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33 Most Successful Short Models Who Challenge the Standards

While runway models typically stand around 5’9″, models have come in all shapes and sizes over the years – from Kate Moss to the winner of America’s Next Top Model’s petite season, many short models have made successful careers in fashion.

If you are short, consider commercial modeling for clothing shoots or body part modeling (face, foot, hand) as these opportunities tend to be less restrictive about measurements.

Careers in the Fashion Industry

Starting a modeling career can be an exhilarating prospect. Models are needed for various assignments such as runway shows, fashion shoots, promotional campaigns, and advertisements. While high fashion models tend to favor taller people, opportunities do exist for models of all heights. Shorter models may be hired for body part modeling such as hands feet or parts of the face; others work as fit models assisting garment companies ensure correct sizing before production begins; other models such as swimsuit and lingerie models do not necessarily need to meet strict size requirements like fashion models so may work with more flexible agencies.

Aspiring models can gain experience by participating in local fashion shows. These events are typically hosted at fashion design schools that need amateur models to showcase student designs. Once an aspiring model has amassed an impressive portfolio, they should begin seeking paid modeling gigs – tear sheets from prior jobs should be included to demonstrate they have established themselves and can complete tasks effectively for clients.

Fashion models are in high demand for runway shows and fashion shoots as well as print advertisements, commercials, video, and film work. Some specialize in certain areas such as children’s modeling or maternity modeling while editorial or lingerie models may be sought out for specific products or brands. Models may receive either a fixed salary or hourly rate or negotiate with their client an agreement for a set amount of work over an agreed-upon timeframe.

Fashion modeling can be an exciting and fulfilling career; however, not everyone should pursue this profession. Models must withstand long hours in uncomfortable positions while often living on a very restricted diet and living an extremely restricted lifestyle. Fatiguing work conditions often result in health issues for models due to the constant strain placed upon both body and mind. Models need to remain in good physical shape while being aware of risks related to smoking, alcohol consumption, or drug abuse.

How to Get a Modeling Job

Before embarking on your modeling career, it is imperative to develop an impressive modeling portfolio. Hire a photographer to take the full body and head shots using natural lighting with simple clothing so that potential modeling agents or clients can easily see your features. In addition, gather additional photos that document poses and locations; this can give your model career the boost it deserves! A strong portfolio can open many opportunities within professional modeling.

Seek out events in your area where models are needed to demonstrate products or interact with shoppers, including retail stores, beauty salons, and fitness studios that hire models as product demonstrators or customer engagement models. Occasionally models may also be requested to pose for paintings or attend figure drawing classes as art models; otherwise, you could volunteer your services at local fashion shows to get noticed by agents.

Attending open casting calls is another effective way of finding modeling jobs. Agencies schedule these sessions as audition opportunities without making appointments in advance, though some have specific requirements; others allow walk-ins with no specific booking appointment required as long as you do your audition well enough – online resources also often list model casting calls in your area.

Once you have an impressive portfolio, reach out to modeling agencies and try to arrange an appointment. When meeting with agents, be polite but honest when discussing your goals and career ambitions. Establishing a rapport with them is vital as they will play a pivotal role in helping you secure modeling work.

If you are serious about modeling, it is advisable to relocate to one of the major cities such as New York or Los Angeles where editorial and runway modeling competition is fierce – where you must compete against models from all over the world for editorials or runway shows. Starting locally might help as beauty editorials often hire models nearby.

Modeling Tips for Short Models

Height can be an obstacle when it comes to becoming a professional model, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from trying. Many short models such as Devon Aoki (5’5″), Eva Pigford (5’5″), and Twiggy (5’6) have achieved great success as models. What matters most for budding models is having a strong work ethic and feeling comfortable during photoshoots; diet and exercise programs also play an essential role in keeping bodies in great condition for success in modeling.

As part of your application to become a model, you must provide close-up and wide-angle photos of both yourself as well as of your body taken by a professional photographer with natural lighting. A resume and contact information should also be included while starting a small portfolio that can demonstrate your modeling talents and abilities.

Though most agency-signed fashion models must stand at least five feet eight inches and glamour models even shorter, there may still be room for short models in commercial print modeling. Photo-shoot models need to feel confident when wearing clothing that lengthens their bodies such as high-waist pants with vertical stripes or high-waisted pants with high-waists, in addition to practicing stretching every day to increase flexibility and lengthen muscles.

Finally, models should strive to maintain a positive attitude and show respect towards others at work to stand out from their competition and become more likable. It would also be wise for models to use makeup that enhances their features to look more appealing to clients and casting directors.

Modeling Opportunities for Short Models

Though modeling may be challenging for short-statured individuals, opportunities still exist for such models. There is petite modeling for women and petite modeling for men which usually requires them to fall between certain height ranges for both genders and face/beauty modeling which typically entails emphasizing attractive features like your eyes or hands for photographic shots or fashion shows; also face and beauty models are hired at trade shows and other live events to promote products or sell services to customers.

As long as you possess a strong work ethic and are willing to invest the necessary time and effort, becoming a model will become possible. Remembering that modeling is all about appearance, ensure you wear flattering clothing to all castings: high-waisted pants/shirts with vertical stripes can lengthen your body; practice stretching each day to appear leaner and more flexible; stay in contact with agencies you submitted your portfolio too, checking back regularly so they’re top of mind when they require models for specific jobs.

Top 33 Famous Short Models

In today’s fashion world, adapting to change is essential – especially when it comes to inclusion and diversity. Gone are the days when height defined a model’s potential success; now we celebrate those with unique talents and effortless charm – no matter their stature! This blog post highlights thirty-three exceptional female short models who’ve defied limitations, becoming shining examples of inspiration for aspiring hopefuls worldwide.

Bella Hadid (5’9″):

With every piercing glance and confident strut, Bella Hadid shatters any preconceived notion that taller equals better in the competitive realm of fashion modeling.

Devon Aoki (5’5″):

Devon Aoki is widely recognized for her unique appearance and authoritative demeanor. Her impressive career includes featuring in several high-end fashion advertisements as well as walking along glamorous runways. She shows us how confidence and skill surpass any physical stature limitations.

Kate Moss (5’7″):

Few can dispute Kate Moss’s status as a true legend in the fashion world. Her unorthodox modeling style challenged existing conventions and set new beauty standards creating what is now known as “heroin chic.”

Laetitia Casta (5’6″):

Hailing from France, this exceptional model has enchanted those in the fashion industry with her breathtaking looks and remarkable versatility on camera, positioning herself among the top-tier of accomplished short models.

Jourdan Dunn (5’10”):

Even though Jourdan Dunn may be a little taller than what’s customarily characterized as “short ” her pioneering achievements in the field of modeling and her support for promoting inclusivity in fashion have helped to inspire models of all heights.

Lily Cole (5’10”):

Lily Cole, with her stunning red locks and otherworldly appearance, has defied the stereotype concerning modeling height prerequisites. This goes to show that individuality and skill are the most significant factors in this field.

Cara Delevingne (5’8″):

Cara Delevingne is widely recognized for her animated personality and unique eyebrows. She has achieved unprecedented success, crossing barriers and proving that charm and personality are not limited by height.

Devon Windsor (5’11”):

Devon Windsor stands out among the models on this list due to her height yet her inclusion highlights the notion that success in modeling goes beyond physical attributes. Her achievements speak for themselves and showcase how talent and hard work can surpass any limiting factor.

Sasha Pivovarova (5’8″):

Countless magazine covers have showcased the captivating and distinctive appearance of this Russian model. The fact that she has a shorter stature only further demonstrates that physical height is not an obstacle to making a lasting impact.

Adwoa Aboah (5’8″):

Adwoa Aboahs stunning features and commanding presence have marked her as a powerful figure in the fashion industry. Her passionate efforts to promote inclusivity and raise awareness for mental health have been nothing short of remarkable. Thanks to her inspiring message models of all statures are empowered to embrace their individuality confidently.

Agyness Deyn (5’8″):

Agyness Deyn’s trailblazing fashion philosophy that marries aspects of masculinity with femininity, coupled with her fearless spirit of defiance, has undeniably cemented her position among the most notable models today. Her remarkable ascent proves once again that true greatness knows no bounds- be it in terms of height or any other so-called defining characteristic.

Amber Valletta (5’9″):

The fashion industry has been privileged to witness Amber Valletta’s remarkable journey spanning numerous decades. Her elegant demeanor and extraordinary abilities have propelled her to an iconic position within the fraternity. Despite height restrictions being prevalent in modeling, Amber’s timeless talents illustrate how they can never curtail genuine excellence.

Joan Smalls (5’10”):

Joan Smalls is a pioneering figure in the fashion world as she has defied expectations by rising to success as a short model hailing from Puerto Rican roots. Her commanding aura and unyielding determination have garnered attention on a universal scale.

Karlie Kloss (6’2″):

Karlie Kloss may not fit the conventional size specifications, but her addition reflects her commitment to promoting diversity and uplifting models of all statures. Her Kode With Klossy foundation demonstrates that one’s height should never restrict their ability to make a difference in the industry.

Lily-Rose Depp (5’3″):

Despite her petite build, Lily-Rose Depp—scion of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis—has successfully established herself in the modeling domain. Her innate sense of grace and refined aesthetic offer a compelling reminder that confidence and charisma know no height restrictions.

Isabella Rossellini (5’8″):

Isabella Rossellini, a celebrated actress and timeless beauty has illuminated the world by demonstrating that age is simply a number. Regardless of height, she continues to emanate poise and refinement on the runway.

Milla Jovovich (5’8″):

A talented actress, model, and musician of unmatched caliber – this is what defines Milla Jovovich. She has broken barriers time and again to showcase her versatility in all aspects of entertainment. Despite height being a crucial factor in modeling agencies worldwide Milla proves that passion overpowers restrictions imposed by society; there’s no limit to what one can achieve with their skills if they set their heart to it.

Devon Lee Carlson (5’5″):

Devon Lee Carlson, a talented model, and influencer, uses her captivating style and colorful personality to encourage young women of all statures to embrace their distinctive qualities.

Hailey Baldwin (5’7″):

Without letting height limitations stand in her way Hailey Bieber (formerly known as Hailey Baldwin) has exhibited an irresistible charisma unwavering confidence, and authoritative presence. Her triumphs as a model and widespread impact are evidence of her unyielding determination.

Emily Ratajkowski (5’7″):

In the fashion world, Emily Ratajkowski is renowned for her striking appearance and fierce determination. Her unwavering confidence serves as a testament that success can be achieved regardless of height or any other perceived limitations.

Devon Carlson (5’6″):

As a model, influencer, and entrepreneur, Devon Carlson has fully embraced her petite figure while exuding confidence through her one-of-a-kind fashion sense. Her genuine authenticity and exceptional creativity are sure to inspire aspiring young models who may face height limitations within the industry.

Lottie Moss (5’5″):

Despite being overshadowed by her illustrious sister Kate Moss’s fame, Lottie Moss has managed to create a niche for herself with her striking appearance and innate fashion sense. Her remarkable accomplishments underscore the notion that limitations imposed by arbitrary measurements like height can be transcended through hard work and passion.

Devon Windsor (5’11”):

Devon Windsor serves as a testament to the idea that height is relative within the modeling industry. Despite standing taller than many shorter models, her inclusion here highlights the diversity found among models of varying heights.

Adut Akech (5’9″):

Adut Akech, a model of Sudanese and Australian descent, has made quite an impact in the fashion industry. Her striking features and strong aura demonstrate that there are no limits to beauty and talent, regardless of height.

Winnie Harlow (5’9″):

Through her distinctive allure and resolute advocacy for inclusivity, Winnie Harlow has shattered longstanding barriers in the world of fashion. Her notable accomplishments as a model despite not fitting traditional physical standards inspire others to embrace their unique qualities as fundamental factors in achieving success.

Ashley Graham (5’9″):

With her courageous leadership in the body positivity movement, Ashley Graham has effectively dismantled outdated beliefs and shattered preconceived notions of what constitutes true beauty. By achieving immense success as a plus-size model she boldly asserts that one’s height should never serve as a measure of their worth.

Halima Aden (5’5″):

No one can deny Halima Aden’s revolutionary accomplishment as the inaugural hijab-wearing model to be featured on prominent fashion magazine covers. Her story illustrates how vital it is to recognize models’ diverse identities beyond mere height, revealing that true beauty lacks set parameters.

Paloma Elsesser (5’4″):

Paloma Elsesser, an inspiring plus-size model is a powerful embodiment of the body positivity and inclusivity movement in the fashion industry. Her confident and magnetic presence defies the outdated belief that height dictates one’s potential for success.

Slick Woods (5’8″):

In the realm of fashion Slick Woods has swiftly established herself as a noteworthy figure. Her unparalleled individuality coupled with her unwavering poise has garnered considerable attention. It is without question that her extraordinary panache and undeniable gift set her apart as a revered example for models across the board.

Duckie Thot (5’10”):

The captivating Duckie Thot has shattered stereotypes with her statuesque beauty and commanding presence in the industry. Her short model success is a testament to the power of confidence and determination, proving that height restrictions need not hold one back.

Sofia Richie (5’6″):

The world of fashion sees many talented individuals come and go—yet Sofia Richie continues to leave an impression on all who encounter her work. As a successful model and influencer with a smaller build than many in the industry adhere Sofia showcases how one’s physical traits are not obstacles but rather distinctive characteristics that can be embraced through personal style choices. This inspiring message motivates aspiring models and fans alike to celebrate what makes each person unique while pursuing success on one’s terms.

Emily Bador (5’6″):

Emily Bador, an inspiring model and activist, dedicates her platform to promoting inclusivity and confronting societal beauty norms. Her efforts towards dismantling barriers while embracing her unique height highlight the significance of self-acceptance.

Myla Dalbesio (5’11”):

Myla Dalbesio, an artist and model of noteworthy talent, has bravely disregarded the strict height standards of the fashion industry and carved out her distinctive niche. Her innovative and daring approach serves as a testament to the fact that achievement is not limited by physical stature.


From breaking through barriers to achieving outstanding feats on runways across the world – 33 exceptional female short models have defied narrow-minded views on what defines a successful model in this day & age. Their accomplishments show beyond doubt that beauty does not have a predefined metric; rather it manifests itself boldly irrespective of size or shape. Their work has ushered in fresh waves of acceptance within an industry dominated by rigid traditional notions – thus carving out better opportunities for aspirants beyond what was possible before their strides came along today.

With each modest jolt reshaping pre-existing norms & broadening appeal across demographics at large – these stories serve as glittering examples reminding us all how the modeling world has evolved to embrace diversity, and individuality, and celebrate inclusivity in unique ways that reflect the real world around us. Regardless of how you look or where you come from, as we can see from these women’s experiences’ the key ingredients for success in this industry lie in one’s self-confidence, resilience & capability to confront long-held beliefs head-on.


Following the fashion trends and celebrities across the globe. I love writing about inspirational figures in entertainment industry. Apart from blogging over 10 years, I work as an event host in California. Feel free to reach out for any questions. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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