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Should I let my extremely academic/motivated Junior daughter model part time?

socowondersocowonder 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
edited October 9 in Parents Forum
This is a somehwat odd question for this forum, but we find ourselves in a somewhat odd situation.

As a reward for my daughter's hard work last year in school, we took her last week to a music festival where she was scouted by a major LA modelling agency. Fast forward a week, and after a skype interview and exchange of some casual snaps of her that my daughter had lying around, the agency has offered her a contract and wants her to model for them part time while in school. (It is a legit company, some famous models, no money required for shoots or anything from us the three year contract includes a two year "development" period where she build her "book" and "look".)

Of course, my daughter wants to do it. She is bored by our small town and the crushing load of school work that she ploughs through every week, and sees this as a nice counterpoint (not quite sure where all her feminist ideals went, but that is another topic).

She is a highly academically motivated, straight A student taking all APs and honors courses this year, is a peer tutor at the local library, as well as layout editor for the school newspaper. She is is already crazy busy as it is and it is hard to carve out time for recreation, let alone anything else.. The agency has repeatedly said that "school comes first" and we can fit in shoots on some weekends but mainly on holidays.

She always thought she would model part time in college. She does not want to be a full time model (obviously) and is looking at colleges like Reed and Vassar and at studying chemistry.

I worry about a) time commitments. b) self esteem issues and anxiety being exacerbated by the modelling world. c) Somewhat suggestive fashion photos following her around for years after on the web and affecting job offers etc if people interviewing her turn them up.

Any thoughts other parents might have about any of this???
edited October 9
75 replies
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Replies to: Should I let my extremely academic/motivated Junior daughter model part time?

  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4420 replies18 threads Senior Member
    Do it! It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. Just make sure it's a "real" company. You should pay for nothing. They should be doing all the head shots etc etc. Once they ask for money for anything then you know it's not legit. . Have an entertainment lawyer look over the contracts.

    One of our friends kids is /was in a few national commercials with one being McDonald's..... Great way to save up for college.

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  • doschicosdoschicos 21395 replies223 threads Senior Member
    Give it a spin. You and your daughter can talk upfront about limitations and concerns. If it becomes an issue in any way, she can drop it and pull back.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5845 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Go for it. Just make sure you understand the contract and that it is exactly, completely what you agreed to.

    I have a relative who paid for college "back in the day" with a couple of shots per year.

    You definitely should maintain a dialogue with your D about how she feels about how she looks and not having her self-esteem invested in that, but honestly, that's a conversation we should be having with all our kids!
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  • socowondersocowonder 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Thank you all for your responses. I am surprised they are so overwhelmingly affirmative! It is a good idea to have an entertainment lawyer look over the contract and we are also wanting to make sure there is an "escape clause" in case she gets to the first shoot and hates it ( I can dream!). Like most girls, my daughter is very susceptible to criticism/comment about how she looks, hence my worry about the industry getting "inside her head." But it would definitely be something that is exciting for her and a welcome break from the HS homework grind.....
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7584 replies61 threads Senior Member
    I would also have a conversation with your D about your expectations about her school work and priorities. You may need an escape clause if this ends up taking up too much time and her grades start to slip.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 21395 replies223 threads Senior Member
    socowonder wrote: »
    Like most girls, my daughter is very susceptible to criticism/comment about how she looks, hence my worry about the industry getting "inside her head."

    @MWolf brings up a good point that I glossed over. With your statement above, I would modify my previous statement. If she's already facing anxiety about her appearance, perhaps it isn't a good idea at all. Modeling comes with a lot of rejection focused on not be "the right look" and nitpicking on appearance issues.

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  • socowondersocowonder 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Mwolf. thank you for sharing your personal experience. I am sorry to hear about your daughter's issues and, honestly, I could see my daughter reacting in a similar way in such a context. She already feels "bad" about aspects of her body as I suppose most teen girls do....My worry is that, if I say "no" now, for this reason among others, she will do it when she is 18 anyway, when I am not around to guide/help her deal with things. I am really in a quandary about this.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4420 replies18 threads Senior Member
    You mentioned that she was considering modeling and the only reason I said to "do it"

    I am familiar with actors, dancers, performers at this age and as @MWolf knows..... This is not like watching these things on TV.

    I would have a long talk with this company and be totally honest with them. She will get critiqued, comments on her looks. It is part of the job. She will get rejected from audition /shoots. If they are lining her up with jobs that are guaranteed that might be different. If she is getting an agent and has to go to shoots for jobs she will get rejected over and over. It's all about the wins not the failures.

    I am just intrigued since they noticed her. Sometimes they "are" looking for a certain look for a certain job /client. Mostly you should or a guardian be allowed on set /shoot.

    You know your child but her welfare is more important. But she has to know she might do many shoots with it not materializing into anything. But.... If they are saying there is a commercial or national account..... Grab it.
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  • socowondersocowonder 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Hi momofsenior1 -- Luckily, I think at least my daughter and I are both in agreement about the grades not slipping aspect of this whole thing....she's v. motivated about her grades and I don't think I see that changing....
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  • socowondersocowonder 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Knowsstuff -- It is not a particular commercial or national account -- she would have to go to all those casting calls and put up with the endless rejections......

    She was actually scouted by two different agencies while we were at the festival and she ended up following up with the one that was a little more "alternative" in their models' profiles (more women of color and LGBTQ etc). But no guaranteed account.

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  • MusakParentMusakParent 1022 replies9 threads Senior Member
    Well I don't have personal experience. But I have a friend who is a middle age mom now who was discovered by a legit agency and did quite a bit of modeling for several years as a young adult. She said there is no way she would ever let her own daughter do it. She said it was hard on her psyche and self esteem. And though she wasn't a direct victim of sexual assault she said even the best of the industry tolerates low grade sexual harassment and objectification. If your child already struggles a bit with self image, maybe not the best choice.

    My kids have found some body positive choices in music and dance and theater. My son did do various paid jobs through high school. It sounds like her plate is quite full already.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4420 replies18 threads Senior Member
    Then she /you have to realize that this will be weekly /monthly rejections. Maybe do a few and see how the time commitment is affecting her. Bring your computer and home work with. This can be a big time waster but she can see the inside of this business and can lead to an interesting college essay.. 😉.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4420 replies18 threads Senior Member
    A red flag to me is that several modeling agencies were looking for talent at this fair.....
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  • socowondersocowonder 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    edited October 9
    Not really a red flag, I don't think. It is a big three day festival just outside LA. Apparently one of the places where scouts find talent these days is music festivals (where youth congregate.) Also instagram of course, though my daughter does not have an instagram account....

    Anyway the point of my saying that she came away scouted by two legitimate companies is that she will probably be approached again at sometime in her young life, and maybe when she is 18 and I can no longer say "no". So maybe best to say "yes" so she can either work it out of her system now or at least be in it while being guided by me as much as I can.
    edited October 9
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  • socowondersocowonder 68 replies7 threads Junior Member
    edited October 9
    Musakparent, thank you for sharing that experience of your friend. So valuable to hear that perspective from somebody who has seen it from the inside.. (Ironically, my daughter was an excellent saxophonist and bassoon player who dropped music this year to fit other hons courses in her schedule. )
    edited October 9
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  • toandfrotoandfro 21 replies0 threads Junior Member
    This is a different question: Has your daughter peaked, appearance-wise? Or do you think her appearance, including particularly her weight, will continue to be industry friendly?

    My daughter was approached at a mall when she was 12. I immediately said “no” and walked (ran) away. I told my daughter later I had concerns about what the industry would do to her self image and self esteem, which was true. But I also strongly suspected that my daughter happened to be at a particularly skinny moment in her development, one I did not expect to last. The industry prizes women who look eternally prepubescent. A few unusual outliers naturally always look this way, but many more grow out of it, or starve themselves to stay that way.

    One thing my daughter and I discussed for example is Brooke Shields. She was at the height of her fame at 14, when she was unusually thin. Once she grew into her height, her fame faded.
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  • rphcfbrphcfb 239 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @socowonder ,
    Just want to share this with you.

    An acquaintance whose daughter and mine played in the same ensemble , was a model. She was discovered when she was in high school. Her mother was very eager for her to become a model. So, she did.

    She did modeling in the US and went to work in Italy (where work was at the time) for a few years. Did not attend college during her modeling years.

    She was a full time mother of 3 when we met. She said there was so much drinking, smoking and drugs among models. She did not do any of it. She did a lot of reading instead (went to college for a degree later). She was fortunate to meet a boyfriend (later her husband) who was her emotional support during those years.

    She would not let her daughter model, not even part-time. She said it was a high stress, high pressure work environment that she did not want to expose her daughter to.
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  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1271 replies2 threads Senior Member
    My friend’s daughter is modeling. She started in NY, in high school and has actually now postponed college because of the money she’s making - she knows the career is not long term. It’s been a positive experience. Yes, lots of disfunction, but she was a kid, always had her mom with her. She’ll easily be able to pay cash for college when she goes.
    And she’s blessed to be one of those naturally skinny girls so no worries there. 6’2” and waif thin!
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