The fashion industry has evolved over the years to become more inclusive of teenage models. While the industry traditionally relied on tall, slender models, there is now a demand for more diverse and inclusive representation.
While the rise of teen modeling is exciting, it’s important to understand how it’s changing the industry and the perception of beauty.
The Prominence of Teen Models
Countless teens daydream about becoming models. It’s an alluring fantasy: Someone plucks you out of Coachella, tells you you’re gorgeous and asks if you’ve ever modeled before. Goodbye, teenage angst; hello, jet-setting around the globe with your new squad of cool, beautiful friends. Of course, the reality is much more complex than that. In fact, being a model is hard work with high standards for body types and appearance. Many movements exist to hold the modeling industry accountable for creating content with more realistic bodies, but it’s a slow process. Meanwhile, more stories emerge daily of models being victimized for their appearances and the unrealistic expectations they are held to.
Modeling agencies have traditionally scouted teenagers for the runway and editorial markets of New York City and Paris. Competitions like Elite Model Look are another pipeline, as is the Internet. Nowadays, a teen can get her foot in the door with a single Instagram post, and modeling scouts have even been known to spot talent at school, on a beach or in a shopping mall.
Once a girl is signed, her life can change dramatically. It can be lonely and isolating, and it puts her at a higher risk of eating disorders, self-harm and drug addiction. These risks are especially prevalent for minors, whose emotional and physical development is still ongoing.
A shift to using older models won’t solve every problem in the fashion world, but it could help reduce the pressure on young girls to have an unattainable physique. Allowing them to finish high school and find their identities first can make a huge difference.
There are also opportunities for models to make a living by modeling specific parts of the body, such as hands, feet or backs. These models are typically much smaller than fashion models, and they can make a decent living from these gigs.
As the popularity of teen models continues to rise, some fashion designers have opened their eyes and begun to use women of all ages for their campaigns and catalogs. Several high-end brands and streetwear labels have already used a variety of women of different ages, including celebrities like Jasmine Sanders and Joan Smalls.
How They Are Reshaping the Fashion Landscape
As fashion embraces diversity, teen models are leading the way. The influx of young faces is reshaping the industry, and brands are embracing inclusivity in their campaigns and runway shows. Models like Harulia, who began her career at 14, Cara Taylor, who walked for Chanel at 16, and Imaan Hammam, who landed a major campaign at 13, are proving that they have the same appeal as older models.
Teen models are a better fit for apparel marketing as they bring youthful appeal to the brand. They can make bold colors and designs look natural and joyful. Moreover, they can connect with the audience easily and add value to the brand image. Hence, they are more likely to boost sales in the retail industry.
For young people, becoming a model can be exciting and intimidating at the same time. It can be a great opportunity to travel the world and work with top photographers and designers. However, it also entails a lot of hard work and dedication. To succeed as a teen model, you need to focus on your appearance and character, not just your body. You should also try to avoid getting too caught up with the superficial aspects of the industry.
In the fashion world, a good looking face and a gorgeous figure are essential for success. The industry has long been reliant on youth, with agencies recruiting new faces as early as thirteen. Many successful models got their start in the industry as teens, including Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, and Lily-Rose Depp.
The industry’s obsession with youth has been problematic for teen models. They are often required to pose in sexualized ways, work long hours, and are underpaid. In addition, they are often subjected to pressure to maintain unhealthy weights, which can lead to eating disorders and other health problems.
As a result, many teen models end up feeling disillusioned and depressed with their careers. This is especially true for models who are not signed to a big agency and have to work as independent contractors. New York’s recent passage of the Child Model Act offers some protections for underage fashion models, but more needs to be done to ensure that the industry treats its young workers fairly.
The Influence of Social Media
The idea of becoming a model is appealing to many teenagers. It is a career that pays well and allows you to travel the world. Plus, you get to wear the latest designer clothes and be a part of a cool group of friends. For some, this dream is more than just a fantasy; it is a lifestyle they wish to live out in reality.
In order to make this happen, teen models have to follow strict diets and exercise routines in order to maintain their perfect bodies. They also have to undergo a lot of photo shoots and makeup sessions. As a result, they are forced to grow up faster than their peers. This can be dangerous because if teens don’t have the right support system they may end up engaging in risky behaviors to meet the demands of their careers.
Many teen models use social media to promote and market their brand. They are often influenced by the looks of other celebrities and they try to emulate their style. This can be harmful to the psyche of young kids because it leads them to develop an unhealthy body image. It can also cause them to be self-conscious, which can lead to anxiety and depression.
Since the postwar economic boom, the growth of teen spending has made them a crucial segment of the fashion industry. The styles adopted by young people became a major influence on the development of fashion trends in North America and Europe. In particular, the iconic flapper outfit with its sleek clothing and short bobbed hair helped establish an aesthetic that has been influential for decades.
Despite the decline of birth rates in Western nations, young people remain a large proportion of the population. In addition, the popularity of Instagram and TikTok has led to an increase in the number of teenaged fashion influencers.
The influx of young fashion enthusiasts has encouraged brands to develop fast-fashion products that cater to their specific needs. As a result, resale platforms like Depop and ThreadUp are booming with individuals on a mission to sell overstocked or lightly used clothing items. Moreover, the influence of the internet has created a new generation of consumers who demand more transparency and sustainability from the fashion industry.
The Challenges of Being a Teen Model
If you’re a teen model, or are considering becoming one, there are some things to keep in mind. A career as a fashion model isn’t all about strutting the runway or posing for editorial photo shoots. It takes work, dedication, and perseverance.
Many models struggle to survive in the industry, and some are even drowning in debt. The industry norm is to pay models in “trade” – clothing – rather than cash, and models often incur expenses that their agencies don’t cover. They may have to pay for their own makeup and hair, a dermatologist appointment, a professional photographer, and other costs that they were never informed of.
When modeling as a teenager, it’s important to find a legitimate agency with good connections to commercial, fashion, and editorial clients; photographers; and other industry professionals. Reputable agencies will not ask a model to pay upfront for classes, photos, or training courses. Agencies that charge models are usually scams, and should be avoided.
In addition, a teen model needs to be confident and determined, even in the face of rejection. It’s also essential for a teen to be able to take direction and to be comfortable in front of the camera. Many aspiring models begin their careers on a part-time basis while still at school, which is a great way to get started without missing out on the education that they need.
As a teen model, you should always consult with your parents before entering the industry. You’ll need their permission to be represented by an agency and to audition for jobs and shows. They will be able to advise you on the best ways to approach your career and how to choose an agency that has your best interests in mind. Ideally, you should start out with a smaller, local modeling agency that specifically focuses on teen models. This will give you a feel for the industry and help you get your feet wet before meeting with bigger agencies that may be intimidating. Having your parents involved will also help ensure that you’re staying within the guidelines of your minor labor laws, and that you’re not being exploited or pressured to alter your appearance or body in any way.