Monday, January 5, 2009

Kid, You're Going Places

The world of child modeling is kind of scary--pagent moms, bright lights, little kids looking like they're being preened for a dog show. I actually had a minor stint in child modeling, for my mom's friend who needed a couple of kids to wear clothes for some department store. I put on plaid jackets and shorts, smiled awkwardly, and afterwards I got $50 and bought a couple of troll dolls. But I left that career aside for the more lucrative world of writing.

Some kids haven't come to that crossroads yet. Or rather, some parents. Because the world needs baby models.

In some ways, it makes me feel better that they're babies. Unlike preschoolers, they don't know that they need to look or act a certain way. When babies want to sit down and suck their thumb, that's what they do. But the pressure-y parents are still scary. For example:

"One mother Ayers met quit her job to accompany her child to a photo shoot because, he says, 'she thought it was her child's destiny to be a star.'"

Um, yeah. Destined to be a star. Or rather, destined to end up in rehab because her mom wants to be famous via her kid.

At least other parents in the article sound like they're just doing it for fun, and so their child will get some good college money right away. Still, I wonder what the group dynamic is like once the auditions happen.

And what are agencies looking for in baby models?

"Ayers says successful baby models are smilers with good temperaments who're willing to interact with photographers, hair stylists, and makeup artists. Yes, babies do get hair and makeup: At a Hasbro shoot, a makeup artist covered a spot on Abigail's face while a hair stylist fixed her hair, says Hanna.

'It's almost like if you see something you know it,' says Freeman. 'For a baby, pretty much you're looking for that cuteness. I hate using the term, but that all-American look. That baby with a wholesome look.'"

Do any babies not look all-American? Granted, some babies are ugly, but aren't they mostly cute?

I guess I won't be making it as a baby casting agent either. The model world is closed off to me. Win one for me, babies.