Menu

'Part' Time Modeling

All hands and feet? That's not always a bad thing, especially if you have attractive hands and feet.

In fact, men and women with especially good looking extremities are in high demand as "parts models."

And a nice pair or tootsies don't come cheap. Top models earn between $150 and $3,000 a day.

But before you do anything extreme, like quit your day job to pursue a more "hands-on" career, you might want to consider the sacrifices most parts models make on a daily basis.

"You have to take care of your hands 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," says Ellen Sirot, who is known as the Cindy Crawford of hand modeling.

Sirot wears gloves every day, all day to help protect her precious commodities from ultraviolet light, cuts and bruises. But that's not all she does or doesn't do to keep her assets in tip top shape.

"I don't cook, I don't clean, I don't take out the garbage, I don't garden, I don't play tennis," said Sirot. "I really don't do anything."

And if that reminds you of an episode of Seinfeld, where George Costanza, played by Jason Alexander tries his hand in parts modeling, you wouldn't be the first.

"A lot of people saw that Seinfeld episode where George wears the gloves, so people are aware of the parts modeling business and don't think I'm some kind of germphobic (person) anymore," said Sirot.

Hand and foot model Christina Ambers isn't quite as rigorous in protecting her hands, but she does avoid barbecues. Pesky mosquito bites that often go along with the summer activity are hard to cover up with makeup, she said. But she added that caring for her hands is a lot easier than taking care of her feet.

"On go-sees (modeling lingo for auditions), you always have sock marks if you're wearing sneakers and that doesn't look good on feet. And you're always walking," Ambers said. "Hands are easier to take care of because I can avoid doing housework."

But hiring a house-cleaner and avoiding barbecues isn't enough to make it in the parts modeling biz, according to Danielle Korwin of New York-based Parts Models agency.

"The requirements are pretty stringent," said Korwin at a recent hand model search contest event sponsored by Cutex. "I look for important things like the quality of the skin, wonderful, nice, even skin tone, and not a lot of veins or tendons showing for hands and feet."

The same goes for men. But guys face another challenge that most women don't have to worry about: Male parts models can't be too hairy.

And "women get paid twice as much as men," said male parts model James Furino. But according to Furino, sometimes the job alone is payment enough.

"I had this one job with a (female) model friend of mine," said Furino. "For six hours, at $350 an hour, I had to caress her. And she was naked, so it was a lot of fun."

And although hands and feet are the most requested parts, there are the occasional nose, ears and eyes calls as well.

"I've gotten calls for some unusual body parts," said Korwin. "One was a very, very large nose. They wanted a Jimmy Durante nose for an incontinent medication to illustrate that their product did not have a bad odor."