Tattoos And The Modeling Business by InkDollMafia

Do you own a tattoo? If so, should it pose any problems in your modeling career? Tattoos are commonly seen in models or photographers – They’re often used to express personal style, interests, and passions and some people even use them as an artistic outlet or make them the authentic pieces of self proclamation.

The question may still remain: Is there an stigma for tattoos in observable professional world?

Tattoos and the modeling business

Non-Standard Modeling

In our time, when everyone wants to stand out, no matter the medium or token (money, clothes, wife, car, legs, etc.), it isn’t easy to surprise the audiences. Especially in the fashion world. Suppose designers are still somehow able to make an impression. In that case, it is much more difficult for models to become memorable, recognizable, and, as a result, highly paid. The fourth breast size, kilometer-long legs, and lips a la “I just came from an apiary” do not attract much attention as before. Every second person has such a tuning build. The classic idea of beauty with ideal proportions is also in demand but, alongside and at the peak of popularity runs non-standard beauty. It is this keyword that helps the model to do better than her “regular” counterparts.


The concept of beauty is obviously subjective, and in different eras, society chose other women as the standard: We emphasized sexuality in the 90s, the sporty style in the 2000s, naturalness in 2010 … Requests for an unusual, strange, sometimes repulsive at first glance, appearance are becoming more frequent, and a unique personality model, character and lifestyle are just as important as how she looks.


In the modeling business, the phrases “standard parameters” and “classic beauty” are less and less often used to denote the criteria for upcoming projects. However, the demand for identity, at least abroad, has not decreased since the 2000s. We are talking not only about a non-trivial appearance but also about deviations, which, for sure, were unacceptable twenty years ago. Today, models turn flaw into a virtue – their trademark in the industry.


Speaking of non-standard modeling, it is worth paying attention to the tattoo culture that took over the globe several centuries ago. It could not help but leave a mark in the modeling business. Although the view towards tattoos has changed over the past years, many modeling agencies, do not pay as much atention to this as before. It is worth at least looking at the current season’s shows to understand how indifferent the thought of drawings on the body is. The lack of criticism, suggests that today the depersonalization of the model is coming to naught – individuality is as valuable as external data.

Can models manipulate their body and succeed?

We can’t ignore the fact that novice models are prohibited from manipulating themselves because otherwise, they may lose more than half of their work. On the one hand, requests like this are rooted in the managers’ prejudices or principled customers who will react even to the most inconspicuous tattoo with hysteria.

On the other hand, some clients are somewhat categorical when promoting beauty products or accessories. We tend to agree, this can divert attention from certain non-profitable products, s non-starter for companies hanging from a thread. In some cases, the tattoo will have the opposite effect and advantageously emphasize the theme set by the craftsmen.

Yes, if you are Cara Delevingne or Chanel Iman, then your tattoos will not scare anyone away. Models who have created a big name for themselves will not lose contracts even with voluminous drawings on the body. We are sure that such a step, on the contrary, will create a resonance in society, and there will only be more beneficial offers. So, for example, the Brazilian supermodel, the Victoria’s Secret angel, Isabel Fontana, after a large tattoo in the area between the shoulder blades, the wings were not cut off, she continues to cat walk with the same frequency.

Building a successful career as an inked model

It is not yet possible to concretize society’s position about tattoos and the modeling industry. Several sides, hundreds of opinions, and more tattoos is all we get. For now.

The goal instead would be to try to outline the situation like this:


A taboo on tattoos has been imposed more often on beginner models thanks to the hardening of frequent clients, who still compare the model with a dummy. Fortunately, as we have already expressed, they are still a minority. Conversely, those who have moved forward up the career ladder receive a little more “freedom” rights. It is during this period of development where the model’s personality first gets noticed.

Stereotypes about the impossibility of building successful careers in the presence of permanent “skin-stamps” have been refuted by young girls, who have taken advantage of their alluring charisma. Moreover, the passion for tattoo culture contributed to the emergence of a new branch. “Alternative modeling” is just a phrase that exalts the modern emerging trend in the modeling business, with tattoo models leading the charge.

Fame came to them thanks to the very painting some others learned to frown upon and the human canvases that determine the specificity of the category. We shouldn’t isolate tattoo modeling from the general industry and only designate it as a “new direction.” The demand for girls and young people with “tattoos” is higher than ever. They are involved in the same types of modeling activities as any standard model.

Demand generates supply, and more models with unusual appearances are finding their niche. For several years, agencies have appeared in the big cities, waving the tattoo model flag. And apparently, things are not going badly for them.

Read more