My Toddler Can Be a Model: Should I Let Her?

The world's top child modeling agency has requested an interview with my daughter. (And I'm not talking one of those scam agencies that ends up charging you for photo packages.)

Part of me views this as our Honey Boo-Boo fork in the road, one I should avoid at all costs. And half my friends agree with that part.

"Don't do it," one wrote me on Facebook. "Seriously, preserve her childhood. And your sanity. And her sanity. And everyone's sanity. Fool's gold my friend, all that for what?"

"Don't all parents think their kid can be a child model or actor?" asked another.

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The other half of my friends tell me to go for it, since it's all harmless fun at this age. And my wife falls somewhere in between. She's willing to let Skylar try modeling. (God knows how many times we've been approached in public by people who say that she should.) But the second it feels weird or sleazy or emotionally damaging in any way, the experiment is over.

Am I proud of my daughter's beauty? Not as proud as I am whenever she expands her mind by grasping a new concept or word. But yes, I am. I also think modeling will be a cool experience for my family to try. And yes, it's a way to generate some money for her college fund that doesn't involve my bringing my obsolete journalism skills to the aisles of Home Depot.

But I also worry.

Does modeling risk ruining a kid's childhood? Is it teaching girls low self-esteem? Or is it merely a fun pursuit for those lucky few blessed with freakishly good looks?


Image by Scott Roeben/Scott Roeben Photography

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