There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Kid Models Should Look Like...Kids!

I get a lot of emails from young aspiring models. And when I say "young," I mean "young." I think 9 or 10 has been my youngest so far.

What gets me is that oftentimes the questions about modeling they ask me have to do with all things not relevant to the age they are now.

What I mean by that is, I get emails and blog comments from young girls and boys (mostly girls), talking about how disappointed they are that they don't have curves or a body like a model in order to do Victoria's Secret modeling and if I can give them any tips or tricks to help them grow taller, etc., etc.

It's quite shocking from my point of view because they are solely focused on doing modeling that they are currently far too young for instead of looking at the kind of modeling that is readily available to them right now: kid modeling.

Kids, tweens and teens are a huge makeup of the modeling industry and there is no shortage of agencies and clients that are always in need of young models of all ages, height, sizes and ethnicities.

When I enlighten my young readers/mentees about the fact that they can get into modeling now, the next set of questions they ask usually have to do with prepping photos for agency submission. But they still get stuck in the "grown up model" frame of mind in regards to makeup, hair and wardrobe. So I decided to do a post to address the fact that while the modeling industry is known for having young models "grow up fast," that is mainly when it comes to fashion/runway modeling.

For the record: when it comes to kid modeling, the modeling world wants its kid models to look...like...KIDS!

I know, it may be hard to believe but it's true. The every day, average kid model isn't supposed to be dolled up to look like a miniature version of a grown up runway model. Parents, take note of that! It can be confusing to know how to prepare your child for submission to agencies since 99% of the info out there about getting into modeling specifically addresses models that are older so I definitely understand where it can be difficult to know what to do. So let me make this process a lot easier for you.

When submitting your child to agencies for possible representation, keep these things in mind:

Au Naturale

Again, kid models are supposed to look like kids. Girls shouldn't wear any makeup (like they would need to at such a young age--their skin is about as ideal as it can get and they don't have wrinkles, fine lines or dark circles to worry about, lol). Hairstyles should be the kind they wear on a normal basis. Same for the boys.

Age Appropriate Attire

Make sure to check the agency websites first to see if there are specific guidelines for what you child should wear in their snapshots. If nothing is mentioned in particular, casual clothes are best. Your child does NOT have to wear the "model uniform" of skinny jeans, heels and a form fitting tank-top or t-shirt.

Ideal outfits for girls include:

- nice casual dress (i.e. sundress, jumper, skirt with a top)
- shorts and a t-shirt or tank-top (the top can be snug but doesn't have to be super ultra tight fitting)
- jeans and a nice blouse or t-shirt
- no heels for little girls or tweens that are not fashion height. Flats, sandals or clean casual sneakers are fine.

Ideal outfits for boys include:

- t-shirt and jeans/shorts
- clean casual sneakers/shoes
- button up shirt and jeans/shorts

Both boys and girls should have wardrobe that is free of logos, busy patterns, stripes, polka dots, images/graphics...you get the picture. Solid colors are best and pastels are always a great color palette to consider.

No accessories either. That means nix the sunglasses (regular prescription glasses are perfectly fine). Avoid hats, distracting earrings/bracelets or other items/props. The snapshots should focus on your child--they should be modeling themselves, not anything else in the photo that will pull attention from them.

Remember: the info I've written above applies to aspiring child models that are anywhere from ages 6-12. 

If your son/daughter is older and meets the height requirements for fashion/runway modeling (5'8" - 6'0" for girls and 5'11" - 6'3" for boys), then this will not apply to them--they'll want to follow the standard guidelines that apply to that specific category of modeling.

If your son/daughter is older and does not meet the height requirement for fashion/runway modeling, then they will want to focus on commercial/print and teen modeling, which also requires them to appear all natural and more casual in appearance.

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