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Current Events

Aging Model Reinvents Herself as Male Model

By Anthony Thurston on October 19th 2013


Elliot Sailors was a successful model with FORD Models, fortunate to have been featured in Bacardi billboard advertising around the globe, but at the old age of 31 (in modeling years) work began to dry up.

It is a familiar problem to many models once they reach their upper twenties and early thirties. But unlike most models watching their jobs disappear – many of whom choose to retire or find other work – Sailors decided to take a much more unique approach. She cut her hair and began to model as a man in hopes of lengthening her career. In a quote to the New York Post Sailors stated “Men don’t need to look as young as possible, so I have a lot of time.”

It is an interesting choice, but a choice that Sailors says was not that much of a stretch for her. “I have a strong jaw, wide forehead, huge eyebrows. I (always) thought I looked like a man wearing makeup.” The transformation from blonde bombshell to metro male is quite remarkable.

I can see why casting directors give her work as a male model. Just as she says she has some very masculine features, which when mixed with her vast experience as a female model probably gives her a nice leg up over the real male models trying out for these gigs.


This story also brings up another point, unrelated to Sailors specifically, regarding the state of an industry where someone as young as 31 has to choose between changing careers or reinventing themselves as a member of the opposite sex.

Its one of those things that has been the way it is for so long that it will never change, but you can’t help but feel sorry for these beautiful models who lose out on work simply because of their age. Kudos to Elliot Sailors for not backing down, for bucking the status quo, and for continuing to pursue her career however she could.  It is an inspiring story to say the least.

[via The New York Post]


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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Connor MacKinney

    This was very clever of her. I do believe though she could of still found work as a female model. Really if you think about it there are plenty of 30+ models. Any photo that requires a family could use a 30+ female model. It is all about going after jobs that you fit the criteria for.

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  2. Lyn Rees

    Whilst she might pass for a man in the first picture, that’s a girl in a tie and hat in the second!

    Is that what men are meant to look like these days?

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    • Anthony T.

      Its all about what the casting director is looking for. I agree though, she is much more passable as a guy in the first image.

      In regards to what men are supposed to look like, that is a great question. On the one hand you have fashion with your stereotypical muscle men, but then you also have the more feminine “metro men” (which is where she gets her modeling work). I guess the question is what kind of man do you want to look like :P

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