How to Become a Glamour Model

Brunette glamor model with windblown hair

Ada Summer / Getty Images

You see them in swimsuit calendars, in men’s magazines, and in advertisements. They’re sensual, they’re alluring, and you can’t take your eyes off them. Who are these gorgeous women, you ask? They’re glamour models.

What Is a Glamour Model?

Glamour models are women who possess a certain kind of sex appeal and who aren’t afraid to show off their bodies. Their poses tend to be more sexually suggestive than those of other models and are typically geared toward a male audience. A quick flip through magazines like Maxim, Sports Illustrated (Swimsuit Edition), or even Playboy will give you a good idea of what glamour modeling is all about. 

Do You Have to Look a Certain Way?

While glamour models don’t have to fit into certain height and size requirements (like editorial fashion models, for example), they do have to be 18 years of age or older and have curves, a fit body, enviable hair, and a stunning face.

Glamour modeling focuses much more on the model’s beauty and body than selling a particular product. A Vogue model’s job, for example, is to make the reader lust after an outfit or accessory. A glamour model’s job, on the other hand, is to make the reader lust after her. 

What Makes One?

In order to be a successful glamour model, you need to be comfortable with showing off your body. Or, you need to at least know how to fake the level of confidence needed to seduce the camera, command attention and create an inviting fantasy for readers. And, just like every type of model, you must also be professional, outgoing, punctual, hardworking, motivated, and able to take direction well. 

What Kinds of Work Can They Get?

Glamour modeling is almost always intended for commercial use, so you can expect your photos to be used for things like mass-produced calendars, men’s magazines, posters, playing cards, and advertisements for a wide range of health and beauty products. It's also not unusual for glamour models to also work as swimsuit and lingerie models. 

Is Nudity Mandatory?

Some glamour modeling involves nudity, but a lot of it doesn’t. It’s up to you as a model to decide how much skin you’re comfortable showing. Of course the more open you are to different levels of glamour modeling the more work you’ll get, but you should never, ever do anything you aren’t 100% comfortable with. If you’re signed to an agency, they can help you set boundaries and book you jobs that match both your comfort zone and your career goals. 

Can Men Be Glamour Models?

Glamour modeling is generally a female profession, but there are a few opportunities for men, too. Women’s magazines like Cosmopolitan and Glamour regularly show photographs of male models, and there will always be a demand for calendars, greeting cards, posters, etc. That said, if you’re interested in pursuing a career as a male glamour model, it’s probably a smarter career move to promote yourself as a commercial or fitness model and also take any glamour modeling opportunities that may happen to come your way.

Do I Need a Modeling Agency?

Some glamour models have the experience and client base to work as freelance models. However, if you are a new model, you should always have a legitimate modeling agency representing you.

When you’re with an agency, you’ll be safe as the agency will always know who you’re working for and where you’re working. You’ll be paid what you deserve, and you’ll receive the guidance you need to further your career. Plus, many clients only use modeling agencies to find their models, so you’ll have maximum exposure and will have access to as many job opportunities as possible.