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How to be a lady: Teens taken back to school in Dubai

Published: Updated:

Teenagers in the UAE are being taken back to school and taught some table manners. Now being offered up are modeling courses at the Dubai-based agency Bareface, reported a local newspaper.

“Body odor and bad breath are no-nos that can lose you jobs, "Alessandra Cardoso, a teacher at Bareface, told The National.

"I make a point of telling my students that having excellent personal hygiene, being waxed and smelling great are vital in this business. I educate them about nutrition, too, as I can't have models who are starving. There must be life in their eyes," she added.

Brazilian-born Cardoso, who modeled for 12 years, told the newspaper students learn all what they need to know how to become “professional” models.

"Teenagers can often feel inadequate and there are plenty of misconceptions out there," she says.

"Yes, it's true that some agencies prefer really skinny models because the camera can add pounds - but many European agencies are now enforcing minimum percentage of body fat. I teach students that 'plus-size' and 'petite markets' are also big business - so it's not all about size zero."

As a trainer, Cardoso puts a lot effort into getting her students to overcome what she described as “harmful” stereotypes about modeling in media.

The newly launched classes have targeted male students too.

"The training was really great and I now know how to groom myself and pose correctly," Vimal Vijayan, a 27-year-old Indian entrepreneur living in Dubai told the newspaper.

Bareface is considered to be the largest and most respected model and talent agency in the Middle East. The agency manages regional and international models, talent, and entertainment across fashion, advertising, events, film and TV. A twelve-week modeling course at the academy costs 5,000 AED ($1,361).