My son has been a child model for quite a time now; ever since I was approached, lank haired and wild eyed, pockets bulging with my on-the-go breakfast, baby eating its own shoes to ask if I’d ever thought about modelling. I stared at the woman with bulgy-eyed astonishment and clutched my larger than it used to be tummy, ‘But I’ve got so fat since I had the baby!’ – obviously the only thing holding me back from supermodel status.
She patted me kindly on the shoulder taking in my sleep-deprived madness, ‘I meant your baby!’ So from a state of deep humiliation I signed him up.
It’s drawn a mixed reaction – my family never ask about it, quietly don’t approve, but not really enough to ever say anything. Friends either completely disapprove or ask me how to sign up. I completely understand why – I do waver between the sense of sending him up a chimney, people making money out of him and the sheer enjoyment of it. He’s ten now, he usually has a ball – he likes being made a fuss of, given biscuits – the photographer telling him jokes, messing around with the other kids.
We’ve gone to Prague to do a commercial for Nestle, where he ate countless bowls of honeystars (too sugary to sell over here!) and had a pretend and much improved mum (a lovely actress from Hollyoaks). It was great, we stayed in a hotel, got taken out for dinner, walked the streets – I stifled my disapproval of Nestle’s milk policy in the Far East!! We’ve been to Spain a few times, flying out after school like some ridiculous jet-setter to be whisked at dawn into Zara’s mad HQ
We’ve met some superstar photographers on the sets for Pepe and Burberry. He’s had his photograph taken in the Natural History Museum, in a stately home near Longleat, on a farm in Suffolk, on a beach in Norfolk. The castings are a bit boring and endless, or at least they were when he was younger, there seems to be less of them now, but its still very exciting if he gets the call later and still disappointing if he doesn’t.
I endlessly asks him if he is happy and he endlessly replies that he is and if it sounds like I’m trying to make excuses then perhaps I am because I am not totally reconciled myself with it. That said he has enough money in the bank now to put him through a couple of years of college (or a motorbike if I’ve lost control of him by then) and that’s a wonderful thing.
The money’s stored carefully in a child bank vault organised by his agency and although I’ve occasionally eyed it up, its all still there. All in all and over the years I would say most definitely get your child in to modelling if they seem to enjoy it, its been a great thing for us and its always brilliant when you catch sight of your own kid in some Christmassy onesie peering out at you from a shop window.
- Models Direct Offers Cost Effective Registration to Child Modelling Agencies (sbwire.com)
- Child Modelling (allengeorgina.wordpress.com)