Guest blogger Jessica Katz: Babies are cute. Really cute. You can't help but want to take a million pictures of your little baby. Eventually, you start thinking, "My baby is cuter than that kid on the Pampers box." You start thinking about how easy it would be to launch your baby's international modeling career, and all the money you could put away for his or her college education ....
It seems really harmless, doesn't it? A few pictures in cute outfits, a few auditions, and most likely they
won't even remember they ever modeled until you show them clippings from a
catalog. But it might not be that way at all. In fact, it might even hurt your kid in the long run.
"Gossip Girl" star Taylor Momsen blames her parents for robbing her of a healthy
childhood, insisting that they are the reason she's so dark and miserable nowadays.
The actress and Pretty Reckless singer was quoted as saying, "Everyone's like,
'Wow, why is she upset? Why is she miserable?' My parents signed me up with Ford
[Models] at the age of two. No two-year-old wants to be working, but I
had no choice. My whole life, I was in and out of school. I didn't have any
real friends. I was working constantly and I didn't have a real life."
again, she did end up on "Gossip Girl," which may have never happened had she not
had a push from her parents. And where would she be today without that?
I have to admit that I have heard, several times, that my daughter should model. She
has the biggest blue eyes and loves the camera. And with the prices of college
always in the back of my mind, it has been tempting. So I asked a friend who
got her son into modeling what she thought.
"He loves the camera, he is a ham
and he can make a lot of money," she said. "He made $850 on his first job [a Kmart Easter
ad] for two hours' work. We have only booked a couple of jobs and we have gone
on a lot of auditions. The money goes straight into a trust for him. and I
can't touch it."
She spends a lot of her time driving him from audition to
audition, making sure he is in a really good mood, that his hair is cut (for $30 a
pop) and that he is totally put together. It is sort of exhausting just
watching her. Then again, he could be the next Jake Gyllenhaal ....
However, kids are only kids for a short while. They have the rest of
their lives to work. These are supposed to be the most carefree days of their
lives. It is not supposed to be a stressful time. And kids should never feel
There's no shortage of stories about child stars gone wrong
(Lindsay Lohan), and very few about those who went right. If modeling can be a part-time
situation and it isn't stressful for the parents or the child, then there is no
harm in earning some extra money. After all, someone has to be on the Pampers
box. Just make sure you can be a good mom even when you're a stage mom.