Well like most questions posed on this THREAD, that depends on other factors. To answer this question I'm probably going to piss some people off. However the intent is not to upset anyone but rather put things in their proper context (as I understand it). Before continuing I want to make sure everyone understands that this is simply an opinion piece based on my research others opinions may differ based on their research or experience. While I don't pretend to be the end all on the discussion, I do lay out my argument in pretty compelling fashion.
The term published model without any qualifying information is about as arbitrary and useless as a person claiming to be a director. Like okay, what in the fuck did you direct? Did you direct a Hollywood blockbuster, an Independent release, made for TV movie, or a self financed web based movie. Yes you carry the same title as say Ryan Coogler (Director of The Black Panther for those who slept from 2018- 2020) but the difference in the level of proficiency and directorial responsibility are light years away. Yes you play basketball every week with the local open league so you are a basketball player but we all know that your no Lebron James. I say this to make clear being a published model covers everyone from Kendall Jenner to your neighborhood pretty face who is yet to make a nickel from modeling.
Being a published model is something that we all used to equate to getting paid to model. Well with the ability of publishers to churn out digital magazines from their closet that notion no longer holds true. There are probably as many magazines out there as there are models. (that's a joke people). This is the reason that I stress just saying your published without any qualifying information means absolutely nothing. By the way just so that we are clear, I'm not throwing shade on locally produced magazines (That's exactly what THREADS is) What I would like to make clear is being published in THREADS and being published in ELLE or Vogue International are two totally different levels of publications. Again, in no way am I saying that locally produced magazines lack anything other then gigantic circulations, but lets keep it a buck, that is where the rubber meets the road.
Here is the real deal. Even big name magazines like Elle and GQ are practically giving away the magazines at this point because the magazine would struggle to make ends meet with lower subscription levels. So the game is inflate your numbers by giving the damn thing (magazine) away and charging the underpants off of advertisers because your subscription base means millions will see that ad. So models get paid, photographers get paid, stylist get paid, hell, lighting assistants get paid. Because Your producing the best content to keep subscriptions up, celebrity personalities on your cover, and advertisers shelling out big bucks to appear on your pages. So how does this work for the smaller, submission based magazines? Are you still being published? Yes. Does it mean something? That depends on what your trying to achieve. If your goal is to get discovered and transition to paid gigs then no it means nothing. If your goal is to be seen by thousands of people, its another no. If your goal is to get experience working with more proficient professionals. Well yes. I'm sure I'm not touching on all the goals but you get the picture.
So how do you know the difference between large circulation magazines and small submission based magazines? Simply stated, the cost of the magazine, what your being paid or the actual circulation numbers of the magazine. The cost of a magazine is offset from advertiser dollars. So if the magazine is costing you 15-30 dollars you then know there is little to no advertiser dollars coming to the magazine since that's about the cost of that magazine being produced in print form. Advertisers tend to go where the people are, so if there is no advertiser dollars coming in, chances are you and your family members along with others appearing in the magazine are the only ones seeing it. So does it mean something. Well again I guess that depends that depends. To shoot for a magazine that's going to be seen by the right people or the people with budgets to make a difference in your professional journey your going to get paid for the shoot or at the very least have your expenses taking care of. Paying for shoots for publications makes absolutely no sense to me. You shelling out dollars to bring other peoples visions to life. If you choose to do that and I'm not saying you shouldn't I just don't understand the thinking of it. I'd make damn sure that I'm appearing in magazines that are going to make a difference in your career. If not why just not pay and produce your own damn vision and post on your page. Hell chances are more people will see it then that magazine your appearing in. Or more importantly, the right people will see it.
So who are the right people? To explain this, I need to explain why I think THREADS is different. THREADS was developed with the 518 in mind. It was developed because 99 percent of photographers, models, MUA's and other creatives may never appear in Elle. Does that mean that the needs of the 518 businesses and creatives are any different then the huge publications patronage? No the needs are the same but meeting the needs has to be approached and produced on a smaller, affordable, and more focused scale. In essence the needs of Lacoste are the same as any local business, the needs of Kendall Jenner are the same as any local model, the needs of any local photographer are the same as Annie Leibovitz all the needs are the same just on a smaller scale and something needed to be produced to address that need. So the goal of THREADS is simple, to make people 518 famous because for the most part you can't conquer the world until you conquered your own city. So who are the right people? The right people are the influencers that are right in front of you. The thousands of businesses right here in the 518 looking for talent to promote their business. You can look beyond the 518 and I encourage you to do just that, but as long as your here you may as well make it.