Is Kid's Photo on Racist Pro-Life Billboard Mom's Fault?

Jeanne Sager
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abortion billboardChild modeling sounds awfully tempting. Your kid's college paid for. There are all these nice child labor laws that make it a relatively pleasant experience for a kid who's into it. And let's face it, there isn't a mother out there who doesn't want to hear "your child is so beautiful" a few more times.

What's the drawback? Tricia Fraser just found a major one. Your child model could end up on a racist billboard that threatens women's right to abortion. If I were Tricia, I'd be spitting mad. But I'd also be taking a long hard look at how the picture got there.

In Tricia Fraser's case, that billboard shows her 6-year-old beauty Anissa with the words "The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb." There's a link to a pro-life website underneath.

The billboard first drew scrutiny from African American women who charge (rightly) that it treats them like they're all running out to have an abortion tomorrow. The black pastor from the Harlem church who had it set up claims that's not so, by the way. Apparently if a black guy insults black women, it's not racism (so he says to Fox, not me, do not shoot the messenger here folks).

But Anissa's mom disagrees with the message as a whole. And she says it isn't right that her kid's photo was used. I can't blame her. I wouldn't want a picture of my child up there either. Which is why all those people commenting on my daughter's blue eyes while waiting on line at grocery or out at the pool never swayed me. For all you gain with child modeling, there's a lot to lose too. She could be a grinning child on a billboard for the coolest concert venue in town. Or she could be used to hawk something you find morally reprehensible.

I feel for Tricia Fraser as only a mother can, but she got herself into this mess. She signed up with a modeling agency two years ago, and allowed photos of Anissa to be taken. She then signed waivers allowing the photos to be used as "stock images."

For those unfamiliar with the term, stock photos are professionally shot, but usually not for a particular purpose. They can be sold by the photographer for any use. So when a magazine editor needs, say, a picture of a child sitting at a desk to illustrate a story about kids at school, she can reach out and buy a stock photo instead of paying a photographer and a model.

This isn't like grabbing a photo of a child off the Internet that is owned by her parents. Photographs are the property of the photographer, and as long as the proper paperwork is signed, a stock image is a stock image. It can be used by anyone who pays for it. And Rev. Michael Faulkner, of the New Horizon Church in Harlem says he paid for it.

Moral of the story, folks? If you ARE going to let your child model, hire a lawyer and let him or her read those contracts.There are a lot more calls for kiddie photos than those nice friendly parenting magazines.

Who's to blame here: the mom or the crazy church with the billboard?

 

Image via YouTube

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