Modelling (and) Business.

by: Eunice Domingo

“Confidence plays a major role in modeling, and most of us do not possess that since childhood. But you have to draw it from yourself, not from other people. You have to find that doubtful side of you and work on it. Being confident means knowing how to handle the emotional outcome of the challenges you’ll face. Begin by acknowledging every emotion, especially difficult ones rather than avoiding them, never neglect those emotions ‘cause it may turn into fears or worst of all a nightmare.” –A gem of advice being kept by a 27 years old young model from Kuwait, Abdulrahman AlBader. A recent graduate of Bachelors in Marketing who dreams of becoming a successful businessman,  “رجل اعمال” in Native Arabic language. 

As we speak Abdulrahman is budging in between Kuwait and Dubai because of his commitments. He has even gone way farther to mention; Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, London, Lyon and Madrid. 

This young model started his career big when he was scouted via Instagram eight years ago to be featured in Abu Dhabi Formula 1 2014 advertisement. He was still excited while looking back on how he started –. I wasn’t really aware how huge the offer was until after I’ve accepted it, I kind of debated it but later on got encouraged by my older brother. I was just graduating from high school and was about to enter university when he said experiences like this might only knock once in a lifetime, and this ‘once in a lifetime’ talk used to terrify me. *laughs* I accepted the offer and flew to Dubai later that month. The shooting, studio and preparation was in Dubai, but the actual event is held in Abu Dhabi. It was a 2-day print ad photoshoot and I was really impressed with everything, everyone is professional and the companies who invest in these ads are spending gigabucks in attracting the  target audience while us models represent them. That was my first year being associated with the media people in the UAE, I really enjoyed the experience. It was remarkable. During the 3-day Formula 1 event, I got offers from couple of modeling/media agencies in Dubai, but I had to consider a lot of things before signing in the contract as it was also the same time that I do wanted to get into business school and get my bachelors degree something that  I’ve always dream of doing. 

Once he got into the modelling industry the struggle coming from society’s norm started. Different beliefs. Gossips. It reminded him of his hometown, his highschool days. The only way to overcome such is to stay away from negativity and carry on with new things fearlessly, in the end it will have a better impact in one’s life. The following year he got a number of offers from brands to editorials –and realized  that modeling is a type of art, just like acting or singing, models get to act on behalf of someone, it’s sort of acting for photos. For instance, wearing a suit and tie doesn’t really mean you’re an employee or if you are shooting for designer underwear it should not demean you as a person

More importantly, he has full support coming from the photographers and those people that he worked with.They were the ones who stood by his side, they were the ones who turned off those silly thoughts out of his mind. And of course, his family. If it weren’t for them he wouldn’t be the guy that he is right now. His family’s fundamental thought may be liberated but true to themselves. “These creatures that we call “people” has never been the ones that will help you or even pay your taxes in the end. Do not mind them when they poke you”

Aldulrahman is raised in a healthy family, literally and figuratively. I grew up with parents that eat healthy, sleep early and work hard, so I was raised as a child that has to eat healthy to “maintain a stronger body” so I’ve been the child that was surrounded by healthy food in his household. I used to wait for the weekend so eagerly ‘cause it is when my mom would take  me out to eat ice-cream. LOL. My present diet though is a NO diet-plan, I do eat salads at least twice a day, my breakfast and lunch always must consist of lean food, because If I eat greasy breakfast or at times junk food brunch. Dinner is my most cherished meal, I usually eat lean meat or grilled chicken and rice on the side or carbs in general and this meal has to always contain more than 1 serving. Yes I eat a lot! 

I love working out.I usually do it first thing in the morning, I like the feeling of having to accomplish my resistance training early in the day ‘cause it gives me sort of a satisfaction. On days where I don’t workout, run or inactive I am either totally busy or it is my rest day. I believe that to have a healthy mind it should be partnered with physical and action-oriented SMART goals. My suggestion, maintain a healthy routine and keep yourself motivated. 

Modelling is not my end, it is my life at the moment but I still want to come into the business field in the years to follow.  

He continued, this life has completely changed me, it made me wiser in life. I was a whole different person when I got into business school. I was juggling modelling requests as well as trying to finish a semester. I have challenged myself. I said I can do pretty much everything I have in mind. Anxiety was present but the feeling of doing and finishing what I’m supposed to do gives me a great rush, a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. I am just proud of myself. 

His piece of advice to those aspiring models, remember there is no single path to follow. Different models have found success through different routes. I might be one of the lucky ones who immediately found support from designers, photographers and especially managers who acted like my parents in the industry before I went on photoshoots or before I hit the runway. He said these people provided him a moral booster.

Although there might be no clear path in this career just show your confidence, show your style, show your art and stay motivated. 

Some models really do work their way into modeling, it is a tough job. These models track down test-shoots and put together their comb cards and portfolios. They study and practice modelling through their expressions, posing, runway walking, hair styling, working in front of the camera, and learning how the business works, and in the end, all that hard work will be paid off. 

As for me I still have more work to do, more books to read. It will never be enough to have more adventures, because I always want to challenge myself and that’s how I keep myself motivated and positive.

I’m told not to talk about it yet, but there are many exciting things that I will take part in the coming months hopefully when things are more stable in the world. Stay tuned! 

Cool Arabia, thank you much for featuring me in the magazine, I’m honored. Please stay safe. 

I used to have this wrong idea that male models cannot be as successful as female models. Perhaps the media has more concentration on women, but the real reason behind is just that females catch much more attention. Also, men of all ages can be successful models and the idea that only men in their late teens or early twenties can model is false. From commercial, to editorial, to fashion modeling, there are markets for male models of all ages. Brands are often looking to appeal to a broader market, and having models that represent different generations is a great way to do that. Also those standards are not strict and applied in all of the industry. For example, height standards for male models are usually only applied when working as fashion and runway models. It’s not a hard rule. There are different types of modeling, and they don’t only call for tall and physique male models. It is totally okay to be on an average height and weight, shorter and bit more taller, modelling industry is welcoming male/female of different size, feature and race. -Aldulrahman AlBader

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