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What Does an Underwear Model Do?

Tara Barnett
Tara Barnett

Most basically, an underwear model models underwear, but there are many different types of underwear models and the day-to-day job of the model involves much more than attending photo shoots. In fact, the majority of an underwear model's job is maintaining the physical appearance appropriate for this type of modeling, as well as attending auditions and performing other preparatory work. Many underwear models work only part time as it can be difficult to gain full-time employment as a model.

One of the most important things that an underwear model does is cooperate with his or her agent and attend auditions. Some models do not have agents and may get jobs working directly with underwear companies or photographers. Finding jobs is one of the hardest parts of being a model, and actually modeling may fill a relatively small percentage of the person's time. Since jobs can come up quickly, it is very important for this type of model to stay in peak physical condition at all times.

Underwear is modeled by underwear models.
Underwear is modeled by underwear models.

Maintaining the body of an underwear model can be extremely difficult when modeling is not a full-time position, because models of this type must be extremely fit in most cases. There are plus-size and normal bodied models who sometimes are used to sell underwear, but the overwhelming trend in modeling is for all people portrayed to fit a very thin and tall stereotype. Men may be more muscular than skinny, but female models must usually be more thin than fit. In underwear modeling, physical condition is particularly important because underwear exposes much of the body. Staying in shape for modeling underwear can be a full-time profession and may involve monitoring food, working out, and other time-consuming tasks.

A large part of an underwear model's job is keeping in shape and attending auditions.
A large part of an underwear model's job is keeping in shape and attending auditions.

Keeping up with other aspects of physical appearance is important as well. Removal of body hair, maintenance of fingernails and toenails, and keeping the skin free from blemishes are all very important. Some physical characteristics can be altered close to a photo shoot, but skin care and hair care must usually be maintained consistently even when the model is not working.

On the day of a modeling shoot, an underwear model must show up to the location on time or early if possible and be prepared to work. Many models choose to minimize food consumption on these days because a bloated stomach is undesirable. Generally, working as a model involves a little preparation and a lot of listening, because even though there are somewhat standard poses, each photographer looks for something slightly different. Even though it might not seem important, an underwear model must be able to act in order to effectively demonstrate the value of a particular kind of underwear.

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Discussion Comments


I have a niece who is a teenage underwear model, and she sometimes feels very self-conscious knowing that other kids her age can see those ads or catalog pictures. Most of the time, the pictures are cropped so that only her torso and the underwear are visible, but it's still a lot of exposure for a young girl.

She told me that the models are often provided with special "modesty panels" that fit under the underwear. She feels better knowing that her private parts won't be visible if they ask her to model sheer underwear. The male models also wear shields, almost like dancers' belts, that make the underwear look less revealing.

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    • Underwear is modeled by underwear models.
      By: Khvost
      Underwear is modeled by underwear models.
    • A large part of an underwear model's job is keeping in shape and attending auditions.
      By: Marin Conic
      A large part of an underwear model's job is keeping in shape and attending auditions.