So Would You Let Your Daughter Be A Model?

Not your everyday kind of question, I guess. But, after watching the much hyped and talked about BBC documentary on Vogue Absolutely Fashion it raised the question for me. For those who follow my blog, you will be aware that one of my daughters is starting her journey into this world … but this post isn’t about her journey … it’s about her experience … our experience of this highly exposed, talked about … criticised, even … industry.

There has been lots of speculation about the rivalry between Anna Wintour and Alexandra Shulman … the editor-in-chiefs of U.S Vogue and British Vogue, respectively. Though that’s not what this post will focus on … that’s been discussed at length by the media. I admit it would be refreshing to watch a programme about how these two amazing women got along but that wouldn’t be fashion dahling mwah mwah! There’s heaps of media reporting on how the whole world of fashion is competitive, bitchy, exhausting, backstabbing, unhealthy … the list goes on … it shouldn’t come as a surprise to people really … the surprise, surely, would be that they are in fact fabulous friends … maybe they are.

photo-1457972851104-4fd469440bf9.jpegSo, what’s my angle on this? Well, in an industry that is rife with criticism, shunned even, there are still thousands of girls out there dreaming of being models, of being scouted if they mooch nonchalantly around TopShop in Oxford Circus for long enough, looking wistfully at Kate and Cara’s faces plastered all over the walls and the windows. Will they be the next Gigi, the next Kendall? Despite the negativity of this world that is reported time and time again, what is it that lures these girls … confirmation that they are officially beautiful?

photo-1464666495445-5a33228a808e.jpegI should ask my daughter I suppose but I’m not sure she would feel comfortable with the question. Of course she enjoys it but it is hard work. Casting after casting. Queue after queue of beautiful girls all trying to get noticed, to be the ‘next big thing’ … well not big, definitely not big. It’s a full-time job, if you want to be taken seriously, if you want to succeed. The need to look polished every single day … no down days, no shattered days, no can’t be bothered to get out of bed days … well not when you’re trying to break into the world of fashion … maybe the supermodels can be more relaxed … but the pressure on these younger girls … the new faces, as they are called … can be huge … but the pressure is from within and definitely not a pressure from the agencies … and this leads me beautifully on to the point that I guess I started this post about …

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… for all of the press coverage and media hoo-ha about the fashion industry, with the very negative slant that taints the world of fashion over and over again, I can honestly say that we haven’t seen a hint of this. We have been greeted with nothing other than positivity … such positivity that it’s almost infectious … you know the kind … the kind where you just want to be part of it, in the thick of it, crying out for more, more, more. The buzz from a photoshoot … the team, the process, the striving for an end result that everyone will love, the high fives and whoops when it’s a wrap … the feeling of something done well as a team… that feeling of cohesive hard work (you can read about the Moschino show we attended here). There’s also an overwhelming feeling that everyone counts … not just the model … not just the photographer … everyone … even the model’s mum who sits patiently in the corner. So, would I want my daughter to be a model? Easy … yes … if that’s what she wants to be, of course … she does … she loves this world.

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Now, I accept that this may not be the case in every job, every fashion house, every agency … but we’ve been doing this a while … we’ve had a fair bit of experience, even as a nobody really in the big picture of fashion, but I, wholeheartedly, wish for my children to end up working in an industry … whatever that industry is … with such a buzz, with such uplifted people, with positivity literally oozing in the atmosphere because isn’t it, in the end, a more beautiful place when we cast a positive light? Would it not be far more beneficial for the media to report on this element  of the world of fashion or would that just not be media dahling?  Just saying …

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71 thoughts on “So Would You Let Your Daughter Be A Model?

  1. Oh this was an interesting one Helen and something that I know absolutely nothing about!! I don’t read fashion mags and I don’t wear designer clothes so I’m coming from a position of complete ignorance! I did have a negative perception of this industry and it’s really interesting to read your personal experience- I will think again! I suppose I was worried about exploitation of vulnerable young girls but I know that with a fantastic mum like you around that is not a danger for your lovely daughter. I can see that there is great satisfaction from creating a beautiful image – I hope your gorgeous girl has a ball! Oh and when she ends up on the cover of Vogue let me know – I’ll break the habit of a lifetime and buy one. Xxx

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    1. you’re absolutely right to be worried about the exploitation of young girls but we have witnessed nothing like that – in fact the opposite – the care and concern and constant fussing whether the girls are OK is incredible. I dearly hope that I am able to break your habit of a lifetime!

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  2. I think the “negatives” of the fashion industry is more pronounced only because it is part of the media industry. And the media sensationalises everything! It’s good that your daughter has been having a positive experience. I guess as parents we can only walk with them and be with them but it would have to be their choice of what they want to do or end up doing.

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    1. It ultimately has to be their choice – you see too many ‘stage style mums’ out there that are perhaps pushing their children into something. You’re right the sheer nature of media is always to sensationalise that it’s wonderful to enter such a criticised industry and actually be able to say ‘”hang on – this is OK!”

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  3. I think many teenage girls go through the stage of wanting to be a model (I know I did!) it’s probably that stage when we need reassurance and acceptance and the fashion world does seem very glamorous. I am now the mum of two teenage girls and one was very interested in becoming a model but never took it to the next step of finding an agent, I thought it would probably be very competitive and bitchy so it is nice to see that you and your daughter have had such good experiences so far. I hope it continues 🙂 #kcacols

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    1. Oh thank you for your comment – I think that’s a good perspective actually – wanting acceptance. I’m glad I’ve shown you another side to the industry! Thank you for taking the time to read my post x

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  4. Brilliant post! I agree that the media just focuses on the negativity of the fashion world; how the models “apparently” don’t eat, how the head of houses have tantrums back stage, how it is just a superficial and shallow world. It would be lovely for the media to be embracing the fashion world, especially in these difficult times, where I find myself turning more and more to nice stories. The fashion world can do that, it is not a superficial world like the media would like us to believe. It is a hugely creative world full to the brim of talent. Yes, it is about focussing on the pretty but I like that. We live in such an ugly world that the fashion world offers us some escapsism, it offers us a chance to forget all of the ugly things going on in the world. Sorry, I have waffled! #KCACOLS

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    1. Oh thank you for such a great comment! The world of fashion is brimming with positivity that if we embraced would offer a wonderful escapism … I agree that we need to shift the media away from negativity – it doesn’t inspire and it doesn’t lift us – I’m feeling a new rise against this way of reporting and I’m fully supporting it. Not waffle lovely!

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  5. I’m terribly unfashionable and so is my other half, but if my daughter ever wanted to become a model, I’d support her all I can. Of course I’d worry about her, because ultimately I want her to be safe and happy. It’s good to hear a positive take on an industry that receives so much negative press. Great post!

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  6. This was a fascinating read Helen. The other day I was reading an article in the Guardian where two models speaking about pressure to lose more and more weight, and I thought about you and your daughter, and I’m so happy to hear that hasn’t been your experience. I wish your daughter every success and hope your experiences of the fashion industry continue to be positive. #tribe

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    1. Oh thank you so much for your lovely comment. I’ve read lots of similar accounts too but we’ve not had that experience in a negative way – the focus has very much been about a healthy lifestyle which more of us could benefit from really! xx

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  7. Would I let my daughter be a model? Yes, if that’s what she wanted to do. I’d be surprised if she chose to be a model, given how awkward and unfashionable I am, but I’d support her no matter what. It’s great that you’re helping your daughter achieve her dream, and that she’s had such a positive experience.

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    1. It really is about the support as a mother isn’t it? My thoughts came really from the negativity of the press to this world and our actual experiences have been so different – would be nice to see more positivity in the press but I think that may be difficult to change single handedly! thank you for reading and for your comment.

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  8. Great post and discussion point. I definitely wouldn’t rule it out if one of daughters’ had the opportunity. I think it’s all about keeping them grounded and level headed. The same goes for child stars, popstars etc who have too much, too young. Look at the likes of Britney Spears… But if they’re well managed and kept with their feet on the floor then why the hell not! #marvmondays

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    1. Thank you. I think the title was a little misleading – I was trying to praise a world that is so heavily criticised and also try to push a focus on to the media being more positive in general. Keeping my daughter grounded is a priority – she’s doing great so far bless her but you’re right – the likes of some of these celebrities who have had too much is devastating. Thank you for your comment x

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  9. Interesting read and I’m so happy you’ve only had positive experiences so far. Long may it continue. I think you are lucky if you can stand on the sidelines and support your children when they start out in this. I think it helps. I have a dear friend you started out at the same age as your girl and continued up until her early 30’s. It was mainly positive experiences she had, but I did hear the more dangerous sides too. As long as you make sure your children are confident enough to say no when something doesn’t feel right you should be ok. Best of luck to your girl, she’s gorgeous. Thanks for linking up to #KCACOLS Hope to see you back next Sunday!

    Nadia – ScandiMummy x

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    1. Ah that’s a really important point you make – you must be able to say no – hard when you’re 17 which is why I am very close to her side – probably too close but you can never be too careful I suppose! Thank you for your comment x

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  10. This is a really insightful post. It must be exceptionally tricky, I think if she keeps level headed and enjoy the work for what is it, then support her dream. I can’t imagine how thick skinned you’ve got to be. Wishing her lots of luck and you lots of patience ! #MarvMondays

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  11. Very interesting post. If I were a Mum of a daughter who set her sights on the world of modelling then I would 100% support her with her decision to become a model. Perhaps with trepidation, mainly because of the stories you’re often told about the industry itself. However, I’m really pleased you’ve had such a good experience. I wish your daughter all the best with her modelling career – an exciting time for sure! #marvmondays

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  12. This is so interesting to read and wonderful to hear something positive. I’m so glad you’ve had good experiences and that your daughter loves that world, I am sure she will go far. Unfortunately it is often the way – particularly when it comes to the media’s representation of women or female-led professions – that people like to show the negative aspects, competitiveness, bitchiness. I think any industry has those but they are never the whole story. I hope I would support any career or passion my children wanted to follow, no matter what my preconceptions are. #bigpinklink

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    1. Thank you, Ellen. I just wanted to put across the other side as we also come under a lot of criticism from others about letting Georgia go into this world but our experience has been nothing other than positive and what better way to see the world but get paid to travel?! xx

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  13. Very interesting! I must confess that my initial reaction was to think “No I would never want my daughter to be judged on her appearance”. And whilst I still hold that view, the positive way that you have painted the industry here is very nice to hear. It’s great that you have discovered such positivity and appreciation. I wish your daughter well in the pursuit of her dream 🙂 #MarvMondays

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    1. I think it’s a lot of people’s initial reaction but it’s a wonderful way to see the world and mix with interesting people from a whole mixture of life as the teams involved within fashion are very varied. Thank you for your comment xx

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  14. Oh wow, I have no knowledge of the industry, and it sounds an absolutely brilliant one to be a part of! Like you say, the media will always be for the negativity (if there was 1 anorexic model to 5000 healthy models, we’d only hear about the anorexic, if one head of a fashion house had a barny with another, but were best of mates for the next 10 years, only the barny would be reported etc!) so it is easy to think that it could be a world of negativity. If I had a daughter, I’d absolutely let her be a model! It was interesting that you pondered whether a large part of it for some girls was confirmation that they were beautiful. I think for me, that would be a small part of it-yes, it’s lovely to have that acknowledgment of your looks, but if I had a daughter, I’d love the fact that modelling would open the opportunity to travel, to meet interesting and diverse people and cultures, to wear amazing clothes that you might not be able to afford in real life, and to have just a great experience and create some fabulous memories that not many will be able to have! I hope your daughter can get the career out of it that she wants-with her looks, I’d be stunned if she doesn’t!!
    #bigpinklink

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    1. Thank you for such a wonderful comment, lovely! You’re right – the opportunity to travel and see a world that is so exciting and positive and buzzing – why not?! Thank you for your kind words – let’s hope so – but if not I just hope she has fun along the way – too many people don’t enjoy what they end up doing so I’m all about my children living life to the absolute full xx

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    1. Oh thank you! It really has been positive and exciting to date and long may that last. So many people find the negative in things when actually if you look at what something could actually be, it’s incredible – the travel, the people, the clothes etc etc! x

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  15. This is a very interesting read. Certainly the predominant impression of the fashion industry is that it’s is very dog eat dog, as you say that probably doesn’t sell magazines! I would let my daughters be a models if that’s what they wanted. Simply because I want them to do something that they love and enjoy, whatever that may be. Also I know the fashion industry is hard work. It isn’t simply standing in front of a camera having your picture taken. I hope to bring up daughters that have a good work ethic and at the very least aren’t work shy.
    #BigPinkLink

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  16. This is a really interesting question, because as you say, we get such a negative angle of the industry from the media. It’s good to hear your perspective and great that it’s a positive one. I would say that if one of my daughters wanted to pursue a career in that industry I’d support them. I think the perceived difficulty with it is the constant pressure on having to become obsessive with their appearance. However, other careers bring other pressures, so if they want it – I’d say go for it! I wish your daughter many years of success and thank you for sharing your insights. Alison x #MarvMondays.

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    1. Thank you for your great comment – it was an article full of lots of angles I guess – I wanted to explore the negative press angle of the industry but there is also the issue of letting your daughter be a model which could be a whole post in itself but I didn’t go too into that with this post – maybe another time! Thank you for your kind words xx

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  17. As a mum of a daughter I know I would be super proud of her to be cast as a model, I too would be worried with the stigmas attached to the industry but I imagine it is rife within most industries on some level. It is good that you are supporting her and hopefully able to steer her to make smart choices and learn from it. I can imagine how incredibly competitive it is – but I hope she grows in confidence on the journey and enjoys the experience x #Bigpinklink

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  18. That’s so great to hear! I’ve just had a modelling portfolio done for my 10 year old son as I thought it was a great way for him to earn some money and much better and safer than a paper round! I guess it’s like any industry, they’ll be nice people and they’ll probably be some crap people too but hopefully more of the former. It sounds like you’ve had some fab experiences so far. Your girl is beautiful so I’ll sure she’ll do well. Tor xx

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  19. Really interesting to hear your view on this because as a parent there is no one who wants to make sure that your child is happy and thriving more than you, and it sounds like she really is! You should definitely do a vlog together if she’s happy to discuss her view on this. Good on you both I say, it sounds like a lot of dedication to me so it’s great that it has been such a positive experience in return. #bigpinklink

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  20. This is brilliant my lovely and such an interesting insight into modelling. I have to say that this is how I feel about TV shoots, it’s the best part when everyone comes together as a team. It’s a real family feel and full of positivity to get everything done just as we planned (or sometimes not). I think you are absolutely right, as long as G loves it, she should continue doing it and I think it’s just wonderful she has such a supportive mum behind her xx #KCACOLS

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  21. I’d definitely let Rian be a model – he’s far too handsome not to share with the world haha! And I think if you are a strong, confident person with a good support system then why not? If my child wasn’t confident then no way hose – no one needs that kind of rejection if they can’t handle it. #KCACOLS

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  22. Your daughter is soo beautiful it’s crazy! So glad to hear you experience so far in the modeling world has been positive. It’s nice to read about modeling from a parents perspective. If my son wanted to model I would definitely let him, you have made a good poor by asking why teenagers want to model. Would love to hear your daughters views on this x #dreamteam

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  23. This is really interesting stuff, Helen. I’d always worried that the modeling world chewed youngsters up and spat them out…Demanded too much of them and more worryingly led them down a road of an obsession with self-image and weight – simply because of the pressure on them.

    It’s refreshing to learn that this isn’t your experience or your daughter’s experience. Refreshing and a relief. Being around creative people always gives me a buzz so if its a supportive environment too, then all the better.

    My daughter, Beth, loves fashion and make-up and she is such a gentle spirit that I wondered whether those industries would be a negative and destructive influence – Perhaps I need to be more aware of the ‘distorted angle the media uses when shining the spotlight on such careers and instead look to folks like you who see things first hand and give a balanced perspective.

    Thanks for sharing. xx

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    1. Oh Jane thank you for such a lovely comment. You must at least let your daughter explore this industry because so much distortion is given. Being part of a creative team really does give a buzz and really is fantastic to be in. It would be shame for your daughter not to explore that path just because of the media. I’ll let you know if the situation changes! x

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  24. This is such a lovely, honest blog post. I’ve never really considered what I’d do if my daughter wanted to be a model, but my parents have always supported me in acting so I’d do the same for my daughter whatever career she wanted! #familyfun

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  25. Such an interesting post! I love watching the Next Top Model series and I can see how the industry can be pretty brutal! But I can also see that there are some nice girls/women out there are it isn’t all a bitchfest! Goodluck to your daughter! 🙂 #KCACOLS

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  26. It’s lovely hearing your experience has been so positive, I think most expect the opposite! Really interesting read, I’d have no idea what to expect from the modelling industry. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. xo

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  27. I absolutely love this article!! I have just become a model recently and have found it to be exactly like you describe, hard work but my agency is such a support network and I’ve recently done a week long shoot in Iceland with the most incredible crew! We really were a proper team and it was one of the best weeks of my life! I’ve written 2 articles on modelling, one about my trip to Iceland and the other on my first impressions of the industry! I think you’d enjoy reading them, especially as you are very familiar with what I’m talking about! Looking forward to reading more of your blogs x

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