Ever been told you have GREAT hands? BEAUTIFUL hair? SEXY feet? Ever considered being a parts model?
Parts-modeling is a subculture of the modeling industry. Models have been stigmatized as perfect, and the average model is presented as a whole entity. For example, a regular print model might be shown in a catalog, his or her whole body in the shot, modeling an outfit. Parts-models are models who are utilized for a singular – and “perfect” – attribute, such as great hair, a dazzling smile, capturing eyes, etc. Their strength lies in an aspect that, when solely featured, makes for a great advertisement. And usually, if not always, the “perfect” part of that parts-model is used in an equally perfect conjunction to the product. There are hand models for rings, for example. A model with healthy hair might be used to sell shampoo. Someone with pretty eyes and long lashes might be a good candidate for makeup, and close-ups can be used of their eyes.
Just as the standards for the typical model are demanding, if not nearly impossible, to meet, those for parts-models are just as specific. In fact, since it is a part that is being zoomed in on (figuratively and literally) – as well as being relied on to sell a specific type of product – the demands might be even more intense, with less room for error or deviation.
A visit to a website that hires parts-models might reveal that they need hand models, and that their skin must be flawless, with well-shaped nails. Feet are required to sell shoes, so the feet of a parts-model must look pampered and healthy, with perfect skin and no veins, blemishes, or anything off-putting.
Another aspects of parts-modeling has to do with maintenance. The average model must maintain their body at the very least slim – body, must be fit, must keep their skin youthful, etc. For a parts-model, extra care must be lavished on whatever part they are getting paid to model. Someone modeling their hands needs to be careful: a cut, chipped nail, or other imperfection can mean no work for the model. There are torso models, and they must stay in tip-top shape, as well as keep their skin tone attractive. Someone who uses their eyes in ads needs to also maintain skin, and avoid getting crow’s feet, lines, or bags. People using their teeth to model must maintain good oral hygiene, and need to keep their teeth white. The body part will be under intense scrutiny, so it must be well taken care of.