As a model, you may be offered a job that requires you to wear little – or no – clothing. While modelling nude is incredibly common, it’s not for everyone and there are certain questions and considerations that should be taken into account before you give the go-ahead.
Here, we take a look at the world of nude modelling.
What Types of Nude Modelling Are There?
There are different types of nude modelling to consider:
– Glamour modelling
– Life modelling
– High-fashion modelling
Let’s take a closer look at each.
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Glamour modelling is a specific modelling niche that stands out from other forms of modelling due to its main purpose. Unlike other forms of modelling which are usually to sell a product, glamour modelling is all about selling yourself.
Glamour models, also known as lingerie models, require plenty of confidence. They must be comfortable wearing little clothing and must often pose in sexually suggestive ways.
Glamour models may also choose to pose naked. Again, this is usually in a suggestive manner and is generally targeted towards a male audience. Nude glamour models may find work online, though their work has been dimished since the cancellation of the Page 3 model and of “lads mags”.
Glamour models tend to wear a lot of make-up and have elaborate, curled hair. Their lingerie is not always functional and can often be purely to appear sexy.
You must be 18 year old or over to be a glamour model. Jordan (aka Katie Price) and Lucy Pinder are both famous glamour models.
A life model is someone who poses for artists in life drawing classes so they can be drawn. Life models are required to stand in a room (sometimes for several hours at a time) either naked or with minimal clothing on. This is so artists can attempt to draw them.
Life models are usually interested in the human form and anatomy. They see nudity as at art in itself and it is rarely sexualised. Life modelling is not judgemental; it is more about embracing our bodies as they are and celebrating their unique beauty.
Life models are not well-known, though it is quite a well-paid job with no limit to age or looks.
In high-fashion, nude modelling is a sort of combination of glamour and life modelling. High fashion models generally pose nude for artistic, rather than sexual, reasons. Many models claim to enjoy modelling nude as it is empowering for them. Shots are usually natural with basic make-up and low-key hair styles. Images of naked top models are most commonly taken by famous photographers and the photos are not usually for commercial purposes, but rather to celebrate the body in an artistic manner.
A lot of top models have modelled nude including Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Gigi and Bella Hadid, Cara Delevingne, Emily Ratajkowski and Miranda Kerr.
Check out the video below to hear top models talk about modelling nude:
Pressure Within the Industry
In the past, posing nude was a sure-fire way to get yourself noticed. A lot of top models felt pressured or co-erced into modelling topless or completely naked, and many spoke out about it years later. Kate Moss claimed she suffered from a nervous breakdown after being convinced to pose topless as a teenager. And Heidi Klum has said young models in particular should feel that they can say no when they feel uncomfortable – a luxury her generation of supermodels did not really have if they wanted to succeed as a model.
It is infamously photographers who have had most sway over models in the modelling industry. Terry Richardson, a photographer known for overtly sexual photos, was famous for saying “Like I’ve always said, it’s not who you know, it’s who you blow. I don’t have a hole in my jeans for nothing.” Richardson as since been accused of sexual assault and sexual misconduct by multiple models; the cases against him remain ongoing.
Today, models do feel more able to speak out against misconducts, though consumerism shows nudity is still what sells. Social media posts that show a little skin are shown to receive more likes and engagement than those that don’t.
Should You Pose Nude?
Before you decide to pose nude, you should ask yourself the following questions:
– Do you feel uncomfortable with the idea of strangers seeing your naked body? If the answer is yes, don’t do it. Once the photos are taken, there’s nothing you can do to un-do it.
– Do you feel uncomfortable in a room full of people seeing you naked in real-time? This is the scenario if you agree to pose nude; photographers, stylists, hair dressers, make-up artists and shoot organisers will all see you naked.
– Are you comfortable with the brand and photographer? Do they have a good track record for treating models with respect and allowing boundaries? Ask for references if you’re unsure; a legitimate, respectable photographer and company will be more than happy to show you their credentials.
– Do you feel safe? Are you allowed to bring a friend with you? Always tell someone where you will be.
– Do you feel comfortable knowing that you can leave any time during the shoot? Do you feel pressurised, or forced to be there? Do you feel vulnerable?
– Have you read the contract thoroughly beforehand? Do you understand what is required? You must understand each and every line of your contract before signing.
– Do you plan to get a job in the future, such as primary school teaching, that may not want to hire someone with public nude photos? This may seem unfair but it’s important to be realistic about what modelling nude may affect for you in the future.
– Would you be embarrassed for your family, friends or children to see naked photos of you?
– Is it truly worth it? There is no shame in saying no and turning down a job if you are not 100% happy.
The Risks to Nude Modelling
Modelling while nude poses more risks than normal posing because nudity leaves you vulnerable. Scam artists and preditors may try to take advantage of or exploit models who are naked. You must make smart choices in order to protect yourself. It’s vital a model stays safe and is aware of potential risks when posing nude.
Do Your Research
It’s a good idea to sit down with the photographer and brand beforehand and really talk about what is expected of you and the shoot. It will be far less stressful if you know what to expect beforehand.
Research them online, too, to find out what others have to say about them. Check names on LinkedIn and the brand’s official websites to verify their authenticity. If you are approached by someone via social media, this can be a red flag, particularly if they ask for money, personal details or naked images of you from the offset. A model should never call a number given to them over social media; instead, find the official number on the website. Always verify a person’s job before trusting them. Honest, legitimate members of the modelling industry should be more than happy to prove themselves.
Being signed to a good agency will provide you with support and protection.
A good agency will give you all the information you require, and will never force you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable.
They will also take it seriously if you ever need to complain about an employee’s conduct.
If you are certain you never want to model nude, you can have this put into your personal contract.
Know Who You’re Working For
If you get booked for a nude modelling job, you should research both the brand and the photographer beforehand. A reputable photographer should be kind, considerate and respectful while also professional.
Tips for Nude Modelling
– Take a robe with you that you can use to cover up between takes.
– Wear loose clothing beforehand so you do not have creases or lines in your skin during the shoot.
– Be ready to be touched by a make-up artist all over as they will need to apply foundation and concealer to all areas of your body that are visible in the shoot.
– Remove unwanted hair on the legs, armpits and bikini area a few days in advance of the shoot. You don’t want red wax marks, but you also don’t want ingrown hairs showing.
– Moisturise from top to toe regularly to keep skin healthy.
– Exfoliate your skin to slough off dead skin cells and reveal glowing skin beneath.
– Get a fake tan a day or so before the shoot. Make sure you get it done professionally; you can’t afford any tanning mistakes. Get it done a few days prior to allow the tan to settle and fade a bit for a more natural look.
Will Refusing to Model Nude Affect My Career?
You may not be able to take part in more risque photoshoots, but refusing to model nude will not prevent you from having a successful modelling career.
Many top models are more than happy to pose in their birthday suit, but that doesn’t mean you should feel pressured to if you are not 100% comfortable with it. Forcing yourself to model nude could lead to regret and serious feelings of exploitation and anxiety.