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Supporting the Life of Models

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People often assume that models live, well, model lives. Because they have gorgeous skin and well-balanced features and great figures that cameras love, their lives must be perfect, too. They look so good; popular thinking goes that they couldn’t possibly have problems like mere mortals. Anyone who looks like a model, or is a model, must live a model life, right?
Wrong.
It seems preposterous to have to point out that just because a woman is beautiful doesn’t necessarily mean her life is beautiful too, but it is indeed necessary. Their skin may be smooth, but that doesn’t guarantee life goes smoothly as well.
Like so many assumptions, this one is rife with myth. Perfect looks are no guarantee of a perfect life; in fact, being beautiful might just be an impediment to living a great, or at least easy, existence.
Anyone who has seen the film, “The Devil Wears Prada” got a hint, albeit a hilarious one, of the pressure models, face to be thin. Not just trim…thin. Big difference. And this constant harping on thinness leaves many young models with serious eating disorders and physical ailments that can last a lifetime. Unfortunately, the days when models could acceptably be a size 8, or even size 10, have long since passed, unless they want to be in the “plus size” category. Many aspiring young models starve themselves to reach a weight that is almost impossibly tough to maintain. Some live on coffee, champagne and, unfortunately, cigarettes, which tamp down one’s appetite. Most food is almost verboten in the modeling world. The old cliché that “the camera adds 10 pounds,” is a cliché for a very good reason: it’s true!
If you’re the mother of a young girl who wants to model, your role can be a difficult one. You want to support her aspirations – of course – but it’s equally important that you ensure she gets enough rest, enough food, and does well in school. How do you deal with the pressures on her, to not eat too much, to show up for shoots and other events sometimes at the break of dawn, and more? Supporting her dreams means you will be investing big money in things like head shots, clothes, etc. How do you balance your desire to protect her with her desire to succeed in the business?
By being her mother first, that’s how. If you take care of her as your daughter, the rest will fall into place. Other people will be there – agencies, photographers, press people – to make demands on her that don’t always prioritize her needs as a young woman. That’s your job. Any woman who wants to know how to do the mothering role wrong just needs to watch “Gia” with Angelina Jolie. In the film, she portrays one of the world’s first super models, Gia Carangi, and her mother is clearly more interested in her fame and earnings than her daughter’s health and well-being

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