Updated: Nov 22, 2022
If you are reading this blog post that means you have been following @whynotpetites for a little while now – which gives me hope that we are doing something right to keep you around!
First things first – my name is Ani, I am from Armenia. When I was 14 I was a TV host for the youth program “Us” on the National Channel of Armedia, which was my very first introduction to working on camera. I studied Linguistics and International relations before moving to America almost 10 years ago at the age
of 19, and I currently call Chicago my home! What a ride it has been!
When I got here all I wanted to do was act, so naturally I started searching for talent agencies all over the state of Illinois to represent me. It was hard, because I didn’t know anyone, and in this industry, it’s only natural that I ended up applying for representation with scam artists (It’s a rite of passage, don’t worry I listened to my gut and never signed with them after they requested a fee to represent me).
No legitimate talent agency will ever charge you an initiation fee. And if you’re looking for this kind of information, we have your back. Ask us questions. Chances are we have heard of the scam artists already.
Photographer: Joe Underbakke
Even though I have had great experiences as a model, I can’t help but notice that if a model is shorter than 5’7” she often isn’t even considered for high fashion or runways.
My main goal and passion is still acting. I am trained for it, and have spent a lot of time studying. It’s always a work in progress.
Then the natural question – what am I doing with Why Not Petites? I simply got lucky! As an artist working in the Chicagoland area it’s almost impossible to do just one thing, be that acting, modeling, dancing, voiceover, etc. I remember the very first time I was booked as a model almost five years ago. I was elated! I was the only model of my height – it made me wonder if they made a mistake by booking me (hello imposter syndrome). It was print modeling so essentially the height shouldn’t matter, but after so many years being told that it’s an issue, you can’t help but wonder.
I have been in love with modeling ever since, because it’s such an incredible way to tell a story. You have only one shot to sell a product or not: I was hooked. That experience was the first push to my thinking that it’s not impossible to be 5’4 and …model.
I am glad the industry is changing, even though slowly. But even slowly it’s still progress!
I felt very lucky and honored when Britney invited me to join “Why Not Petites”. She told me about her vision, and seeing how passionate she is about the cause, I couldn’t help admiring her drive. After so many years of being denied opportunities to be on a runway, Britney has decided to create her own space, and gotten many other petite models on board. It’s very brave – and inspiring, to say the least!
Even though I have had great experiences as a model, I can’t help but notice that if a model is shorter than 5’7” she often isn’t even considered for high fashion, runways, or beauty shoots. My love for fashion just won’t forgive me if I don’t support others in chasing their dreams.
The world is big enough and it’s becoming more inclusive of different body types making their way in the industry. The women at Why Not Petites have worked very hard to get where they are now, and this group will not settle until everyone gets a fair share of opportunities, regardless of their body size and shape.
Thank you for supporting our petite cause with big dreams!
See you on the catwalk.