Since I could legally work, I’ve held a variety of jobs and random gigs. One of my favorite jobs I had in college was my position as a figure model for my university’s art department. I’ve refrained from listing this on my resume, as some may find it unprofessional, however, a couple of mentors have told me I should mention this when applying for jobs. One mentor, who is a founder of a successful ad agency in Dallas, specifically told me that figure modeling shows that I’m bold, confident, and willing to take risks.
I have yet to update my resume to include my figure modeling gig, however, I don’t hesitate to mention it in interviews. Being a figure model was a great learning experience, and during my time working as one, I exercised skills that are transferable to professional environments. Below are a few of the skills necessary for successful figure modeling.
- Risk-taking — It takes guts to be able to get naked in front of 20 to 30 students at a time. If you are able to desexualize nudity and exist in your natural state for a given amount of time, it shows that you able to distance yourself from traditional ideas and think outside of the box.
- Confidence — Everyone has insecurities about their body. Some people might feel too fat, some people might have cellulite, or awkward moles, etc. Once you learn to embrace your insecurities and accept the fact that everyone has things they don’t like about themselves, you find a new level of comfort and power within yourself.
- Patience — One of the requirements for being a figure model is the ability to hold still for long periods of time. This was the biggest challenge for me, as each session was around three hours long, but luckily, I was allowed to have a break every 20 to 30 minutes. Keeping a mental timer and an incentive system helped me learn to be patient.
- Self-awareness — I’ve been told that figure modeling is “sinful” and “immoral” and have even been called a “glorified stripper.” After having been fully nude in front of multiple people at a time, I realized that people’s opinions of me were irrelevant. I know that was I was doing was for artistic purposes and that anyone who automatically associates the naked body with sexuality probably has a simple mind.
Many might find the idea of disrobing in front of an art class daunting, however, the few that can do it with no hesitation possess a mentality and set of skills that will take them far in their careers.