Need a job? Get naked

Aaron Crowe

As someone who hires models at an art school in Philadelphia, Jen Hagen has no problem finding young, thin, white women who will model nude.

But finding anyone who is older, heavier, ethnic, or who doesn't have the typical look of a model is almost impossible, she says.

Even in a recession, when 9.4% of the country is unemployed and looking for work, and in Pennsylvania where 8.3% of the population is out of work, Hagen is looking to hire models.

"I need more of a diversity of people," said Hagen, model coordinator at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia.

Posing nude without job benefits in front of strangers may not sound like the perfect job for someone looking for full-time work, but it can help pay the bills. And at least it isn't a boring desk job.

The pay is $15 an hour, or more than double the federal minimum wage, the hours are flexible, and for someone looking to work 12 hours or so a week, it can be a steady part-time income, Hagen said.

While more unemployed people are coming to her for modeling jobs, they see it as an interim job and quit as soon as they find full-time work, she said. She's unsure why the school can't attract more minority models.

"I definitely need all varieties of models," she told me in a telephone interview. "You just can't paint one type of person forever. If you do, it gets boring."