Top 10 Safety Tips for Staying Safe As a Fashion Model

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Looking to get into the modelling industry? Here are 10 safety tips to keep in mind to help you stay safe while pursuing your modelling career!

Have a Chaperone

When attending casting calls and interviews, you’ll likely not know anyone present. It’s always a good idea to have a chaperone with you so you’re not alone. If having a chaperone is not possible, always tell several friends and family members where you are going and what time you’ll be back.

At photoshoots, having a chaperone present can give models the courage required to say no or speak up when feeling uncomfortable. It can prevent them from feeling ‘ganged up’ on and is one of the most surefire ways of staying safe.

Do Your Research

The best possible thing you can do to stay safe is to do your research. If you’re approached by a modelling agency scout, take the time to really research the agency and the people who work there. A common scam in the modelling industry is for people to pretend they work at an agency when they don’t; that’s why you should never use phone numbers or e-mail addresses given to you, and you should instead find them yourself online so you know you’re taking to the official company. This is an easy yet effective way to double-check people are who they say they are; simply ring the agency using their official number and ask whether the scout who approached you works there.

If you are approached on social media, this is also a red flag. Make sure the company is legitimate and never, ever give your personal information or photos to a stranger online until you are 100% sure they are legitimate.

Top 10 safety tips in modelling

Know Your Boundaries

Saying no can feel difficult, especially when you are new to modelling. It’s an overwhelming experience for many and many models fear saying no in case they lose out on opportunities, upset people or even lose their job. Unfortunately, this has been known to happen in the industry – but you must know your own worth and feel confident in setting your own boundaries. If you’re comfortable posing nude, that’s fine – but if you’re not, you shouldn’t feel forced into it. Always try to find out what you’re getting yourself into and if anything is sprung upon you, feel strong and confident enough to say no – even if it means walking away from a potential job opportunity. Once photos are taken, they’re there forever, so be 100% sure of your choices before committing.

Read Contracts Thoroughly

Contracts are not supposed to stump you; they are supposed to clearly set out any arrangements made between you, the agency and/or the client. If there is any jargon you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask. Always read through a contract thoroughly before agreeing; sometimes, clauses are written in small print which may affect your working hours or even pay.

Your contract will also establish things you are comfortable doing and – more importantly – things you are not happy to do, such as posing topless. Research online typical fashion modelling contracts and create a list of things you wish to be added to your own contract.

Keep a Phone and Charger With You At All Times

Your phone is the best way of calling for help if you ever need it. It’s also got a GPS tracking system in it which can pinpoint your exact location and share it with friends and family at the touch of a button. If you ever get stuck or lost, you can call a taxi or friend to help you. And of course, if you really get stuck, the police are a phone call away. Your phone is a really key piece of equipment to help keep you safe in the world of modelling.

It’s always a good idea to hide some emergency money in a place that isn’t obvious, just in case you are robbed in the city or you lose your bag or phone.

Join a Modelling Agency

You don’t have to join a modelling agency if you’re a model, but it’s a really great way of ensuring your own security and safety. While joining an agency isn’t necessarily easy (it’s extremely competitive and they’re only interested in signing the best), getting signed gives you the help and advice from industry experts that really helps in the modelling industry. It’s important you feel safe and happy with your agency, so make sure to do your research before applying and – as stated above – always read through contracts before signing. It’s also a good idea to reach out to other models signed onto their books to hear their personal experiences and opinion on the agency; those who have had a bad time may have stated publicly any issues.

Have a Backup Plan

You should always think of several ways to get back from places you need to leave. If the trains aren’t running, is the underground nearby? Do you need to walk a fair distance on your own at night, or can you take a taxi? Do you have money on you to pay for one? Think about the best ways to travel that keep you safe and don’t take any unnecessary risks.

Avoid Going to Private Homes or Residences

If you’re asked to meet a complete stranger in an area that isn’t public, be extremely wary. Being completely alone and isolated puts you in a very vulnerable position. If you’re new to the industry, it’s important to be even more vigilant as scammers will look to take advantage of your naivety and eagerness to enter the business. When possible, always ask to meet in public locations and only ever meet people once you have done as much research as possible on them and confirmed their identity. If you do have to go somewhere private, ask if you can take a chaperone. If this isn’t possible (and they give a logical explanation as to why), make sure you tell close friends and family where you are going and the time you expect to leave at. Keep your phone on you and make sure it is charged.

Drink in Moderation and Avoid Taking Drugs

Drinking lowers your inhibitions and this can be extremely dangerous around the wrong people. Drinking and doing drugs is not professional and you should try to avoid it entirely when working. If you’re networking at an event, ensure you drink plenty of water and eat a satiating meal before if you plan to have a few drinks.

Know your limits and make sure you have a safe way to get home at the end of the event. Try to attend with a friend if you can, and always tell someone where you are going.

Protect Your Mental Health

The modelling industry is infamously cut-throat and it certainly isn’t meant for everyone. Negativity, constant criticism and public scrutiny can all have a negative impact on a model’s general well-being and mental health. Stay clued up on different ways you can look after your mental health and make sure to implement them. Always seek the advice of an expert (such as a therapist) if you really begin to struggle, and speak to friends and family so they are aware of how you feel. Remember; no job is worth your health and if you spend long periods feeling bad because of your job, you may want to rethink a career in modelling.

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