Teen Daughter Wants to Model

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2013
Teen Daughter Wants to Model
Tue, 04-09-2013 - 12:32am

I am not sure what to do after my 14 year old daughter asked me if she could be a model. Recently some of her friends started working with an agency to do fashion shoots and she wants to be like them. The concerned Dad in me doesn't feel to comfy with the idea of my daughter posing in skimpy, sexy things...Are there any parents out there who have gone through the same thing and can offer advice or a photographer who has dealt with teen models...I am at a loss and figured others could help...Thanks!

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Sun, 04-14-2013 - 11:41am
http://www.bizparentz.org/ I remembered this site! Check it out. It's got a ton of great information on kids in the business. It helped us a lot when our kids started working in theatre... learning Coogan accounts, rules and regulations and all that.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Fri, 04-12-2013 - 9:24pm

Papa, if you are still around, this is some information that you might find interesting.

I’ve been reading THE TEN ROADS TO RICHES by Ken Fisher, who regularly makes the Forbes list of 400 richest Americans. It fully discusses these roads and talks about those who took each particular road. Chapter 4, RICH . . . AND FAMOUS is about the road to riches taken by actors, rock stars, singers, athletes, etcetera. It gives the SLIM odds of becoming rich at such. Models are not mentioned but I think it would apply to them also.

You can probably find a copy of this book in the library, or peruse it at the local book store, and it may be of interest to you and your daughter. One thing I noticed was the effort that the successful ones put into being successful. Few make it without lots of effort.

Your daughter can have a good time with many great memories without becoming that world class super model. Much the same as guys who play high school and college sports enjoy having done so, and knowing as they did it that they were probably not going to the NFL or NBA, or MLB.

I did not read it to find a road to riches as we are extremely rich in the things that money cannot buy. I read it because I had a friend who read it and pointed me to page 25 in the second chapter where the author talks about his own father having Asperger’s Syndrome. That is a subject of great interest to me because our youngest SIL and father of our grandsons, who we dearly love and would pick again and again if we had to pick, also has Asperger’s.

The book is an interesting read on many levels.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Tue, 04-09-2013 - 8:34pm

Dear Papa,

Welcome to our corner of the village.

For most teen girls this is like boys playing in the major league sports—a dream. And there is nothing wrong with helping them dream and strive towards that dream. As with most sports, only a few make it, but most of the others are enriched by the process.

One of our second cousins, who lives in Arkansas, has a daughter that wants to be on American Idol. Talk about slim odds and a cattle call. They run up to Chicago, over to Denver, over to Orlando, down to Dallas or Houston for the chance to audition. They enjoy the travel and the learning experience.

And who is to say that she may not become an overnight success after chasing the dream for ten or twenty years. I think it was Brooks and Dunn of country and western fame who chased the dream separately and then together for close to fifteen years before they hit the big time with a number of hits.

Also most teens see the glamor, but don’t see the hard work involved. Before that little band called the Beatles made it, they had played bars for about 10,000 hours.

As many teens grow older some realize that whatever it is they think they want, they really do not want it. We call this maturing.

As others have posted, beware of those scammers who would take thousands of your dollars and leave you with nothing but less money and much heartbreak.

Most every person and business is very interested in NOT getting accused of sexual impropriety with any child under the magic age of 18. Therefore, they want the parents to be present at EVERY moment. The exceptions would be people like Jerry Sandusky of Penn State fame. Stay clear of them.

Enjoy the dream and the journey with her. It will be a wonderful memory for both her and her parents.

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Tue, 04-09-2013 - 11:57am

There is a lot of different kinds of modeling. Old Navy and LL Bean use more models than Victoria Secret. You do have choices. If she finds an agent who wants to represent her, she'll be told what she's going in for in advance and you'll be able to pass on work she's uncomfortable with.

We know many kids in that business. It's important to find good representation. You can submit with regular snap shots. If an agent is interested, outside of requiring headshots (which you should be able to go to a photographer of YOUR choice, not theirs but they will cost several hundred dollars) they shouldn't want any money from you. They get their money by getting your child work and taking a percentage of it. Check them out with the Better Business Bureau.

Be careful about "stock photo" sessions. Your child gets paid up front for general photos but that is the end of their financial gain. The company can then sell the pictures to whomever they want for use. Now, that doesn't have to be "bad" but not all people are comfortable having their kid peddle things out of their control. Great when their picture shows up at the grocery store, maybe not so happy when it's used by an oil company or an ad campaign for an extreme political group.

While your child is a minor, you have the right to be in eye-shot of your child every moment. They should, in fact, require your child to have a guardian on the set. Run from anyone who requires that you be out of the room during shoots. 

My kids do professional theatre but we draw the line at modeling and commercial/TV work. For us, it's not only a preference but a logistics issue. Our friends drive 2 hours out of the city 3 to 4 times a week for auditions and go-sees. Most trips don't result in work. It's EXPENSIVE for the parent to have a working child and requires they spend hours and hours of their own time (or hire someone or having a constantly available family member) to accompiany their child during all this.

Of course, it all depends on where you live. Maybe this is all more accessable where you are. I'd talk to the parents of these friends who are modeling. Get info relevant to your area. Much depends on your child too. In modeling, it's all about being the right clothing size. They will cast a "2" if that is the clothing sample they are given... doesn't matter if you are a gorgeous "1" or "3." 

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Tue, 04-09-2013 - 10:34am

Elc11 gave you some great advice. I would also add, its not all skimpy sexy outfits, obviously regular catalogs, etc. need models to model regular clothes that kids/girls wear every day. There was a girl on my ODD's cheerleading team that modeled, she did a lot of cheerleading outfits, but she also did runway shoots and photo shoots of evening gowns, prom gowns, etc. One of her parents was always with her during the modeling shoots and accompanied her on all her trips.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Tue, 04-09-2013 - 1:36am

In case you don't get much advice on this board, there is another one devoted to child models and actors---but it doesn't get much activity anymore. 


Lots of 14yo's want to be models, it sounds fun and glamorous! It is often really hard work with bad working conditions...my dd was a fashion designer and did an outdoors shoot for her summer look book in February in NYC, it was 30F and the poor model was freezing in little summer outfits but had to appear comfortable...one of the perils of the job. My suggestions are to inject some reality: does your dd even have the body type (tall thin size 0) and is she likely to remain like that, based on the bodies of her female relatives? Carefully check out any agency, be aware that there are "modeling courses" and photo portfolios that will be sold to any girl who can come up with the money, with no guarantee of ever getting a paying job.  

You can learn a lot by Googling teen modeling, modeling age limits, etc etc. Best of luck...parenting teen girls is not for the faint of heart!