By on March 12, 2010

Can a 5’2″ petite model work in the industry?

Sure they can, but to become a fashion model it is not likely.  Even for commercial print modeling, the market for petite models is nearly non-existent.  The realistic answer is “no.”

It’s not fair, but  this is a business, it’s not about what’s fair, it’s all about what the market place wants.

Petite women need to demand market place recognition and stop following the status quo.  By joining Bella Petite you will see petite models and a strong petite fashion focus in a magazine you can identify with.

The above shows a Petite Clothing Line. No Petite Models here!  BECOME A MEMBER OF BELLA PETITE AND MAKE AN ARGUMENT FOR CHANGE!

Models and Fashion

The discriminatory height requirements practiced in the industry are driven by two major factors: clothing designers and fashion photographers don’t like petite models, they prefer gawky amazons. Sample size and personal preference.  Designers feel their clothing looks better on an amazons frame. The clothing used in runway shows, magazine editorials and advertisments are  cut to a “sample size” that reflects their own actual preference.

Consider this: even when a designer offers petite sizes, they don’t use petite models for their advertisements, so we never see what the clothing looks like on our frame (see ad to the left).   We the consumer don’t realize it’s a petite clothing line. One of my personal favorite models used to advertise petite clothing are mannequin models…

The modeling agents actually tell the clothing designers to use models 5’8″ and over because they don’t represent petite models.  Never mind this all adds up to false advertising.

Clothing designers don’t care that they are marketing to a non-existent female, because they know “petite women” will buy anyway and then tailor to fit their frame.  Hence the status quo. That’s why petite women pay twice as much for their clothing.

Do you think tall and plus-sized women buy clothing that doesn’t fit them? Why should petite women?


What’s interesting is the requirements for being a fashion model are not absolute they are just clueless preferences set by arrogant people and we play along.

Everyone recognizes these rules are arbitrary and that models like 5’6″ Kate Moss, 5’5″ Kati Tastet,  and 5’3″ Devon Aoki and a few others, don’t fit the “standards.” They have been very successful ONLY due to family and friend connections, as we know entertainment and fashion has it’s nepotistic ways.

The point being that petite women need to realign their standards and demand change.  This way you have real opportunity as opposed to the status quo, which is not working for 70% of the women driving the revenues in the marketplace.  Simply stated, we don’t identify with the industry standards and every woman we’ve heard from over the age of 20 wants a fashion revolution.

The petite women of the world ought to give the fashion industry a taste of their own medicine!


Let’s look at some numbers.  A study done in 2002 showed that among top editorial fashion agencies in Los Angeles and New York, 81% of their “editorial fashion” models were 5’9” and above; 15% were between 5’8” and 5’9”, and only 4% were below 5’8” tall.

According to the US Center for Health Statistics, only about 3 ½% of all young women are within an inch of 5’10” in height.  The average weight for those women is about 145-150 pounds – some 30+ pounds more than the “normal” fashion model.  If you add in factors like facial beauty, body proportions and all the other things that qualify a girl to apply as a “fashion model” the competition is a TINY FRACTION of the population.

By comparison, almost 80% of all women are under 5’6″.  The remaining women are over 5’6″.   When a model below 5’8” or above 6’0″ tall is successful it is almost always because someone, typically a photographer, agent, editor,  friend or family member took a special interest in the girl and “made” her career, or because she’s famous outside of modeling.  (Article source for stats: New Models)

Unfortunately this doesn’t occur normally, but having an inside track if you don’t fit the “industry standards” is just about the only way to get noticed as a “petite model,” by the current establishment.

What we are certainly assured is that without BellaPetite’s platform to educate the retailers and designers that you are a force to be reckoned with.  And by showing you are no longer willing to accept the status quo!

Take the first steps become a member, enter the Bella Petite Model Search and spread the news to other petite women to join!  We need you to make this happen for the petite woman’s market place identity to be established once and for all! (5’1″ Actress & Model Eva Longoria in photo to left)

Next Articles in this series on BellaPetite: “Industry Standards” Height and Petite Models part two

The Truth About “Commercial Agencies” Height and Petite Modeling: part three


Bella Petite Model Search News Update

Bella Petite Magazine Petite Fashion Model Editorials

Style Fashion and The Petite Woman

Bella Petites Give Back! W Hotel Event Coverage

BELLA PETITE MAGAZINE: Enter the Bella Petite Magazine Model Search WIN a trip to Hawaii and a high fashion spread to appear in Bella Petite Magazine!  Petite models get discovered today!  Bella Petite Magazine is Fashion, Entertainment and LifeStyle for Women 5’5″ Tall & under.

”Petite is fit and full figured.”Free to subscribe to Bella Petite! You will receive regular updates on our events, promotions, special offers and Bella Petite Magazine!

Get your free issue of Bella Petite Magazine TODAY! CLICK HERE



  1. malika Harris

    March 14, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Devon is only 5'3 in person, she is NOT 5'5. good article by the way

    • bellapetite

      March 14, 2010 at 3:15 am

      Certainly wouldn't be the first time we have discovered a model or actress is exaggerating their height. By the way, Devon's agent and publicist all say she is 5'5", sounds like we need the Bella Petite ruler to come out…Thank you for your positive feedback!

  2. Lillea Woodlyns

    March 14, 2010 at 5:33 am

    Excellent article. Thank you for educating people about this! I'm just under 5'1 and love learning about beautiful women who are closer to my size. It definitely frustrates me that petite women are not being represented in the fashion world given how many of us there are. I had no idea that some of my favorite female stars, both now and from the past, are petite! Many of them are or have been considered to be the most beautiful women in the world. More proof that this discrimination is absurd.

    I read that Elizabeth Shue (so beautiful, IMO) is 5'2: but given how height is exaggerated, maybe she's shorter? At least she's a true petite officially!

  3. Janice

    March 16, 2010 at 12:44 am

    One of the best articles ever about the true facts about becoming a petite model. The odds are against you. It makes so much sense that if we challenge the standards and quit following along we can create market place for petites! I am a member of bellapetites and I will tell all the petite women I can about this website. Thank you!

  4. Leah

    March 16, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Really great points you make here. I love that you completely understand the importance of having this happen for us petite women! So tired of looking at the tall models. I quit forever buying the other dumb magazines and now I have Bellapetite!

  5. Not4you

    March 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Don't forget Melanie Thierry!

  6. Rach

    June 25, 2010 at 11:22 am

    As someone that's clearly hypersensitive about *their own* body type and how it's labeled, this article is extremely hypocritical. Not sure why you couldn't make your point without slamming others, ie tall women. I'm sure if a "gawky Amazon" referred to you as an angry midget or something equally rude, you'd be infuriated. This doesn't help your cause.

    • bellapetite

      June 25, 2010 at 12:04 pm

      Hi Rach, we agree with you and it is terrible that celebs like Tyra Banks and her America's Next Top Model Cycle 13 show spent an entire season slamming petite models. Her label for us was "shorties." Tyra and her cast never missed an opportunity to make fun of the petite models even calling them "midget models." She staged their living quarters as a children's playhouse complete with carnival signs mocking the petite girls heights.

      Unfortunately, there are many blogs on the internet where tall women do nothing, but put down petite women calling us kids and men child molesters for dating us. Petty Petites or Adversarial Amazons

      In addition, to modeling agencies and magazines being downright crude when it comes to referencing petite women. Many tall girls on several current reality shows do call themselves amazons. We do not mean to offend anyone and would like to hear better references about petite women.

  7. Rachel

    December 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    What about us girls that are between 5″5″ and 5″8″? It looks like Bella Petite is just as exclusive as the high fashion industry at leaving the “mid height” girls out to dry. I’m not short, and I’m not tall – I’m NORMAL. Can normal people not model whatsoever? This is upsetting.

    • bellapetite

      December 6, 2012 at 1:55 am

      Hi Rachel, we are sorry but Bella Petite Magazine is specifically designed for women 5’5″ and under. We are the only magazine in the world for petite women see All of the other magazines in the marketplace are geared towards women 5’6″ and over, in fact many models work in the industry within the 5’6-5’8″ height range (very common), ex. Eva Pigford, Kate Moss, Kate Tastit, and many others. Thank you for your comment. Good luck to you!

  8. Midajah Riles

    March 27, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    I’ve wanted to be a model since I was in Kindergarten, and I was recently looking up model requirements I’m in the 5’1″ – 5’2″ range, I went from happy to upset, and I started thinking no one is really even 5’8″ and up anymore they honestly do need to change requirements for height in fashion and anything else where there’s such a tall height requirement in this generation they’re are tons of short astonishingly beautiful girls that don’t really have a chance because of these height requirements. I’ve been told I should model by a ton of people and I really believe I could and with bellapetite I know I can help myself and every other short girl. If tall girls can have a chance why shouldn’t we?

  9. lily

    April 30, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Im 5’5 and always dreamed of becoming a model

  10. Divine

    November 7, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    I am 5’5. From my childhood my biggest dream was always to become a successful model. Although I don’t reach the requirements of becoming a fashion model because of the height, I never gave up on my dream so I believe bella petite models will help me make my dream come true.

  11. Amanda

    December 28, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    I am 4’11. I used to watch ANTM and wish I could be one of them. Life is impossible and there will always be something in this world that we just can’t have. Given the opportunity, I would love to have fun with modeling; but until that day, which it may never come. I’ll stick to more attainable goals and dreams I have. I love the message this is sending across though. Times are changing, so why can’t the people?

  12. Isabel M

    January 21, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    I love Bella Petite! This is a great Article! I’ve always wanted to be a model for years now ever since I was 6 im about to be 21 and still haven’t been able to model because of my height being 5″1 kinda sucks cause I look at all the tall beautiful models and always wish that I could do that. Thanks to the editor Ann Lauren of Bella Petite I hope one day my dream can come true.

  13. Isabel Moro

    January 21, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    I love this Article it’s amazing in so many ways! I’ve always wanted to become a model for such a long time ever since I was 6 I’m about to be 21 and still haven’t been able to do this dream of mine due to my height unfortunately being 5″1 doesn’t meet the criteria. But this just makes me feel even more confident that maybe one day my dream will come true.

  14. sunita kushwa

    May 18, 2016 at 1:38 am

    I’m a petite model with 5 ft 3 inch very passionate about modelling.I’m from india

  15. Janeffer Nganga

    February 1, 2017 at 3:57 am

    Am from Kenya and am a petite a 5’3″ in height and I would like to be a part of your agency.

  16. Anastasia

    March 8, 2017 at 1:35 am

    Hi, I would like to know how my daughter would apply to be a model with you? She hasn’t modelled before but has been bugging me for a long time now to find a good company to model with. She’s 18 and 4’10”. If you have any advice or suggestions please reply back.

  17. Anastasia

    March 8, 2017 at 1:35 am

    Hi, I would like to know how my daughter would apply to be a model with you? She hasn’t modelled before but has been bugging me for a long time now to find a good company to model with. She’s 18 and 4’10”. If you have any advice or suggestions please reply back. Thank you!

  18. Artela Gilliam

    July 20, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Im petite, pretty, browned skin, about 5’1 curvy and I’m interested in modeling I think I have the face and body for it, I’m 26 years old and I’m a great person modeling has been my dream for a minute now.

  19. Matsimela Dezry

    November 9, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    I am petite, good looking, browned skin and about 5’2 and I’m interested in modelling since my childhood and I have what it takes “the body” for modeling and I’m 18years old

  20. Christy

    May 25, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    I’m Malaysian Indian, 25 years old, 5 feet 3. I want to make it big as a model.

    Where can I send my application for Bella Petite?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.