The government wants to crack down on firms who exploit people who want to be models. They're considering a total ban on up front fees. Alice Gibson is head of new faces at Model One modelling agency. She explains what you need if you want to be a model.
How easy is it to become a top model?
In reality, it takes a lot of hard work by us behind the scenes to get someone from being a rough diamond to jetting around the world as an international supermodel. But yes, it does happen if you put the hard work in.
Do you scout for new talent or do people come to you?
We do both. We're always scouting. We cover a lot of events throughout the year such as music gigs, concerts, premieres, we go in shopping malls up and down the country, we scout internationally. A lot of girls do come in and see us in the agency or they just email us photos and we sift through them and we have a look who's got potential and then we ask them to come in to the agency and meet us in person.
What are the ground rules to becoming a model?
You have to be a minimum 5ft 8in (1.76m) and even that is a little on the short side for a model. It's very, very rare to go on the catwalk unless you're at least 5ft 9in (1.79m).
So 5ft 8in (1.76m) is our minimum requirement although because sometimes we take on girls who are very young, we do allow the fact that they might grow another two inches (5cm), so sometimes we spot people when they're still 5ft 6in (1.7m) or so.
What about weight?
You have to have good proportions. You have to be naturally slender and slim because the clothes, according to the designers, will look best on you if you're naturally slim. So long as they're naturally slim girls who are born, they will make good models. But it is something that we're very aware of. We would never take someone on who's too skinny, for instance, because we don't want to send out the wrong messages to young girls.
Is there something to do with the bone structure as well?
You have to have a good bone structure anyway. The most important thing is to be photogenic from every single angle, otherwise you're going to make the photographer's life very hard. What you want is to find a girl who a photographer can fall in love with, who can become a muse because they're just beautiful whichever way you look at them.
It doesn't mean you have to be conventionally pretty or in a chocolate box way. You can be quite strange looking and still a very beautiful girl. We don't have a category where you have to look a certain way, have to have a certain hair colour, have to have a certain body shape but, in general, the only thing that we do ask is you have amazing bone structure because you've got to get the angles in the shoot.
What are the common misconceptions that girls have about becoming a model?
I think a lot of girls who come in to see us are there because they're very tall and slender but maybe they don't have the right kind of face. That's something that is a very personal decision that I take anyway. I do know what will work or not and sometimes they're like, 'Well. I should be one because I'm 5ft 11in (1.8m) and I've got a fantastic figure'. But you do need to have great face.
And it's the same when you have someone who does have a very beautiful face and maybe they're on the short side, you can see why people have urged them to come in and see us. But unless they've got the height we can't package them for the client. It's not a joke. You do need to be realistic. You do have to have the height and you have to have the right kind of face that works in front of the camera.
It's one of those things where it's one in a million but you never know if it could be you because we're always after the next new thing. We always want a new face, someone really interesting. You never know, it could be you but you do need to just get a professional opinion and find out.
Alice Gibson was talking to Newsbeat reporter Chris Smith.