of work. 

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