Ugly Models

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By Ana Marta Laranjeira

Are you 6ft, well toned, with flawless skin and a smile that could illuminate the entire Eurotunnel? Congratulations, but I’m afraid that is not enough for this particular agency: Ugly Models. Yes, there is absolutely no spelling mistake there; this is a real modelling agency. Yet, the name is not to be taken that literally.


The London based company was founded in 1969 to fill in a gap in the market, just like every good business should. Their goal was simple: to find interesting faces and people with peculiar features. While in a certain way, other agencies offer the same “standardised” features with their models in order to answer the demands of the high fashion industry, Ugly Models has no specific physical requirements.


To be accepted as one of their models, one must have character. The agency’s motto is “Any beauty can be airbrushed but we want our look to have true character” and their aim is to share your uniqueness, and even your most bizarre side (although this is not actually mandatory).


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If you decide to take a wander around their website,, take a look at their “About Us” section. There you’ll find: “We like our women fat and our men geeky, we like the extremely tall and the shockingly small. No one is too abstract for our books! We are Ugly. And we are the leaders in character modelling.”


They have models from the next-door Mum with the bubbly personality and the cute looking girl in a wheel chair to guys covered in piercings and 3ft models.


There are some interesting model categories, such as “Thugs”, “X files”, “Guinness World Records”, “Wee Folks”, amongst some others, but in reality there isn’t too much categorization in this agency.


Ugly Models prides itself in knowing all of their models by name and treating them as unique individuals, which makes the whole labelling process rather unnecessary and secondary.


In spite of all of this, don’t get the impression that they are not a serious company. They do mean business, providing models to big names such as Vogue, Calvin Klein, Diesel, and more. The unique selection of models allows them to always have a look for every kind of market and client. Therefore, I’ll reformulate my initial question: Do you have a striking personality, a weird talent or an embarrassing, yet awesome body feature? Then I think you might actually be an Ugly Model!