When an average youngster is deciding which career to go for, they usually follow a basic set of procedure:
1. Pay attention to your interests and/or ambitions.
2. Figure out what you want to be doing in the long run.
3. Find out all the means to reach there, and start hustling.
Simple, right? However, for an average Indian youngster, the situation is a tad bit different. How? Just add one more instruction between ‘Figuring out what you want to do’, and ‘hustling’. Ask for your parents’ approval. Yes, the one big, soft nerve none of us want to touch, but we know we have to. There is no going around it, you have to sit down and have “the talk”.
If you’re lucky, your career choice will be in sync with your parents’ expectations and ‘ambitions’ for you. For the rest of us, the situation isn’t so simple. One such career that never fails to raise our suspicious parents’ eyebrows is modeling. Yes, an average Indian parent doesn’t look at the glam world too kindly. The question then is, is modeling a legitimate career choice? And if yes, why are our parents so hell-bent against it?
A sneak peak into the glamorous world
With no intention of endorsing the cliche, one thing is albeit clear – the world of modeling is not as “glamorous” as it seems. This is not to be taken as a discouragement. What I mean is, if you are considering modeling as a career because you equate it with a 24*7 gala of makeup, limelight and popularity, then perhaps you should slow down your horses a little. Yes, modeling offers you plenty of exposure and limelight, but hoping for overnight fame is not the right way to go about it.
Starting as a newbie, your initial earnings depend on your general appeal. An emerging model can roughly earn around 5-10000 per show, modeling being one of the rare careers where the gender gap works in favor of women. An average woman model tends to earn higher than the man counterpart. However, once established, the sky is the limit. Top models can earn Rs 50,000 per show or even higher!
Why is modeling looked down upon?
While the scenario has improved significantly in the last one or two decades, modeling still has a long way to go before it gets accepted into the mainstream system entirely. Despite the career offering you a huge potential for growth, most of the parents and people in general, do not consider it a legitimate option, or at least not a respectable one. Why?
For one, not all is rainbows and sunshine in the field. The same can be said for approximately every other career as well. However, in the case of modeling, the struggles manage to come to the limelight more often. For instance, if you want to establish yourself well, you have to give your best. This means the timings might not always be as per your wants, sometimes work might keep you out till odd hours, or might even start at odd hours. Modeling is not a fixed “9 to 5” job; subjective to an individual, this is its major advantage as well as disadvantage.
Secondly, ours is a country where parents still consider government jobs the best – a job that guarantees you steady hours and salary. On the other hand, modeling is a more volatile career path. There is no fixed paycheque that will reach your doorstep every month. You might find yourself with a huge bundle of bills one month, and in the worst case scenario, a very less amount.
Is modeling a legitimate career option? Without a doubt, yes. Does it come without challenges? Of course, not. But that is not a reason to steer clear of this profession, one that has been gaining wide popularity in recent years. Yes, it is among the most competitive industries we have, but that also means you have more chances to grow. If you are truly interested in the field of modeling and are determined to work hard, then this could be your big career break. Just remember:
There are no shortcuts to success. And if there are, they are a slippery road. It’s always better to work your way up the ladder, rather than going down a slippery road. Work hard, stay patient, and make informed decisions.