How to Handle Modeling Rejection

A model waiting at a casting

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Rejection is tough. There’s no way around it, and most of us will deal with it at several points in our lives. What separates the pros from the amateurs, however, is how you deal with being rejected and told “no.” If you are a model, and you are told you weren’t chosen for a specific job, are you going to give up and let that break you, or are you going to work on becoming a better model so the next time has the outcome you desire?

Models are constantly at risk of being told no, especially when they are just beginning their careers. This is something you’ll have to prepare yourself for if you want to be a model. Many successful models recall it being difficult at the beginning of their career to always to be subject to potential “no’s.”

Remember, even Kate Moss who is now an iconic supermodel was often told no because she was “too short” to model! And, supermodel Gisele Bundchen was turned down by over 40 agencies before she was signed and is now one of the highest paid models of all time!

Over time, no will turn into yes. This will happen a whole lot faster if you learn how to turn rejection into lessons that will better you as a model (and likely as a person) in the process! Here are three tips for handling rejection and becoming a better model because of it! 

Never Take Rejection Personally

Have you ever heard the quote, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the whole world, and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches?” Of course, you’re a model, not a peach, but the same principle applies to modeling. If you are up for an ad campaign, for example, the casting agents may have decided before they even met you that they are set on hiring a curvy model.

If you don’t fit that description, and their mind is already made up before they have even met you, there isn’t much you can do, and it isn’t your fault, either. Just remember, there will come a time (or many times!) when you are exactly what they are looking for. 

Do the Best You Can and Move On

It is not common practice for a client to explain to you why you weren't chosen, which can leave you wondering or even obsessing over the reasons why. Please don't do this. Professional models do the best they can at an audition, forget about it, and then move on. When it comes to modeling jobs, sometimes you just are not the person they had in mind for the job, and there isn’t very much you can do about it. 

Accept Criticism Graciously 

If a client does take the time to give you guidance or criticism, accept it graciously. Don't get defensive, or argue with them - even if you don't agree. Constructive criticism really can be CONSTRUCTIVE if you use what you are told to improve your modeling skills.  

Get Back on the Horse

If you have just found out you weren’t chosen for a modeling gig you had your heart set on, it’s probably tempting to curl up and take a break from putting yourself out there. The problem is, while you are busy recovering from rejection, other models are busy getting out there and being hired for the jobs you want and that you’d be perfect for! Keep in mind, the longer you avoid getting back out there, the harder it’s going to be when you do.

If open calls and auditions are really scary to you but you’re determined to become a model, there ARE other ways to get scouted and chosen for jobs. is a great place to submit your photos to model scouts for hundreds of agencies in just minutes and you never have to leave your home! So, if the idea of showing up to a casting makes you want to hide under your bed, don’t forget that scary auditions and open calls aren’t your only option on the road to becoming a model.