Where Are the Petite Models?

The modeling industry has changed so much over the past few years. Nowadays, we see plus-sized models, busty models, and models of various different ethnicities featured in magazines and on the runway. But what do Karlie Kloss, Ashley Graham, and Tyra Banks all have in common? They are all at least 5’9.

It is great to hear that agencies are finally accepting non-traditional models of different weights and races than the models we saw twenty years ago, who all looked the same. But why are there still no short girls on the major runway or in mainstream magazines?

Though it may be difficult, it is technically possible for someone to change her weight, hair color, and even eye color. But height is the one purely genetic physical feature. So why should the beautiful 4’11 girl who has always dreamed of walking the runway be denied the chance because of the one feature that she has no control over?

Many clothing companies will take one look at a girl during casting and tell her she is too short, even if she has a beautiful face. Victoria’s Secret, for instance, (although they are a great brand), is known not to hire angels under 5’8. Even companies that do take “petite models” are really defining “petite” as 5’5-5’7 once you read the fine print.

Veronica Lake, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marilyn Monroe were known to be some of the most beautiful women of all time… and their heights ranged from 4’11-5’5. So they would not be able to walk the runway today, according to Google! When you search the “average height for a model,” the immediate Google response is: “between 5 ft 8 in (173 cm) and 5 ft 11 in.” 

So, to all the agencies out there, please answer this question: Where are the petite models?


Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3