Is baby/toddler/child modeling bad?

Melissa - posted on 07/28/2011 ( 14 moms have responded )




I have been entering my son in modeling contests that I've seen on Facebook. Nothing major, meaning that I don't have an agent, a photographer (besides a friend who is majoring in photography/fine arts), a portfolio, and don't invest ANY money in it. The only thing I've done is upload and submit my son's pictures to pages that are "looking" for kids to model their merchandise. My son recently won a contest which includes some FREE clothing and appearances in the company's catalog/website, and a magazine. I was so excited and couldn't wait to tell friends and family my cool news! However, instead of people being happy for me (like I thought), I've had some who were totally raining on my parade... Asking me why I would waste money on such things (which I don't), if it's a scam, why I would put my child through such torment, blah blah blah.

My boyfriend thinks it's just jealousy, or a form of it, but it's really got me questioning whether or not it's a good idea to be doing this? We are a low income family because my boyfriend is the only one working while I finish college, which also allows me to be a SAHM in the mean time too. So, I didn't see the harm in trying to win cool things and opportunities for my child, especially nice clothes that I can't afford. My sister asked me why I would "set my son up for disappointment" in case he doesn't win, but he's 2-years old right now and wouldn't know the difference.

What do you think? I'd love to hear anyone's opinions, good or bad. Thank you :)


Mrs. - posted on 07/28/2011




Hey, I make my living as an actor and occasionally do print work. I've been in that industry for over a decade. My fiance is also in the industry and does a lot of print work as well.

If you are serious about getting your kid out to auditions and go sees (modelling calls), getting a legit agent is the biggest way you can protect your kid. There are a lot of scams and scary people out there who will exploit you and your kid, you don't want to have that happen.

That being said, our agent has our daughter on her roster. I'll take her out to the occasional audition or go see if I think she'll be up for it. It is an excellent way to make extra college money, any money she makes goes right into her RESP. That way, she is never in the position, in which she is in anyway supporting us or we are in anyway using the funds she makes to buy things for ourselves.

Over the years, I've had to work and audition with so many kids who are doing it because their families need the money to survive. When that happens, the kids tend to be very anxious and the parents very pushy/nervous. The kids who are just doing it because they enjoy it, have a natural talent for it and are not being pressured to support a family are the ones who work the most and are a joy to be around.

So, it can be an awesome way for a child to make some funds for the future, enjoy themselves doing something creative and maybe, set them up in a biz that they could work in when they are older. I see nothing wrong with it, if you do it for those reasons.

Just please, be careful and get a legit agent, if you are serious about it.

Also, the minute my daughter says she is not into it, I will never, ever bring her to another. No kid should be forced into the industry. It is hard enough on the soul as an adult, even harder if the kid doesn't even like doing it.

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MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/14/2012




Personally, I would not do it. That's just me.

Tracey - posted on 03/14/2012




What torment are you putting a 2 year old through? He has a day out with lots of people (I'm guessing) making a fuss of him and comes home with free clothes.

If your son gets on well with modelling he could earn enough money to pay for his college education when he is older.

Maybe your friends are thinking that as your son is modelling it is "proof" that he is attractive so by default of their kids not modelling does it mean they are not attractive, just jealousy.

Emma - posted on 08/07/2011




I personally would not do it but that's me, I don't see any harm as long as he thinks a photo shoot is fun and you are not trying to live through your son.
I would say just be care full that everything is legit.

Joanna - posted on 07/28/2011




If the child is doing it because they want to, and the parent isn't pushing/forcing them, then it's great, as long as you know what you are doing and are aware of the scams.

My oldest is a redhead, and we were approached a couple of times about modeling/TV. One time the lady told us about an open casting call, so we figured, why not. Our daughter was almost 2 at the time. We got there, and it turned out the place was a modeling school. People were there with babies, toddlers, older kids. I was like, WTH... the only school my girl will be going to is preschool. I was over it, and we left.

Now, my girls model for my friend's clothing/bow companies, and that's it. If, in the future, I know someone personally who can get them into a magazine or something, I'd do it, just for the memory's sake. But until they are old enough to ask about it, that's all it would be. We are close enough to Los Angeles to go to auditions, if they were old enough and doing well in school and such, we might give it a try.

Ez - posted on 07/28/2011




I was approached twice when my daughter was a baby, and I politely declined both times. It's just not something I was comfortable with at that point. Now she is 2.5yo, and has developed the personality and confidence that would mean she would probably love it. If the opportunity arose again now (or she expresses an interest as she gets older), I might consider it. But it's not something I would actively seek out.

As for the FB contests, they are huge red flags for me. I would not go near them with a ten foot pole. If modelling is something you're interested in for your child, you need to be sure it is legit, and that is just not possible with FB.

I don't think the people who have reacted negatively are necessarily jealous. They may be genuinely concerned for your child's safety. Or they may have a moral objection to it and believe it is exploitation of a child.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 07/28/2011




It can be bad if your part of a horrible scam, or get taken advantage of.

But it can also be jealousy from the people around you.

I was trying to get my son into modeling (before he could walk), but now I have decided to wait until he is older…like 2,3,or 4(he has the happy personality and charm, but he is 16months and moves A LOT on the go..LOL and so I don’t think he is ready to sit)

It can be a really wonderful experience that leads to other great things!

Good luck with everything :-)

Jenn - posted on 07/28/2011




I think first and foremost is your child's security. Any contest you enter, be sure to read their rules and procedures. Make sure your child's identity is kept protected and that his image isn't sold or used anywhere else. My cousin's 3 year old models for JCPenney. They have an agent who makes sure he is protected and not exploited. As long as a child has fun doing it and doesn't mind the work involved, then I have no problem with child models. Now, the child pageants of the South? Whole other issue that I have a major problem with!

Nikki - posted on 07/28/2011




I hate the fb photo contest sites, I would never use them. My problem with them is that any random pervert could be posing as a mother to gain access to your children's photos. It just seems like an easy way for these sickos to get what they want. It's not just your privacy settings that you have to worry about, you are putting yourself out there by posting photos the whole group can see.

I know that our photo's can be accessed in other ways on the internet, like our profile pic etc, but a whole group of cute baby photo's just creeps me out.

I like Rebecca's ideas, if you are interested in going further.

Melissa - posted on 07/28/2011




Katherine, good point. I hope it's not a scam, but it seems legit. I don't respond to the funky ads that you see on the right side of your FB page, but they're contests from actual company sites (at least I hope). I'll have to do some more digging now. So you don't think it's a "bad" thing that I do it? Thanks for your input :)

Katherine - posted on 07/28/2011




Well who doesn't want to show their child off? You do want to make sure it's not a scam though, and I wouldn't recommend FB because they have access to all of your info. That is unless you changed your privacy settings.

Like the Parent magazine ones I think are appropriate. Or Baby Talk. But I wouldn't do FB.

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