Should I Let My Kid Model?
photo by ekoostikchic
Look at those eyes!
I suppose every parent thinks their own child is the most beautiful thing in the world. And they are! But there are times when your child's looks and personality are so alluring that even strangers remark. Wow! You should put him in commercials. Goodness, she's gorgeous!
Be warned however, the fashion and entertainment industries are notorious for exploiting kids and families. If you don't know anything about them, but think it might be a good move for your child, or if you have a child like momofmad who has her tweenage heart set on modeling, first you should know the cardinal rule. NEVER PAY MONEY.
No reputable agency of any type--acting, modeling or otherwise, will ask for cash up front. Your child is the commodity and if an agent really believes in their ability to book work, they will help them achieve that goal--and their payment will be a percentage (usually between 15% and 25%) of what your child earns. There are no exceptions to this; if an agency asks you to pay first for pictures or any other service, move on.
In momofmad's case, her 11-year-old daughter has been badgering her forever to help her get started modeling. So without her daughter knowing, mom sent off pics to an agency. They responded quickly, and at first mom thought it was just a stock letter. But now the agency is being very direct and requesting that she bring her daughter in. Now mom feels her family wouldn't support this decision, moreover, she's just not sure this is a path she wants to set her daughter on.
Let's say this place is legit (which we still don't know because they could ask for money once she is actually in the office), I think momofmad is right to give a decision like this a lot of thought. Here's why:
- Rejection. When kids go on "go-sees" or auditions, there can be a lot of very direct rejection. Not tall enough, too big, crooked nose, etc. You should know before you subject your child to the type of rejection that agencies and clients often dish out, whether or not your kid is cut for that. Ask yourself if your child's self esteem will still be in place if someone says they are not good enough?
- Time. Presupposing your child really does have "it," the next question would be are you willing to help him/her balance the time it will take to embark on a career, against the time it takes to be successful at school? Also consider that being a stage or model mom is very demanding on your time as well. If you have more than one child, this could really become an issue.
- Values. We've all seen kids in the public eye that have made some hairy decisions. There are a lot of influences in the world of entertainment and fashion, some that you might not agree with. Is your child headstrong enough to resist negative influences? Do you think she has the maturity to remember who she really is if she were to suddenly made a lot of money or became somewhat famous?
Once you go through this check list, if you still think your kid's got what it takes, go for it! For a child that knows that entertainment or modeling is truly for them, it can be an exhilarating, rewarding journey! Good luck!
Would you let your kid model?