Home Forums African Models and their Ideologies What Should be My Weight to be a Model in Africa?

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    Olivia David


      The huge demands for quality and talented models that meet up the standard of agencies are rising tremendously. Questions like What does it take to be a model? throbs the hearts of young individuals who want to pursue a career in modeling. Even if Agencies admit it or not,  an agency which considers  hiring a model takes a close look at his or her overall body shape and appearance. It is no longer surprising that models are hired based on their physical features like height, hair colour, weight and so on.


      Well there are lots of requirements for becoming a model. One of the requirements is the average weight of a model. Speaking of an average model weight, most times models have relatively low body weight that is so unhealthy. There are some instances where specific measurements and samples of clothes that models have to fit in are the requirements clients need to get models of various sizes.  It is also sad that society believes that successful models have some special attributes like a skinny body and tall height.  However a lot of models that have been interviewed couldn’t give a specific size that a model needs in order to be hired, they advised it is safer to be 115 lb in order to be selected by any agency.


      Healthy weight is hence calculated based on an individual body mass index depending on the person’s gender and height.  For instance, a woman who is 4 feet  10 inches is considered healthy if she weighs 91 to 115 pounds and  a woman with 5 feet 10 inches is considered healthy if she weighs 132 to 167 pounds. Anything aside from the weight listed above is considered as overweight.  Our society has thought of models’ ideal weight as 113 pounds which is 23% less than an average woman’s weight and surprisingly, twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8% less than an average woman. Young women who grow up seeing models on front cover internalise this societal pressure of looking like them but their expectations are unrealistic.


      Female models are not the only ones expected to keep their weight lower than the healthy weight. However male models also are not left out in this category. Men in modeling are expected to weigh between 120 and 170 pounds which is typically contrary  from the normal healthy body weight. If he is 6 feet tall, then 160 to 196  pounds is good for him while 6 feet 2 inches should weigh between 171 to 209 pounds.


      Though, the new trend of plus-size modeling has been expected to change the mindset of young women. Unfortunately, it changed nothing because plus-sized models are not in the range of a standard model. Young women that take interest in the colouration of modeling given by the society. Plus-size is fat and unhealthy while being skinny is healthy.


      Let’s get to understand who a plus-size model is.



      A plus-size model is categorized by size such as size 12 and upwards.  In the real world, size 12 is not a plus-size but in the modeling world size is abnormal. Even though she is healthy  and has an average size  of a woman, she is still considered abnormal. This can pass the wrong message to young women and make them view an average body as plus-sized. It also gives them the impression that something is wrong with their healthy body.


      When a woman is underweight, she becomes prone to some health conditions like dizziness, irregular menstruation, dry skin and hair loss. Being overweight and underweight can cause serious health issues. It is important to note that even if 113 pounds is the society’s belief as ideal  weight, it does not mean that it is the ideal weight. As an aspiring, 113 pounds should not be the weight you should aspire to reach.


      More fashion agencies are giving a look at new perspectives like redefining the traditional modeling mainstream which is tall and skinny into a set of standard beauty.There are different sizes of models ranging from petite and plus-size models. Let’s take a look at runway models.




      These models are found on the catwalk and are hired to wear brand clothing lines. These models are usually skinny because they actually need to fit in the designer or brand collections.They are the models with actual size and height which is 5 feet 9 inches.




      They are 5 feet 7 inches tall or even shorter. They don’t usually walk the runway. They find themselves in Glamour, commercial, fashion and part modeling. Their division was included into modelling in order to appeal to varied audience. They are also popular as foot and hand models because of their small shoe size. They are also booked for swimsuit and lingerie modeling. New retailers are also venturing into creating new styles that are of petite category.




      Plus-size modeling as it has been explained above is one of the types of modeling making waves in the fashion industry. With the increasing demands for commercials, more opportunities are opened for plus-size models. A plus-size model can walk a runway just like the skinny model. They do commercial modeling for multiple magazines and work with different brands.  Plus-size models are normally comfortable in their own skin and this does not stop them from focusing on their physical well-being that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Plus-size modeling is the real reflection of the world’s average size. This type of modeling would take over the fashion industry. There is also a great demand for plus-size models in catalog modeling.



      There have been campaigns that emphasise on different sizes of models over the years. Hopefully, the modeling industry will change for good and young women aspiring to be a model would love to be comfortable in their own skin. They will also start seeing women similar to them on the front pages of magazines and not learn the wrong meaning of healthy lifestyle.



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