When models walk the runway for fashion shows, it’s not uncommon for them to appear very somber and serious, even somber and solemn. It’s become such a phenomenon that some fashion magazines have been filled with ripping apart the reason for this so-called “darkness” that models tend to adopt. But is this really true? Why do fashion models don’t smile on the runway?

When catwalkers strut their stuff, they don’t smile. They don’t look happy or joyful, in fact, they look downright miserable. Why? Because they’re in fashion (duh). Fashion models are generally paid to be the best at what they do, and being fashion models means looking a certain way. Models often wear heavier makeup than the average person (sometimes even being made up as a different person entirely), so they don’t smile because smiling would highlight their “imperfections” in photos. There are many other reasons, let’s get into the details, shall we?

Why Do Runway Models Don’t Smile?

Fashion models are trying to tell a story, not to make you smile. They are following the designer’s vision of the final outlook, they are representing a story the fashion designer wants to tell.


Models on the runway are not supposed to smile. They are meant to showcase the clothing that they are wearing and let the audience focus on that, not their faces. It can be a bit confusing for some people since we are so used to seeing models smile in magazines and other advertisements, but it is something that you get used to when watching fashion shows. In fact, sometimes it can even be a bit distracting if a model is smiling because you end up looking at their teeth instead of the dress or shirt that they are wearing. Look, a fashion designer’s job is no child’s play, they work months on a piece of clothing. So They want People to put full attention to their works, not to the model’s face. You often would look at a nice smile before what she/he is wearing, right?


In the world of runway modeling, smiles are a rarity. That’s because models are typically instructed not to smile, or at least not to smile too much. In order to preserve the look that the makeup artist has painstakingly created.

While it may seem like a small detail, even the tiniest shift in expression can ruin the overall theme and effect that the makeup artist is trying to create. And given how much time and effort goes into crafting a model’s look. It’s no wonder that most runway models prefer to keep their faces neutral whenever possible.

Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule, and there have been a few memorable runway moments when a model has let loose and let her smile take center stage.

The Stress:

When you walk down a runway, it is important to look poised and confident. However, for many models, this is easier said than done. In addition to having to worry about how they look, models also have to worry about how they’re walking. If they trip or don’t walk in a straight line, it can be very noticeable and can ruin the whole show.

In order to make sure that they look their best, many models will walk down the runway multiple times. They might even go back and change their outfit. And if they make a mistake while walking? Well, that’s just part of the job. Models are often told not to smile while walking down the runway, as it can make them look too casual.

The Status:

Models walk the runway with a serious expression to give the impression that they are high class and above others. Many people believe that this look is what gives these women their elegance and sophistication. However, some models have spoken out about not smiling on the runway.

According to Izabella Scorupco, a model and actress, “There’s something about a woman who doesn’t smile that makes her look so much higher class.” She believes that walking with a straight face makes the audience take you more seriously. “You don’t see many top models smiling on the runway,” she says. “It just doesn’t look as high class.”

Others have agreed that this is an important aspect of modeling. “Smiling can make you look younger and less sophisticated,” says another model named Darya Klishina.

Compare the two images of Cara Delevingne, Which looks more intense and candid?

Cara Delevingne, fashion models don't smile pose
Cara Delevingne

Finally, Models are often told to remain emotionless while on the job. This is especially true when they are near clients, as it is seen as a sign of professionalism. While this may seem like a difficult task, many models find ways to suppress their emotions and put on a blank face. In fact, some models are so good at hiding their feelings that they appear to be mannequins or hangers.

I am no one to judge if it’s all bad or good, but it is how it is. The sign of Professionalism in the modeling industry and those are the reasons fashion models don’t smile.