All you have to do is watch two minutes of any luxury fashion show in New York to notice that some of the models may not exactly be of age. Young models are preferred in some instances, due to their size. Young equals small and tiny, and isn’t that what sample sizes are all about?
As you can imagine, this has been creating quite the stir amid the industry and protective measures are starting to be put into effect. The Model Alliance, an advocacy organization founded by model and activist Sara Ziff, has announced that the state Senators have agreed to propose legislation that will combat exploitation and unfair treatment of child models. Finally.
Senator Diane Savino, Chair of the State Labor Committee, and Senator Jeffrey Klein, Co-Leader of the New York State Senate, will be working with the Model Alliance on legislation that will grant minor models protection equal to that afforded to all child performers.
Currently, minor actors, dancers and other entertainers are subject to strict regulation of their working hours, conditions and education. Minor models, however, are excluded from this clause, leaving the industry to mostly self-regulate. Clearly they’re not doing a good job.
Trish Goff, a former model who once covered Vogue, has said:
“When I started modeling at 15, there were no provisions for on-set tutors and so I dropped out of school. Although I was one of the lucky ones who went on to a successful career as a model, as a child I should never have been forced to make that choice—between modeling and education.”
The proposed legislation demands that child models be provided with on-set chaperones and tutors, and the bookkeeping of modeling agencies will be combated with trust accounts, providing protection, education and financial transparency.
Hopefully this changes the way the industry is headed and will inspire change across all aspects of the modeling industry.
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