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Students juggle modeling careers, education

Nov. 16, 2005

by SCARLETT STEAKLEY, reporter

Many Baylor women have undoubtedly spent a lazy Saturday afternoon lounging on their couches and watching marathons of America's Next Top Model and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search.

Little do they know how close to home the modeling world is, with many students involved in modeling. They also don't know how difficult it can be to balance modeling and school.

The reality shows that air on VH1 are different from actual modeling searches, which are open to the public and not just a select group of women.

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Courtesy photo
Kansas City, Mo., sophomore Lindsay Ferguson chose to leave modeling to attend college. She is currently working to get her degree in theater arts and is pursuing a career in acting.
"I have mixed feelings (on model searches) because I think some of them are more geared towards picking people's bodies apart," said part-time model and St. Louis senior Karin Erickson. "Be careful about modeling searches. If they look for money up front, they're not looking to help you out. You have to watch out for that."

Erickson is one of many students who balances modeling with college coursework.

"It's hard," Erickson said. "My agent works with me around my school schedule, but a lot of the auditions happen while I'm at school, so I have to budget my time as far as what I can do and what I can't do."

Erickson said she would not recommend modeling to other students because it is an industry people can get sucked into.

"For most people in the industry, that is their life. That is what they do all the time," Erickson said.

Baylor sophomore and model Lindsay Ferguson from Kansas City, Mo., chose to leave modeling to attend college.

"Right now I'm putting modeling on hold. I'm not with DIVA anymore because they wanted me to live in New York and I wanted to get my degree and I want to be an actress," Ferguson said.

She is currently working on a degree in theater arts. Ferguson said she was discovered in high school by a talent scout and then signed with DIVA agency.

Ferguson said one of the advantages of modeling is the extra money.

"The money paid depends on the ad type," Ferguson said. "But I have been paid $1,000 per ad for national ads."

Men are also involved in the lucrative business. Waco junior Colby Kinder balances modeling and attending Baylor.

"I always wanted to do modeling," Kinder said. "I tell people to go for it."

Kinder plans to move to the Big Apple after graduation in 2007. Kinder said there are more opportunities for modeling in places such as New York City and Paris.

"The pros are you get to ... make lots of money, and it's fun and easy," Kinder said. "The cons for a guy are your friends making fun of it."

Ferguson said the industry is fiercely competitive. She said the business should not allow models to become unhealthy within their eating habits.

Erickson said she finds the model stereotype unattractive.

"I know the stereotype because I am not the typical 5'9 skinny girl," Erickson said. "Society does stereotype a girl to be very tall and very skinny, which I don't think is attractive."