A Look Into the Dangers of Modeling Auditions for Young Models

Marie Skillern| October 13, 2014

An aspiring model stands in line for modeling auditions with hopes that she will soon get her big break. She shares the same sentiments of many men and women across the world. For some, it is a childhood dream. For others, it is something they suddenly have a knack for, like a spur of the moment thing.

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Regardless of where these dreams may have sprung from, it is safe to say that modeling is a career widely coveted by many and only succeeded by a few. Those who have made names for themselves in the industry are glad they have surpassed all the challenges. Those who are still on their way up are struggling to get there. The people who are already in the business know that it is a cut-throat industry, which needs the right look and talent for someone to fit the bill.

The Tough Competition and the Stress that Comes with It 

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An episode of America’s Next Top Model is not even close to what the industry is like. Not even a full cycle can capture the entire experience or assure a contestant that they have already made it big. Sure, the TV exposure helps but the fashion industry just does not work like that. It could take years to launch a person’s career as well as lots of experience, hard work and the right attitude.

The competition in the modeling world is tough and you would always feel like someone is in the race and planning something behind your back that could mess up your audition. Each model has their own strategy to fame and an outstanding portfolio tucked under their arm waiting to impress modeling agencies. Many of them want it so much that they would do whatever they could just to grab it.

There are different things that will stress a model out and the competition is just one of these. Even the young models are exposed to these elements at very tender ages. Most models have been in the business since they were 14, as many of them have this perception that starting young will make them famous early as well.

Supermodels Who Started Young and The Problems They Faced during Modeling Auditions

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This same perception is the foundation of the dreams of teenagers who want to become supermodels. Models like Jamie King, Tyra Banks, and Coco Rocha all started out at ages 14-15. Tyra Banks was rejected by six modeling agencies before she landed a contract with LA Models. She, like all other models who started young, has been exposed to a lot of stress and problems that kids her age didn’t normally go through.

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At the age of 14, Jaime King was already obsessed over keeping a very small waist as it was a fad in the ‘90s. To add to these pressing problems, she was already a heroin addict at this young age. Many models struggled with the same problems following lifestyle changes and a misconception that they needed to be a size 0 to sashay on the catwalk.

In a book written by Cheryl Tobey, Choosing a Career As a Model, it was stated that part of becoming a model is being exposed to such dangers as excessive dieting, plastic surgery, drugs, and alcohol. Eating disorders and drug addiction are also common at a very young age. Living the high life and partying with adults contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle.

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Coco Rocha admitted that she struggled with her weight for some time due to the perception that she needed to keep a certain size to get modeling jobs. She had lost many projects because she was either too fat or too thin for the job and this put pressure on her for years. In the recent awareness campaign that she is helping to promote, she said it is alright to have curves and not be skeleton-like even if you are a model.

The Fight Against Anorexia and Eating Disorders during Modeling Auditions

Discrimination among models due to weight or dress sizes were very common during the 1990s and early 2000s that many aspiring models acquired eating disorders and led lives unfit for teenagers. It was a good thing that many models, who were victims of the same unfortunate events, took a stand and created an awareness campaign that slowly changed the way people think about modeling.

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Star Models, a known modeling agency in Brazil, created their own drive to fight against anorexia. The whole ad campaign ran with such lines as, “Say no to anorexia” and “You are not a sketch”, which encouraged women to avoid keeping the negative ideas of unreasonable weight loss.

Their ad was so powerful that it has been lauded by many people as a great example of how aspiring models likened themselves to designers’ sketches. The photos showed emaciated models beside sketches, which many took positively rather than negatively.

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The campaign was only one of the many that encouraged younger models and generally a lot of women of the dangers of anorexia. It is these campaigns that somehow changed the perception of modeling and opened doors for healthier and fuller looking models.

New York’s Law for Young Models

Aside from eating disorders, there are a lot of other dangers models are exposed to every day. Back in the day, models aged as young as 14 were asked by photographers to pose nude. This was a definite violation of the rights of children, which brought on a huge dilemma to young models. They had to decide whether to go through with nude modeling jobs or just politely decline them and move on to another, which could also mean a career suicide.

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Sara Ziff was 15 when her modeling agency sent her to a photographer who wanted her to pose nude. It was this unfortunate event that led her, many years after, to spearhead the Model Alliance to fight for a healthier work environment for next generation models. This move has been backed by many models like Coco Rocha and Mila Jovovich.

In November of 2013, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, enacted a law that provides better working conditions for young models. Models younger than 18 are now considered child performers. This limits and regulates the number of their work hours and the frequency of their modeling jobs. While many think this could hamper models in their careers, supporters, including many models, thought of it as a fair legal protection for the next generation.

The impact of the new law has yet to be observed but many are taking it positively because of years of abuse and stereotyping. New York is one of the modeling capitals in the world and work regulations for minors will protect them from the dangers that were once maliciously looming over them in the industry. In turn, modeling agencies will have to take extra care and will always look out for their younger models and have more Modeling Auditions.

The Future of a Healthier Modeling Culture

Many people look up to famous models and it is encouraging to know that they are offering more than just their beautiful faces. A number of them have turned their experiences into lessons about the industry that they shared to the public. This has made the business friendlier to newcomers.

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Models like Sara Ziff, Coco Rocha and Jamie King are success stories that younger models need to see as examples. They took the negativity of the industry and turned their lives around to rise above them all. Sara Ziff has influenced the passage of a law, Coco Rocha is a top model fighting for a cause and Jamie King is now a famous actress and trendsetter.

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All three women were victims of the dangers of modeling at an early age, but were able to fight against it. With a new law enacted and a healthier awareness of the modeling industry, a better environment awaits those who aspire to become models in the future. While regulations may be in place, it calls for more protection and quality in the jobs that every model books while in their Modeling Auditions.

A Change in the Public’s Perception

People’s perception will eventually change and they will no longer be expecting models to be outrageously thin, which will put an end to eating disorders. Healthier alternatives for keeping in shape are now openly adapted by many and soon much of the criticisms faced by the modeling industry will disappear. This is much thanks to the models that have made a difference.

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Submitting to modeling auditions will no longer leave a negative thought in many because of the positive changes in modeling laws and the whole modeling culture. Parents will no longer fear that their child will be submitted to something that is grossly horrifying for the children. At the end of the day, everyone gets to be happy and dreams will come true during Modeling Auditions.

Although the modeling industry remains as competitive as ever, it is a healthier type of competition with an even healthier working environment. Stress and pressure will still be a part of it, but with less pressing issues marring the childhood of an upcoming model, they will instead push forward and become success stories themselves. They will be encouraged to love their bodies and feel good about themselves and face modeling auditions with confidence.

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