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Modeling Tip: How Modeling Agencies Will Take Your Measurements

If you measure up height-wise to model standards, i.e. you’re at least 5’9″ or ideally 5’10″ (for women), you’re half way there. But then there are the daunting bust-waist-hip measurements. These, like your height, will go on your comp card (your weight won’t). These also are the measurements that agents may take repeatedly as they can change.

Model Bust Measurement

I did not experience the frequent militaristic, scrutinizing measuring routine that is described at times in model horror stories. But, when I was new to an agency and a booker wielded the evil measuring tape, I groaned. My most troublesome measurement was my waist; it was never small. Measure it at the widest part, after lunch, and you could come up with a ridiculously non-modelesque number like 28. Suck in and measure it at the very narrowest part, before lunch, and perhaps the model gods would bestow a generous 26.

The Model Bust

Measuring is easy: the widest part. Ideal: around 34 or 35 inches.

The Model Waist

You can’t count on agents to measure the narrowest part of your waist. Some do, while others measure just above the hip bones—your true waist. Ideal: 24 or 25. Smaller is not a problem. Bigger… well, I got away with it, not counting a couple of complaints during swimwear/workout wear shoots!

The Model Hips

This is where they get ya. Most agencies measure the widest part, not necessarily your hips. If you have narrow hips like I have, they’ll measure around the widest part of your butt/thighs. Ideal: 34 or 35.

Marilyn Monroe

The Classic Hourglass Figure

So, the ideal is a less curvaceous version of the hour-glass figure: 34-24-34 (vs. a 36-24-36 Marilyn Monroe bod).

Do models and agents ever fudge? Oh yeah. One of my comp cards says 34-25-34. Never. More like 34-27-36, but that never went on my card. You just want to be careful not to fudge too much when you’re sending stats to an agent who may measure you when you meet. Shave off or add an inch here and there? Sure, if it will get you in the door. I call it model math.