“Too short to be a model.” — Ever heard that one before? We bet you have, especially if you’re a female under 5’8”. But guess what? That’s old news, my friend. The fashion world is ever-changing, and it’s high time we updated our perceptions. This post will explore the exciting yet often misunderstood realm of modeling for short females.

So, can short females become models? Spoiler alert: Absolutely. But like any other career, there are challenges and obstacles to conquer. We’re going to break it all down for you here. 

Let’s get into it, shall we?

The Stereotypes: What We’ve Been Told

Our society has a habit of confining people to boxes, and the modeling industry is no different. Here’s what stereotypes you’ve likely heard and believed:

  • Height Does Not Matter

The long-standing myth that you must be tall to model is a myth. High-fashion sectors did traditionally prefer taller models, but today’s industry is more accommodating. Brands are embracing diversity, and height is no longer the ultimate deciding factor.

  • You Must Be Skinny

Once upon a time, stick-thin was the norm. But we’re now living in an era that celebrates all body types. Plus-size models, petite models, and those somewhere in between are all finding their niches.

  • It’s All About High Fashion

People often associate modeling with haute couture and runway shows. While it’s a significant sector, it’s not the only one. Numerous modeling types don’t adhere to conventional height norms.

Types of Modeling for Short Females

If you think modeling is a one-size-fits-all job, think again. The options are many, and you can find your fit:

  • Commercial Modeling

Here, the focus is not on the model but on the advertised product or service. Brands often prefer a relatable look, which means height is secondary. This area is full of opportunities for short females.

  • Petite Modeling

This category is specially carved out for those under 5’7″. Agencies and brands look for models who, despite their height, photograph well and have a good proportion.

  • Body Part Modeling

This could be your calling if you’ve got stunning hands or perhaps expressive eyes. In body part modeling, your height is irrelevant—it’s about that specific part and how well it can sell a product.

  • Print Modeling

This includes anything from magazine ads to billboards. The focus here is often on a concept or a product, and models of various heights are used to bring those ideas to life.

Making a Strong Portfolio: Your Golden Ticket

Think of your portfolio as your resume—it’s the first thing agencies will look at.

  • Quality over Quantity: A few stunning photos are much better than a stack of average ones. They should be professionally taken, well-lit, and should make you look your absolute best.
  • Diversity is Key: A good portfolio has variety—it should display your versatility as a model. Include different themes, settings, and attire to give a comprehensive view of your range.
  • Personal Branding: Your portfolio should clearly communicate your unique selling points. Make it shine through, whether it’s your eyes, your smile, or your ability to emote.
  • Professional Help: An experienced photographer can help you put your best foot forward. They know the tricks to make you look taller, accentuate your features, and highlight your strengths.

How to Nail the Audition

Auditions can make even the most confident people nervous. Here’s how to manage:

  • Dress to Impress: Simple but elegant outfits usually do the trick. Go for vertical stripes or monochrome colors, as they give an illusion of added height.
  • Master the Walk: Learning to walk well can give you an edge. Practicing your walk can help you appear taller and more confident, key aspects in any form of modeling.
  • Sell Your Personality: A great personality can sometimes overshadow physical attributes. Show them your sparkling wit and how you can be an asset beyond looks.
  • Be Prepared: Agencies hate it when models come unprepared. Bring all necessary documents, be punctual, and, most importantly, carry your portfolio.

Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Let’s not sugarcoat it—the road ahead will have bumps. But you can overcome:

  • Limited Roles: While the industry opens up, certain roles may still be off-limits. The trick is to focus on what you can do and excel at rather than dwell on what you can’t.
  • Pay Gap: Unfortunately, shorter models are not uncommon to be paid less. However, as you gain experience and prove your worth, the pay scale can tip in your favor.
  • Stereotypes: These exist, but they’re only a problem if you let them limit you. Use them as fuel to push harder and prove the naysayers wrong.
  • Stiff Competition: The field is crowded, but remember—no one else can be you. Identify what sets you apart and use it to your advantage.

The Role of Social Media: Don’t Underestimate Its Power

Social media platforms are a crucial playground for aspiring models in the digital age.

  • Instagram as Your Portfolio: Think of Instagram as an extension of your professional portfolio. Showcase your versatility, your charm, and your everyday life. An engaging feed can catch the eye of scouts and agencies.
  • Networking through Social Media: Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Facebook groups can be a goldmine for networking. You’ll find freelance gigs and open audition opportunities, and you can even connect with seasoned models for advice.
  • Content Quality: Always maintain a high standard for your content. Everything should aim to flatter your strengths, from the lighting to the poses. Consider hiring a professional photographer for a more polished look.
  • Consistency Is Key: Don’t disappear for weeks on end. Consistency keeps your audience engaged and maintains a stable growth rate for your profiles.

Mentors and Guidance: Who Can Help?

  • Find a Mentor: A mentor can guide you through the ropes, warn you about pitfalls, and provide invaluable insights you won’t find anywhere else.
  • Modeling Schools: While not mandatory, modeling schools can equip you with skills like posing, walking, and even basic makeup techniques that give you a head start.
  • Online Resources: There are tons of vlogs, podcasts, and articles that focus exclusively on modeling. While not a substitute for professional advice, they can offer new perspectives.
  • Feedback Loop: Always be open to feedback, whether it’s from your mentor, photographer, or even your followers on social media. Constructive criticism is how you improve.

Additional Tips for Short Female Models

So you’re short and want to model—here are some tips to get ahead.

  • Heels Are Your Friend

Heels can add a few inches and give you a more elegant posture. Consider wearing them for shoots and auditions where height might give you an edge.

  • Mind the Camera Angles

Photography is all about illusions. The right angle can make you appear taller than you are. Speak with the photographer beforehand to ensure they’re capturing your best angles.

  • Hair and Makeup

Believe it or not, even the hairstyle you choose can impact how tall you appear in photos. Opt for styles that add volume on the top and keep makeup light and natural to let your true beauty shine.

  • Confidence Is Key

At the end of the day, your self-belief will set you apart. The industry can be tough, with rejection an integral part of the journey. Use it to fuel your drive, not to break your spirit.


The road to modeling success is not a straight line; it’s filled with turns, bumps, and sometimes even roadblocks. But remember, your height is not a roadblock; it’s just a bump—a minor one. 

The world is full of models who broke the norms, shattered the glass ceilings, and made it despite not fitting into society’s narrow definitions. You can be one of them. 

So go ahead, break those barriers and make your mark. Because when it comes to modeling, the only height that really matters is the height of your dreams and your willingness to reach for them.