This entry is geared to fitness models thinking of starting out in the industry, and perhaps some insight for those considering a change. I should mention that the points below are offered simply as an opinion.

Model : Tanya Geisinger - Shot in the Caribbean

Model : Tanya Geisinger – Shot in the Caribbean

I’ve been around the fitness industry for over 15 years and I’ve seen a few common mistakes get repeated over and over. I’ve witnessed so many fitness models regret posting things, sharing things, and simply having created an image of themselves they wish they could change. Even in divorce where a public name change is required, can be embarrassing. It’s unfortunate to be attached to pictures and posts you can’t remove yourself from.

There is a pre-emptive solution to this however.

I often tell models that want to get into the industry to consider doing so under an alias. Think about it for a moment. If in the future you want to walk away from your fitness career, you get a chance to simply abandon the name.

Beliefs change over time. As a new model it’s very tempting to want to have sexy pictures of yourself.  It’s tempting to want to be admired and stand out in a crowd. I certainly don’t discourage it at all. I love shooting glamour as much as anything else. It certainly gets the most amount of attention – Think of Pamela Anderson’s career, or Sports illustrated / Victoria Secret models – They do ok. If you don’t agree with it, by all means don’t bash it. Acceptance and tolerance is the best way to go. But I digress.

Now, before choosing which alias you’re going to go with be sure to check that the domain (www.mynewalias.com) name is not already taken. This can be especially embarrassing if you start branding yourself and there is a website to an adult entertainer using the same name. You don’t want their images coming up when someone googles your name. So obviously, once you’ve chosen the name, buy the domain to prevent losing it.

Let’s fast forward a few years and imagine you have kids and now their friends might find your pics, or you passed the bar and are going to be a lawyer or decide to be a doctor. In neither profession do you want your clients/patients/co-workers seeing those past images of you.  Simply never mix your real name and alias and it’s a good safety net against it.

Oh and aunts, uncles, grandparents can either be kept in the dark about it or not – You can choose.

Also, I’ve heard models often have difficult times crossing boarders because customs agents believe you may be entering their country to work, (Without a work visa).  Often competitors with fancy posing bikinis will have a hard time as well, even though they may not be modelling. With an alias that doesn’t appear when they scan your passport, these problems will likely not be an issue for you.

No one gets married planning to get divorced. With that being said, if you’ve been building a brand for yourself or already have a following, keep your maiden name professionally. This serves a couple of purposes; 1 – it prevents confusion in brand recognition and 2 – it prevents awkward public name changes should things not work out. If your spouse ‘to be’ supports your decision to be a fitness model, they should be ok with this concept.

Once you’ve chosen which name you’re going to use commit to it. Nothing is more detrimental to the building of your brand than name changes. I have personally looked for models I had worked with for well paying commercial assignments and not be able to find them because they changed their names/aliases.  Even if you’re using your real name, it’s not recommended to have a different one on different social media. If you go by Jane Doe, your Twitter/Instagram account should be @janedoe and not @somehotfitnesschic77 or the like.  Imagine Apple or Nike using different names on different platforms, it would make no sense and could be a costly mistake.

I hope this has been helpful and gives you a new perspective.

If you’re starting out, I highly recommend reading the articles below and if you found this article helpful or feel others might, I encourage you to share it.

Safety for Models – Best Practices

Getting Paid

Acceptance and Tolerance

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