Certain models around the world earn millions of dollars a year. They get to travel to exotic countries, wear clothes from the most in-demand designers, and work with leading photographers. But the world of modelling isn’t all made up of luxury, fame, and riches. There’s a secret world of modelling that most people never think about – despite the fact that we see it everyday.
It’s the secret world of body parts modelling. According to Forbes.com, a premiere hand model can make up to $1000 a day for TV commercials and up to $5000 a day for print work. It might be a commercial for dish soap; a bus-stop billboard for the newest cellphone; or the cover of a book. In the same way an “average” person is not enough to attract the eyes of a normal consumer, just any old pair of hands is not enough to show off a product. Advertisers seek out the best in hand models and many are used more often and in more places than you might think.
You won’t recognize their faces, but the models on the list below are actually famous – everyone in the western world has doubtless seen their prized parts regularly in the media. We see them all the time in some of the most popular movies, books and product advertisements in the world – and now we’re showing you the faces behind the parts.
10. Ryan Serhant
Ryan Serhant was a hand model before he started work in real estate. Like many models, Serhant moved to New York to pursue a career in acting. A photo printer noticed Ryan’s hand resting on his face in one of his headshot photos used for his acting resume. He was impressed and forwarded the photo to AT&T. All of a sudden, he landed a job for their print campaigns. As he writes on Glamour.com, he never thought his hands would be more famous than himself, but ultimately he’s glad he got a break in the surprisingly lucrative hand modelling industry.
9. Katrina Nelson
Katrina Nelson is an in-demand parts model who has worked with brands like Charmin and Bounty in more than 45 television commercials. Her hands have been described as “perfect” with a size seven glove size and mocha olive skin tone. She also has long fingers and nail beds. In an interview for Forbes.com, Nelson explained that hand modelling, while lucrative, isn’t necessarily easy. Apparently it can be surprisingly technical with directors demanding the right look in the right amount of time. With her work for Taco Bell, Nelson said that she pulled a lot of cheese and that “it has to pull very prettily.”
8. Ashley Covington
Ashley Covington is a model with her hands on everything from Reynolds Wrap advertisements to book covers like Eat This!. She grew up in Virginia and first studied acting before appearing in productions of children’s television shows. This was until her hands were discovered by a modelling agent. After landing herself a few jobs, she found herself working for Hamilton Beach where she developed her skills and techniques as a hand model. She started booking photo shoots not long after with big-name brands including Wal-Mart, Campbells, and Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
7. James Furino
James Furino is a middle-aged drummer and sometime stand-up comedian. Furino was obsessed with hands his whole life as he learned how important they were to the culinary arts and his music. He then decided that the best way to learn about food preparation and hand dexterity was to become a hand model. He can make a union-scale wage of more than $800 a day for commercials for products like pizza. He’s also worked in the industry as a hand double for A-list stars such as Matthew Perry and Regis Philbin.
6. Elizabeth Barbour
Elizabeth Barbour was one of the industry’s top hand models during the 1980s. She started her career after moving to New York City, began taking acting classes, and did traditional modelling for extra money. But after she was told she was not tall enough and her hair was too curly, she was asked if she would consider hand modelling. Eventually she became a model represented by the eminent Ford Modeling Agency in New York City and became the hand model for Palmolive’s newest label. She was paid $650 for the job. As she became more known, Barbour earned up to $350 an hour or over $2000 a day.
5. Ellen Sirot
Ellen Sirot graduated from Bernard College and began working as a professional dancer, a vocation that takes a physical toll on the hands and feet. She also worked as a waitress until she “stumbled” into hand and parts modelling. She took it seriously. She began to treat her hands with the best in moisturizing lotions and studied the technology behind anti-aging products. She has worked extensively in the business with brands like American Express, AT&T, Body Shop, Bloomingdales, Wendy’s, Always Maxi Pads, and many more. Now she works as an Hand Expert and consultant for magazines like Harper’s and Women’s World.
4. Mia Crowe
Although Mia Crowe wants to be a regular actress where an audience can see her whole body, she still loves working in the movie and advertising industry as a successful parts and hand model. Her hands are so highly regarded that many movie directors prefer her hands over those of Keira Knightly or Charlize Theron. As she pointed out in an interview with GoldSea.com, the best job she had as a hand model was for Skyy Vodka where she worked alongside a sexy male model. Another was working with the famous Jamie Lee Curtis on a TV commercial.
3. Pamela Moses
Pamela Moses does actually show her face quite a bit, as an all-over gorgeous model – but she’s best known for an advert in which only her thumb appeared. Pamela Moses has become famous for her work as Megan Fox’s thumb double in a Super Bowl commercial for Motorola. Apparently, Fox had clubbed thumbs that were not up to snuff for the directors and advertisers behind the commercial. The story of her doubling for Fox has since gone viral, spreading like wildfire on the internet.
2. Adele Uddo
One day in Arizona a psychic woman told Adele Uddo that she would become a model. Uddo grew up on a hippie-like organic farm until moving with her mother when she was 7-years old. As she grew up, she never believed the predictions of a lady named Ruby Flowers would come true but she later started work as a full-body model and booked jobs around the world in Taiwan and Japan. As she progressed in her career, she began to hand model more and more, doubling for Penelope Cruz and Natalie Portman. She also works as an actor and filmmaker.
1. Kimbra Hickey
Many of us may not realize it, but Kimbra Hickey’s hands have been seen by millions of people around the world. In a way, she’s one of the most famous models in the world; or, at least, her hands are. Not only have her feet appeared on billboards in Times Square and her hands in hundreds of Avon catalogues, her hands are also on the cover of the hugely-popular vampire novel series, Twilight. The job put her in the limelight as the novel became an international success.