The poor guy!

Kakoli Sengupta

He has a face of Adonis, a Gladiator’s body and a Casanova’s charm. His uber-cool attitude is hypnotising, his attitude is stunning, yet in the world of glamour, he is losing out. When it comes to finding work, a male model finds himself at the dead end - a bitter fact in the Indian modelling industry.

Ace photographer Atul Kasbekar says, “As models, girls get paid up more; boys get paid up more when they become actors.” Ask a male model and you would know what the gifted photographer means. The gender bias might be a feminist agenda in almost every other industry, but in Bollywood, male actors get far more than their female counterparts. But when it comes to the alluring world of fashion, it is just the opposite. The fairy tales of the modelling world are often false.

Working out at the gym for awfully long hours, dieting (of course, men also diet to get the lean look), bowling at good contacts, and yes, the models from overseas spoiling the market are the challenges, to name a few. There is just not enough work for the male models is a shattering reality.

“There is obviously less work and lesser money,” says model Siddharth Rawat comparing the phenomenon with his female colleagues. “When not on the runway I go to the print, what to do there is hardly any work” says model Ravinder.

Glancing at the factors, there are hardly any reasons lying with the lads. The male models are competent enough to strut the international runway.

Agrees Atul and so does designer Troy De Costa, “Indian models are awesome, better than the international ones in many ways. They are disciplined, they have an attitude and they are adjusting,” says Troy.

Though the second edition of Men’s Fashion Week comes as a respite for the male models, there is still a long way to go. With women ruling the luxury retail segment, the demand for female models becomes higher.

“Men are still moving to designer wear so it will take time for us as models to make it that huge on the runway,” echoes model Aashish Chaudhary. With more and more men entering the men’s wear market and the Indian men getting more and more style conscious, the change is visible on the horizon.

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