As a general rule, models are not friends with other models, and they definitely don’t date them. I made that mistake more than once early in my career. The problem with friends in the workplace is that the industry is so competitive. Until you have truly established your niche- that look and image you control- you are just another number, another pretty face on a snapshot or a pair of heels down the catwalk. You don’t actually matter, your look does.
And everyone knows it.
So it’s no surprise that every girl and guy is looking for a come-up in their career, and if you are not careful, you might be just another step on their ladder.
So how do you know who to be friends with? Here are some tricks I’ve learned in my days:
Don’t friend the competition.
In modeling this means avoid getting too close with other models that could be submitted to similar jobs. If you are 6’0, blond and strikingly Nordic, try and find some Mediterranean looking friends. There’s very little chance you will be lining up against them in a casting call, and you may even have the opportunity to shoot together (rather than instead of). You don’t have to be mean to every model that looks like you, but don’t be silly and expect to be BFF.
Look Elsewhere in the Industry
Wish you had friends that understood your lifestyle? Try entertainers, photographers, designers, makeup artists – even journalists are a better fit! They won’t give you a hard time about what you do, and they even enjoy the perks of having model friends. Best of all, they will never steal your shoot.
Meet Other Types of Models
Modeling is not just limited to fashion. If you need a real model friend for shopping and swapping tips, try one that doesn’t do fashion modeling. There are models that specialize in promotional modeling, regional models that do local catalogues, adult models, and alternative models. You could even go artsy and find a burlesque performer friend. The point is, you’ve got to cast a big net- one that doesn’t include the people you see waiting outside for a go-see.
Look, I’m not saying models can’t be friends. I’ve had model friends get me booked on projects, teach me some awesome camera-ready tricks, and hang out with me after events. However, these girls were not my competition (for one reason or another) and I could relax knowing they weren’t secretly plotting to take my place.