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    Bikini models.  They seem to have it all – money, fame, tons of adoring fans.  So how does a regular gal go about becoming one?  If you ask ten different bikini models how they got their start in the business, you’ll likely get ten different answers.  But bikini models are made, not born, so its possible to transform yourself into one should you so desire.

    Step 1 – Let’s Get Physical

    Let’s work on your body, shall we? It should probably go without saying, but bikini models need to be in good shape.  You don’t need to be cut and ripped, or starve yourself until you weigh next to nothing, but you do need to have the type of body that looks good in a variety of bikinis (and not just ones that you own).  Sooner or later, a photographer is going to ask you to wear a certain bikini that you might not like. Its important to look good in that suit, even if its so hideous that you’d never buy one for yourself.

    There’s no big secret here – getting in shape requires a combination of diet and exercise. How much of each you’ll need is up to you to decide, but there are some general rules that you could follow that might help you get there.  First, watch out for portion sizes when you eat in a restaurant.  So many restaurants jack up the portion sizes, which is great if you want to get a lot of food for the money, but it also encourages people to eat more food in a sitting than they really need. One trick you can use to help cut back on portion size is to drink a full glass of water before every meal.  Water has zero calories, its good for you (in fact, you couldn’t live without it!), and it expands your stomach, helping you feel fuller before you even start eating.  Try it out and see if it doesn’t work for you!

    So much has been written about exercise on the Web and in print that there would be little “new” information that we could provide here that isn’t available anywhere else. Very few of us really love exercising, and some of us downright loathe it.  But a little exercise is necessary, especially if becoming a bikini model is your goal. Its best to start out slow, maybe walking for 30 minutes a day, and gradually increasing your activity level until you’re burning major calories.  The secret to losing weight is simple to learn, yet difficult to achieve: burn more calories than you take in. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist and see if you can’t develop a workout plan that’s custom-designed to you get you where you need to be.

    Step 2 – Networking

    Now that you’ve got that fantastic body, you’re ready to start rocking it on the catwalk at bikini fashion shows all across the land.  But how do you break into such a thing?  Any bikini model will tell you that you need a portfolio to even be considered by most agencies. A portfolio is just a sampling of your previous work.  But what if you don’t have any previous work doing bikini modeling?  Simple, just make it look like you have!  Professional photographers can be quite expensive, so one avenue you might choose is to befriend someone who’s taking college-level courses in photography.  Chances are they will need content for their portfolio as much as you do, so a barter arrangement can often be struck where everyone gets what they want.

    Now that you’ve got the rocking body and a decent portfolio, its time to meet people who can help you with your dream. Agencies who handle bikini models are a good place to start. Simply attending a bikini fashion show and talking to the models to find out how they got their start can save you lots of time and frustration in your quest to become the next top bikini model.

    By now you have hopefully managed to land your first big bikini photo shoot – your first paying gig!  Its natural to be excited, but the most important thing to remember on your first shoot is to be professional.  Just because you’re wearing a bikini doesn’t mean that the people who hired you will accept anything less than professional behavior.  This means showing up on time (not more than 30 minutes early, and NEVER late), and composing yourself before, during, and after the shoot.  Treat it as you would any other job. Professional behavior is often the single most important factor in getting a phone call for another job.