Male models get a raw deal

The glamour industry has seen a rise in the number of talented fashion designers, choreographers and models alike.

But ask any person associated with the glamour business and they will agree that the days of male supermodels have long passed. In fact, the number of men who would consider taking up modelling as a career has gone down drastically in the past years.

Metrolife spoke to a few people in the fashion industry to find out the reasons for this.

Many models, both aspiring and established, feel that one cannot take up modelling as a full-fledged career in a City like Bangalore. Rakesh Chengappa, who has been modelling since ten years now, shares the same sentiments, “The City has a long way to go before it gets the status of a fashion hub.”

About opportunities available for those who want to foray in this field he says, “If a person wants to take it up seriously, he has to ensure that he starts off in the right place where serious business happens. Delhi and Mumbai are the places to be because the market there is huge and that is where a lot of shows happen. In a City like Bangalore, it is wise to keep it as a hobby.”

This trend can also be because of the fact that fashion designers today cater more to the women population. There are umpteen number of designer labels selling women’s wear while the ones for men are just a handful. Nisar Ahmed, casting director of Dream Merchants, agrees to this. He says, “The primary reason why designers today prefer specialising in women’s wear is because it means more glamour. This is directly proportional to business they would eventually get.”

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Says Rakesh, “There is less money spent on men’s clothing. For instance, a bridal wear will cost more than a sherwani for men. This disparity in pricing translates to remuneration the models get paid.” Nisar informs that a male model gets paid 25 per cent lesser than a female model. This is the honest but bitter truth about the fate of male models. Says Zoheb Yusuf, a model for eight years now, “It has always been very difficult for male models to survive in any city for that matter. To be honest, the reason why people go to any fashion show is to see the women and the clothes. So there is more work for women in this industry.”

Even Saif, another model says, “From my experience I can say that male models in Bangalore do not get paid enough. The money you get is peanuts. Also, we do not have the freedom to negotiate with the organisers. If you negotiate with them, they will not entertain you. So it is a no-win situation for us.” But why does this discrimination happen? Zoheb answers, “As compared to us, women have to spend more time getting their hair and face done and hence have more work. So it is fair enough they get paid more than us.”

But there a few optimists like Prasad Bidapa. He says, “Bangalore is the best place if you want to grow. If you take a look carefully, the City has produced a good number of models in the past. So what I tell the boys who want to take up modelling seriously is that stick around in Bangalore for maybe two years and then move to a place like Mumbai or Delhi.”

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Categories: Deccan Herald Articles, Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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