A lot of modelling careers take off while a person is still a teenager. You have the likes of Gisele Bundchen and Coco Rocha who were both discovered at 14 years of age. Karlie Kloss was even younger and was only 13 when she impressed with her runway walk. Alessandra Ambrosio, meanwhile, was sure she would be an important model at 12 when she was enrolled in modelling classes.
It goes without saying that the teenage years are a crucial time for models. Their physical features are developing and there are more profitable projects out there. But, at the same time, the adolescent period can also present unexpected issues that teen models and their parents should take into consideration.
Such issues need to be taken seriously because these can determine whether the young model should continue on the path he or she has chosen, or if it is time to entertain other life options. What are such issues or curveballs? Find out about four of them and how to handle them below.
This is a common curveball life throws a model’s way. Some young models discover that their body is not modelling material when they hit puberty. The long and slender body, which is the standard for models, starts becoming rounder in certain areas. Likewise, weight maintenance suddenly becomes a huge challenge for some.
During this time, looking “model-esque” can be a huge frustration. Therefore, it is essential to meet with the family physician as well as health experts. They can help determine if pursuing a modelling career is advisable for the young one whose dreams, health and happiness are affected by his/her physical transformation.
The family should also sit down and discuss the impact of the physical change on the child’s dreams or plans. After the family meeting, it also advisable to meet with the teen modelling agency they have been working with to identify the best course of action to take based on the talent’s situation.
Some young people are just utterly confused about themselves during their teenage years, while some are already able to establish who they are and the kind of people they still want to become. If your teen model seems to be having a change of heart about modelling, this is nothing unusual.
As a parent, though, it is important to be understanding when your child appears to have developed a passion for other things and tells you, “Mom, I no longer want to model. I just want to prepare for SATs so I can go to a good university and become a doctor.”
One of the recommended ways of approaching this particular issue is, again, to have a talk. Discuss the advantages of being able to work as a model, the nature of the career as well as the new interest or goals, and the reasoning behind your child’s change of heart.
It is only after a thorough conversation that you can all determine the smart and most beneficial solution.
As mentioned earlier, a modelling career can be at its height during the teen years. Should your child strike while the iron’s hot and put aside other responsibilities, such as schooling, on hold? Or, do you come up with other options?
Typically, modelling or talent agencies can help with this problem and present a variety of options that do not necessarily mean sacrificing one for the other. So, if your child’s modelling career is taking off internationally but you still want him or her to get a proper education, get the talent agency involved.
There are certain projects that may come your child’s way that you or your child may feel a tad uncomfortable about. A lot of high fashion gigs may require them to look and act older than they actually are. At times, a project can suddenly turn too “adult” for your teen model child.
Marie Claire Magazine actually revealed that model’s expectations do not always match reality. It is not uncommon for models to turn up for a shoot, expecting to wear designer clothes but find that the photographer wants a “creative” topless shot.
For this issue, working with a modelling agency will reveal its value. If your child is represented by a reputable modelling agency, you can have the assurance that your child is always working in safe conditions and his or her welfare and blossoming career are protected.
A modelling career is just like most professions – it comes with uncertainties. By shedding light on some issues that have risen for a lot of young models and their parents, you can be better prepared in dealing with those which your teen model may encounter along the way.
Adam Jacobs is the Managing Director of Bubblegum Casting, the longest running agency specialising in babies, children and teen talent in Australia. Bubblegum Casting works with some of Australia’s biggest brands, media properties, and agencies to secure talented children to work in Television, Film and Modelling roles.