INDIAN MODELS...hit the international model industry

With almost every major international beauty pageant already in their kitty, Indian fashion models have now set their eyes on the ramps of Paris, Milan, London and New York.

Thousands of young Indian teenagers are going through the rigors of modeling classes, make-up sessions and personality coaching, hoping to make it to the big league.

For them modeling is an attractive career option that promises heavy doses of glamour, money and a flamboyant lifestyle.

Two Indians have won the Miss Universe title since 1994, and three were crowned Miss World during the same period. Celina Jaitley, the current Miss India, just about made it in the Miss Universe, 2001 competition coming in at a respectable fifth position.

These successes in the international arena have helped change the Indian mindset towards modeling, turning it into a very viable career option.

Nishita Patwardhan, a Bombay-based model coordinator and fashion choreographer, said conservative-minded Indian parents used to look down upon modeling as an unsuitable career for their daughters, but today's parents are far more encouraging."Earlier it used to be looked down upon, when young girls used to get into modeling their parents used to hold them back. But now because our Indian women are making such a mark on the international front they take it far more seriously, parents don't mind their daughter becoming a model because they have seen where an Aishwarya Rai (Miss World 1994) has gone in life, they've seen what an Indian woman is capable of and they've also got a certain confidence that these girls are not being taken for a ride. This is somewhere they can make money, they can sustain themselves, they can earn a living" said Nishita.

For a young aspirant the journey begins with getting a professional portfolio done. The next stop is a modeling school where one can learn the art of make-up, catwalk, the right poise and attitude before a public screening.

Lubna Adams
, a leading Indian fashion choreographer, says apart from appearance, attitude and flexibility are also very important for newcomers hoping to make into the big leagues. Lubana adds "When I am looking for a model, I am looking for a person with attitude, with professionalism, with style with a great body, with height and the versatility that I need on stage, for example I need a model to be able to walk different kinds of walks, express different kind of expressions, so it is everything that matters."

JesseFor those born tall, the thought of becoming a professional model comes naturally.
Jesse Randhawa, one of India's Leading model says "I wanted to be an international model since I was a child and my physique and the way I grew like so tall, I thought that was the perfect job for me. Plus, you know, glamour is attached to it, it sort of spoils you. You can earn so much in no time and then you can invest it somewhere and the best part of modeling is that you get to meet so many people and you get to travel so much and I love that part."

For decades girls used to aspire for more sobre professions like teaching or medicine, but now that has changed.Many also see modeling as a stepping stone to the greener pastures of Bollywood, the world's largest film industry. Money is another major attraction.

FleurFleur Xavier, Seasons 2000 Fall collection model and currently one of India's hotest Ramp model frankly sums up the whole proposition as why modelling is lucrative and attracting so many young girls to this profession. She says "It gives more money than most of the fields available to. I am 24 and I think I make more money than another 24-year-old doing a nine to five job so if I can make so much of money at my age, then I have to put in that much of effort. If I have to put in that much effort then I have to be passionate about it. So its a very lucrative 10 year line, because a modeling career lasts 10- 12 years."

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