Forums > Model Colloquy > 14 year old Runway Models

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27435

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

We hired a couple for our Vancouver Fashion Week a few weeks ago ( including one i found here )

All done up (hair and makeup ) they looked very much like young adult women - course they both stood 5'10 plus

So it was funny after one of our Shows to watch some of the Independent Photogs trying to chat up one of the girls

Afterwards I dropped the bombshell to them  ... "She's only 14 "

( response ) Silence

"And thats her mom over there checking you out "

May 05 08 08:42 pm Link

Photographer

PYPI FASHION

Posts: 36332

San Francisco, California, US

14 is pushing the envelope. There has been some recent cases where industry veterans stopped this from happening. When they are used, they are used in a limited capacity.

http://blog.patyuen.com/2008/04/18/aust … -jagaciak/

May 05 08 08:44 pm Link

Model

L57

Posts: 10908

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

while I can see the fuss I can't help thinking....child actors?

May 05 08 08:45 pm Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27435

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I find that interesting given that Australian super Model Gemma Ward started out at 14

May 05 08 08:46 pm Link

Model

MYS Britt

Posts: 10720

San Diego, California, US

I flat do not agree with it

then again, I think 16 is too young
18 is young enough to start a job like that IMHO

sorry!

May 05 08 08:46 pm Link

Model

Sasha Rossi

Posts: 155

Pomona, California, US

HAHAHHAAHAHA

that's freakin hilarious.

I've had the opposite happen with my mom... she's 6' and looks SUPER hot for her age (she can pass for like late 20's-early 30's) and people at jewelry shows are always shocked to find out that I'm her DAUGHTER.

It's kinda fun to be invited to happy hour with your mother, ahahahhaha

May 05 08 08:46 pm Link

Photographer

PYPI FASHION

Posts: 36332

San Francisco, California, US

Colin R wrote:
while I can see the fuss I can't help thinking....child actors?

There is a difference. A 14 year actor is likely to be hired to portray a young teen, not a adult in evening gowns.

May 05 08 08:47 pm Link

Photographer

lll

Posts: 12295

Seattle, Washington, US

What's the fuss, really.  I shot an 11-year old two years ago.  She finally turns 13 (lol).  No one believed she was anything but an adult (she looks...19 minimum).

And she's off to Milan next month, again.

May 05 08 08:47 pm Link

Photographer

Shon D.- Femme

Posts: 24433

Virginia Beach, Virginia, US

Colin R wrote:
while I can see the fuss I can't help thinking....child actors?

Basically.

I have yet to hear a good reason why they shouldn't be doing it...

May 05 08 08:47 pm Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27435

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Sasha

smile

Well you could say that really you are sisters ( for moms sake )

May 05 08 08:48 pm Link

Photographer

Vector 38

Posts: 8296

Austin, Texas, US

show a show once that had a couple of amazing models who were only 14 & 15 at the time; striking looks at 5'9 and 5'11,..., but they weren't old enough to attend the after-party. go figure.

~ fr

May 05 08 08:49 pm Link

Photographer

PYPI FASHION

Posts: 36332

San Francisco, California, US

Garry k wrote:
I find that interesting given that Australian super Model Gemma Ward started out at 14

A lot of fashion models start at 14 but very few are called upon to be the face of an entire show.

May 05 08 08:49 pm Link

Wardrobe Stylist

Dave the design student

Posts: 45198

Detroit, Michigan, US

PYPI wrote:
14 is pushing the envelope.
When they are used, they are used in a limited capacity.

Is the capacity measured by the street light?

May 05 08 08:50 pm Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27435

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Shon D Photography wrote:
Basically.

I have yet to hear a good reason why they shouldn't be doing it...

Personally I think they should, but we always invite their parents to come for the whole event if they wish

May 05 08 08:50 pm Link

Wardrobe Stylist

Dave the design student

Posts: 45198

Detroit, Michigan, US

MYS Britt wrote:
I flat do not agree with it

then again, I think 16 is too young
18 is young enough to start a job like that IMHO

sorry!

One of the youngest runway models lately was 12 years old, she's 5'11"

May 05 08 08:52 pm Link

Photographer

JMergerson

Posts: 155

Arlington, Georgia, US

Wow! I would have loved to see peoples expression. lol! Do your thing dude!

May 05 08 08:54 pm Link

Photographer

Laura Ann Photography

Posts: 17921

Peoria, Arizona, US

I have no problem with 14 year olds walking the runway.

It's best to start young in the business, and if the girls are capable, and mentally ready to, let them.

As long as they have parents who are willing to guide them, and support them, I see no issues.

May 05 08 08:54 pm Link

Photographer

Swank Photography

Posts: 19017

Big Pine Key, Florida, US

This past weekend I did a 2 day photo shoot with several models, one was only 15 years old. Coming into this profession as a former victims advocate, I had seen more than my fair share of child sexual assault cases.

I normally do not work with any model younger than 18 (my preference is to work with only 18+), and if on the rare occasion that I should, I always request that the mother/father/legal guardian of the minor is always present. I also make sure that those working with me are fully aware that a minor is around us and to conduct themselves in a professional manner or I will handle the situation myself (after 10 years of working those types of cases, it is kinda hard to not be "jaded").

I guess to wrap this up, while I frown on using models at this age (eating disorders appear high at this age and seem to be blooming at a faster rate as the child enters modeling, as well), as long as everyone conducts themselves as professionals and are fully aware that a minor is on the set, then all should go well.

May 05 08 08:55 pm Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27435

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vector 38 wrote:
show a show once that had a couple of amazing models who were only 14 & 15 at the time; striking looks at 5'9 and 5'11,..., but they weren't old enough to attend the after-party. go figure.

~ fr

This is a common occurrance ..Underage models wanting to both drink and party afterwards ..Having parents there helps with whisking them away once the show is done

May 05 08 08:55 pm Link

Photographer

Ex Voto Studio

Posts: 4983

Columbia, Maryland, US

Shon D Photography wrote:

Basically.

I have yet to hear a good reason why they shouldn't be doing it...

agreed!

May 05 08 08:59 pm Link

Model

__noir__

Posts: 2237

Buffalo, New York, US

PYPI wrote:

There is a difference. A 14 year actor is likely to be hired to portray a young teen, not a adult in evening gowns.

Society has been teaching girls to prance around in dresses since we were 2 years old.
Its not like shes doing a lingerie show.

Who cares.
ugh.

May 05 08 09:01 pm Link

Photographer

Lumigraphics

Posts: 32725

Detroit, Michigan, US

Swank Photography wrote:
This past weekend I did a 2 day photo shoot with several models, one was only 15 years old. Coming into this profession as a former victims advocate, I had seen more than my fair share of child sexual assault cases.

I normally do not work with any model younger than 18 (my preference is to work mwith only 18+), and if on the rare occasion that I should, I always request that the mother/father/legal guardian of the minor is always present. I also make sure that those working with me are fully aware that a minor is around us and to conduct themselves in a professional manner or I will handle the situation myself (after 10 years of working those types of cases, it is kinda hard to not be "jaded").

I guess to wrap this up, while I frown on using models at this age (eating disorders appear high at this age and seem to be blooming at a faster rate as the child enters modeling, as well), as long as everyone conducts themselves as professionals and are fully aware that a minor is on the set, then all should go well.

How does sexual assault relate to runway modeling?

As for the age question, there are other businesses where children are accepted and commonly found. Sports (think gymnastics) and entertainment are probably the biggest two in the Western world.

As long as the parents are involved in a positive way and the child is mature enough to handle the situation, why not?

May 05 08 09:02 pm Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

Mary

Posts: 7169

Coronado, California, US

14 is the perfect age for fashion 14-18 years old.  A lot of major agencies snap up the really tall 14 year olds...I have worked with  a few that really were perfect, over 5'9...great skin, tall and thin and not a line on their faces... these were by far my favorite models...  I wouldn't shoot them half nude or  anything suggestive at this age but for fashion...YES

and yes runway..... great ages are 14 to 20

May 05 08 09:04 pm Link

Photographer

Swank Photography

Posts: 19017

Big Pine Key, Florida, US

Lumigraphics, I was only making it a point to say that I am a former victims advocate and had seen more than my share of child molestation cases. I prefer to work with only 18+ models, but on the rare occasion that I should have to work with a younger model, then I make it clear to those around the model of her age, while also keeping the parent/legal guardian present at all times.

I have worked a few cases of "photographers" who lured young girls (15/younger) into their "studios" then assault them.

So yes I am jaded to say the least, but understand that in this field, if a model is going to have a half decent chance at making it in this business, then she/he needs to start around this age and focus. But the parent/legal guardian needs to always be present.

And while the child may be "mature" to handle the situation, other adult members around her may not be that mature and/or have other motives.

Caution given is fine. Caution not given equals a child hurt and a lawsuit brewing.

May 05 08 09:12 pm Link

Model

Sabrina Maree

Posts: 9501

West Hollywood, California, US

The parents are not always present. They have jobs, relationships, and lives of their own. It would be basically impossible for a parent to accompany a budding young runway model on all her pursuits.

I just don't see the necessity. There are thousands of appropriate models over 16, it's not like there is a shortage of girls tall or thin enough. Why even bother with the *possible* problem? Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm sure none of them are SO unique there isn't a model over 16 that could replace them.

May 05 08 09:17 pm Link

Model

Holden

Posts: 4532

San Francisco, California, US

Age is not a barrier to molestation/sexual abuse/rape.

14 year old tennis players, nerdy science geeks, high school newspaper journalists, etc. are victims too.

Rape is not about sex, it's about violence.

Being a runway model does not make a young woman more likely to be abused.

Being 14 instead of 23 does not make a young woman more likely to be abused.

End.

May 05 08 09:18 pm Link

Model

Sabrina Maree

Posts: 9501

West Hollywood, California, US

Holden wrote:
Being 14 instead of 23 does not make a young woman more likely to be abused.

End.

Ohhhhh yes it does. Yes it does. I was molested at 14 by my teacher...I never told anyone until I got older because as a little girl, I didn't want anyone to dislike me. Now imagine if that was a high powered professional in the modeling world, who made her feel like she is lucky to even be involved with him, and her career would die if she told anyone?

At 21, I carry pepperspray and would not hesitate to seriously injure someone that tried to mess with me. I wasn't that girl at 14 however.

May 05 08 09:27 pm Link

Photographer

Swank Photography

Posts: 19017

Big Pine Key, Florida, US

Holden wrote:
Age is not a barrier to molestation/sexual abuse/rape.

14 year old tennis players, nerdy science geeks, high school newspaper journalists, etc. are victims too.

Rape is not about sex, it's about violence.

Being a runway model does not make a young woman more likely to be abused.

Being 14 instead of 23 does not make a young woman more likely to be abused.

End.

I fully understand there is no age limit on sexual assault. It is about violence and control.

You don't need to educate me on this topic smile

May 05 08 09:29 pm Link

Photographer

Dave Burgie and Friends

Posts: 719

Windsor, Connecticut, US

Garry k wrote:
We hired a couple for our Vancouver Fashion Week a few weeks ago ( including one i found here )

All done up (hair and makeup ) they looked very much like young adult women - course they both stood 5'10 plus

So it was funny after one of our Shows to watch some of the Independent Photogs trying to chat up one of the girls

Afterwards I dropped the bombshell to them  ... "She's only 14 "

( response ) Silence

"And thats her mom over there checking you out "

Try being a cook at a nudist came and guessing ages

I was and I gave up

May 05 08 09:32 pm Link

Photographer

PYPI FASHION

Posts: 36332

San Francisco, California, US

Cris Ashley wrote:

Society has been teaching girls to prance around in dresses since we were 2 years old.
Its not like shes doing a lingerie show.

Who cares.
ugh.

Who cares? Apparently the fashion week organizers in Brazil, London, Paris, Milan, and Australia along with the editors of Vogue and Elle magazine.

May 05 08 09:33 pm Link

Photographer

Shon D.- Femme

Posts: 24433

Virginia Beach, Virginia, US

Sabrina Maree wrote:
The parents are not always present. They have jobs, relationships, and lives of their own. It would be basically impossible for a parent to accompany a budding young runway model on all her pursuits.

I just don't see the necessity. There are thousands of appropriate models over 16, it's not like there is a shortage of girls tall or thin enough. Why even bother with the *possible* problem? Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm sure none of them are SO unique there isn't a model over 16 that could replace them.

So 14 is too young, but by 16 she's magically mature enough?

Does not compute.

May 05 08 09:35 pm Link

Model

Sabrina Maree

Posts: 9501

West Hollywood, California, US

Shon D Photography wrote:

So 14 is too young, but by 16 she's magically mature enough?

Does not compute.

There is a big difference in maturity between 14 and 16. And I realize asking all models to be 18+ is a little too big of a jump at this point. But 16 is far better than 14; the holes in your brain are filling (though your brain is still swiss cheese until about 25), your reasoning is improving (probably not enough to choose not to sleep with your boyfriend, but enough to realize that you shouldn't be).
I don't think 16 year olds are great either. Just trying not to be one of those "all models should be over 18!" people.
Honestly, 18 year old aren't the best either. Huh. Maybe like...20?

May 05 08 09:44 pm Link

Photographer

Hermesz Fine Art

Posts: 2037

Westminster, Colorado, US

What scares me is things like this:

I posted a listing on Craigslist for a "Classic Nude: model and got this response,

Hey,

     I'm a 14-year-old female so not very developed but might work.  I've never modeled before but am looking to start now.  5'7", blonde, fairly skinny and will do whatever.  Email me back at .

This is simply brazen. I would rather give up the camera than shoot under these conditions. (and from my images, maybe I should anyway!)

However, 14 on the runway, I have not issues with if that is what th
e cleint wants.

John

May 05 08 09:48 pm Link

Photographer

Shon D.- Femme

Posts: 24433

Virginia Beach, Virginia, US

Hermesz Fine Art wrote:
What scares me is things like this:

I posted a listing on Craigslist for a "Classic Nude: model and got this response,

Hey,

     I'm a 14-year-old female so not very developed but might work.  I've never modeled before but am looking to start now.  5'7", blonde, fairly skinny and will do whatever.  Email me back at .

This is simply brazen. I would rather give up the camera than shoot under these conditions. (and from my images, maybe I should anyway!)

However, 14 on the runway, I have not issues with if that is what th
e cleint wants.

John

That was clearly a sting operation in progress. No doubt about it.

May 05 08 09:50 pm Link

Photographer

Hermesz Fine Art

Posts: 2037

Westminster, Colorado, US

Shon D Photography wrote:

That was clearly a sting operation in progress. No doubt about it.

My response!

Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately due to the nature of the images, I am only accepting models over the age of 18. I would strongly suggest that you wait until that time before thinking about modeling in this genre.

May 05 08 09:51 pm Link

Model

jukebox jenny

Posts: 610

Visalia, California, US

the only thing that bugs me about it is when there's a show that requires nudity (or even partial) and these girls are way underage.
there was a lingerie show recently that was going to have the girls in panties and topless with body paint.  well, for whatever reason there was no paint and these girls all had to go out topless with make up at most on their breasts and it was in a bar with nothing but disgusting drunks watching.
a) wrong spot for a show but
b) they're children still...walking topless or even in a sheer top...i think it's wrong.  but that's just my two cents.  model or not their still underage.

-JJ

May 05 08 09:52 pm Link

Photographer

Jack Fleming Phtgrphy

Posts: 453

Buckeye Lake, Ohio, US

So,  you are all sitting around arguing if a model is too young to be in a fashion show and if she's under 18, she's jail bait. As a male, I started working physical labor at the age of 14 for a friend's Dad. He paid me under the table and the money was good. Point is, I was 14 and it wasn't about what I looked like or who I was dating. it was about the "work" I was responsible for doing.

LAST TIME I CHECKED AT A FASHION SHOW (and I shoot Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Los Angeles), I wasn't there to get a date with a runway model. I was there to photograph the dress (or outfit or accessories) the model was wearing. It's NOT about the model. It's about what the designer has designed in their collection and is trying to display on the moving model.

Are we here to pick up on models or are we  here to do business and remain professional and photograph fashion (or whatever genre you work with)?

These kinds of debates (or many of the responses in them) are why I hate this sight and many of the unprofessionals on here.

Get back to what you are supposed to be doing if you are going to be professional. And if you can't handle it? Leave.

Now, can we get back to discussing the quality of photography, fashion, glamour, and the other relevant things this site should be about?

May 05 08 09:56 pm Link

Model

JadeDRed

Posts: 5542

London, England, United Kingdom

From another view point do any adult women find it a little irritating to see these really young girls in fashion magazines and such when really you would rather see what they look like on someone you could relate more to, i.e. an adult?

I used to find the exact opposite when i was a child, all the models in the kids clothes we're fully developed girls in their late teens.

Saying that i haven't read a mainstream fashion magazine since i started studying fashion, its as pointless as reading last weeks news now.

May 05 08 09:59 pm Link

Photographer

Jack Fleming Phtgrphy

Posts: 453

Buckeye Lake, Ohio, US

jukebox jenny wrote:
the only thing that bugs me about it is when there's a show that requires nudity (or even partial) and these girls are way underage.
there was a lingerie show recently that was going to have the girls in panties and topless with body paint.  well, for whatever reason there was no paint and these girls all had to go out topless with make up at most on their breasts and it was in a bar with nothing but disgusting drunks watching.
a) wrong spot for a show but
b) they're children still...walking topless or even in a sheer top...i think it's wrong.  but that's just my two cents.  model or not their still underage.

-JJ

Wait--SO, THE MODELS WERE UNDER AGE, TOPLESS, AND IN A DRINKING ESTABLISHMENT? This was in the United States? That bar should be closed down immediately and the police involved. I rarely take a fashion show at a bar, seriously. Rarely are these venues good ones for legitimate designers unless you are LA, NY, SF, or Miami and even many of those aren't going anywhere. Of course, this might be an exception for a private event rented out by a professional fashion organization.

Point is--there should not have been minors there in the first place. Second, who let them be topless, under age, and in a bar? Where were their Parents or the Agency?

May 05 08 10:00 pm Link

Model

Caperucita Roja

Posts: 11544

Plymouth, England, United Kingdom

There have been some very good points brought up here!
I think modeling should be fine at any age as long as someone under the age of 18 isn't doing nude modeling or lingerie shots, in my opinion thats essentially just child pornography. Luckily, most places I know of only allow people of 18 years and up to do that kind of modeling.
One thing I do have to admit... although modeling at any age can be ok- it can have a damaging effect on younger, more impressionable teenage or pre-teen girls. I think its as much about mental maturity as physical maturity. After all, it doesn't matter if she looks 19, if she's 11 she's still a child.
XXXXXXXXXX

May 05 08 10:09 pm Link