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Having watched the first episode of the new Five reality show, Make Me A Supermodel, Mike Illes, Director at MOT Models gives his views on the world of modelling, as seen on TV.

The programme makers said that things were going to get ugly and unfortunately the unnecessary cruel and harsh way in which the models are treated in Make Me A Supermodel gives people a very distorted view of the world of modelling.

For us, one of the busiest model agencies in London, the business is about gently bringing out the best in individual models, developing and advising them on what can be a fruitful career. This does not need to be a career for the ‘few’ as we have over 150 models on our books who earn a good living.

Whilst we might encourage change, we would never force someone to radically alter the way they looked or dressed because by doing so, it would erode their self-confidence.

What is most worrying about the show is that it casts the competitive and lively model industry as being unprofessional and unnecessarily cruel, potentially putting off many strong prospective candidates from considering modelling as a viable career. Surely parents with teenagers watching the programme must be saying, ‘There’s no way you’re ever being a model’?

Predictably, the show focused on the agony and anguish of becoming a supermodel which is a far cry from the actual world, where young people work hard and quietly to develop good and fulfilling careers as photographic and TV commercial models. It is not necessary to be a supermodel to earn a good living from being a model.

The reality of modelling is that photographic or film shoots often take place in quiet studios with attentive, thoughtful photographers and cameramen and women. This is followed by lengthy waits for tear sheets from magazines, or film edits, that help develop a portfolio.

Clearly the programme-makers are looking for what they believe is ‘star material’ but some of the most successful commercial models are quite reserved, lack attitude and are totally professional and adored by clients.

During the 20 years that MOT Models has been in business it has helped develop a great number of highly accomplished models who will never crave the great publicity of the ‘supermodel’ but who will nevertheless earn a good income and gain a great deal of satisfaction and fun from their work.

Obviously travel will play quite a big part in the opportunities available to them. The agency has organised trips to places as far flung as Mongolia, South Africa, Egypt and Mexico. Most trips are booked at the last minute which means that the agency has to be good travel organisers but from the model's point of view it means that they may suddenly find themselves jetting off all over the world. This often leads to further opportunities.

Surprisingly, modelling is not all about money. Models gain a great deal of satisfaction from doing an interesting campaign, although obviously the financial aspects help when the work is of lesser interest.

Education is not a barrier to becoming a model. Many of our models have grown through the agency, modelling whilst at school and then university. The crunch comes when they graduate. Conventional wisdom says they should go out and become lawyers or marketeers, but the lifestyle of a model can be too strong a draw for many.

It is worth exploding a number of myths:

Myth: Model bosses are utterly merciless
Reality: Some model bosses are harsh and cruel but others, such as MOT Models, like to nurture their protégés.

Myth: Models have to be ruthless to get on
Reality: Models must have strong people skills in order to be recommended for work

Myth: Modelling is glamorous
Reality: The end results of modelling work can be spectacularly glamorous but castings – where models are chosen – are far from glamorous.

Myth: Models tend to be shallow people
Reality: Many people choose to model as part of their ‘self-validation’ but they are no more or less shallow than the general public as a whole. They are of course aware of their appearance as this is so crucial to their job.

Myth: Models tend not to be bright
Reality: Most of the new young models are graduates and all of the best agencies encourage their models to continue their education.

Myth: Modelling is brilliantly well paid
Reality: Models often get paid an excellent hourly rate – dependent on the job – but they have to work regularly in order to earn a reasonable amount.

Myth: Supermodels are in strong demand
Reality: Supermodels reached their zenith in the 80s and 90s and this decade, many luxury brands have instead turned to film stars support. There is strong demand for commercial models that don’t eclipse the products or services they are hired to promote.

- Ends -

For further information please contact Elodie Massol on 020 7569 3040 email: elodie@yesconsultancy or Tina Fotherby on 020 7569 3042 or email: at The YES Consultancy.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Yes Consultancy in the following categories: Children & Teenagers, Men's Interest, Entertainment & Arts, Women's Interest & Beauty, Media & Marketing, Retail & Fashion, for more information visit