Posted on: 06/06/2013

Legislators Rally for Catwalk Kiddies

The notion of exploitation in the modeling industry has become so familiar that it is a part of our cultural consciousness. Stories of teenage girls uncomfortably assuming prurient poses for photographers in isolated studios,being offered cocktails of drugs and champagne at runway shows,and encouraged to shed fast pounds to conform to unrealistic physical measurements are commonplace. Today,the Model Alliance announced that two New York senators are working on legislation that would increase protection for print and runway models under the age of 18,giving them the same safeguards and benefits as other child performers.The Model Alliance,founded by Sara Ziff,is an organization that aims to improve the working conditions of the modeling industry. High-profile models like Shalom Harlow, Coco Rocha and Milla Jovovich have joined to lobby against injustices in the modeling industry. When I started modeling at 15," model Trish Goff in the announcement, "there were no provisions for on-set tutors and so I dropped out of school. Although I was one of the lucky ones who went on to a successful career as a model,as a child I should never have been forced to make that choice between modeling and education."Model Alliance founder Sara Ziff is thrilled about this push for child models" rights. In an e-mail, Ms. Ziff wrote,"I"m very pleased to be working with Senators Klein and Savino on this important issue. It"s time that child models in the fashion industry had the same protections as all other child performers working in New York. Frankly,this legislation is long-overdue".