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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #216

Anonymous Wrote:

I was wondering should teens, both male and female models, be careful about working and posing with models of the opposite sex who are much older even if these models might have a tendency look like teenagers? Should they pose with models their age instead

Hi, Anonymous! Teen models (male and female) that are 17 years of age or younger are required to have an adult/guardian present at all times, including during shoots. So there is that element of parental presence there so no funny stuff occurs. Additionally, the agencies that manage underage models will typically match them with others within their age range. The nature of the shoots for teen models the majority of the time are age appropriate, such as for catalog shoots, ads/billboards, etc. Agencies and clients wouldn't put a teen model into a sexually suggestive situation or have them do poses with other models that would call into question whether it would be safe or appropriate. Teen models are mainly used in projects that target their group, which means a lot of fun, smiling, goofing around type of scenarios, playing the role of the "daughter," "best friend," "big sister," "high school student," etc.

Teen models that do fashion and runway are also treated accordingly in regards to their age when it comes to posing with models of the opposite sex. Shoots like Abercrombie & Fitch and other similar works are known for their sometimes controversial, overtly sexual photo campaigns but it is important to keep in mind that those models are 18+ (there may be one or two instances where the model may have been younger but in general they use models that are of legal age). It's rare that agencies will have a model who is 17 or younger pose with a much older model in a sexually suggestive or questionable way. When a young model is required to pose with an older model, it's almost always as part of a character role, like playing a family member or something along those lines. I personally do not see a need for too much concern regarding this subject, especially when it comes to agency represented models and the industry in general. The agencies act in their models' best interest and are very attentive when it comes to dealing with younger models. While there's nothing wrong with bringing such a topic to the attention of the public in general, it is also important to not use isolated incidents to judge the modeling industry as a whole. They are known as isolated incidents for a reason--because they are not the norm. Putting things into perspective should be the goal when it comes to concerns related to the industry.


Anonymous said...

Romantic relationship roles usually would require models of their own age, do they?

Dania Denise said...

In general, legitimate agency booked modeling gigs for teens would not call for a romantic relationship role of any kind with the exception of maybe a schoolgirl/boy crush or puppy love scenario and even then those are completely innocent scenarios, including the poses. Those are typically arranged for models to be within the same age range. Anything of a more serious romantic nature would typically not involve teen models.