Why my daughter shouldn't be a child model
Published: 16. februar 2012

I mostly write about tech-stuff on this website, but once in a while other topics spring to mind and I feel like I have to address them. This article is about why I won't let my 2-year old daughter be a child model. Continue reading for more insights.

We see them every day - we see them everywhere... And while we hardly pay any attention on the subject we all (or most of us) has an opinion on the matter...

Todays topic is -Child models-

Okay, before we get into it I'd like to state a few things about me so you might better understand what drives me into writing this article. You see, I have a lovely baby-girl named Maya and she's two and a half year old. She's a lovely (agree or not) mixture of me - a Korean male - and her mother - a Danish blond girl. As of now I'd like to refrain from posting a photo of her to make my case a little stronger (though those of you who knows me also know where to find photos of her). I have absolutely no problem with people letting their children pose as models in their baby-years. In fact I know of at least 3 cases in my own nearby social circles who does exactly that - And they're happy about it and they should be! This is definitely not a swing at those people (or any others for that matter) - This is just an outlet for my very own opinion on the matter. Okay? Glad we got that out of the way...

First things first...
We see pictures of kids in all sorts of situations on a daily basis. As a matter a fact if we didn't it would be kind of odd, wouldn't it? I mean... A commercial for children's clothing or toys without an illustrative photo of a happy child - what would make us purchase these products if the advertisement wasn't about feelings and emotions. We simply need to be able to put ourselves (or in this particle case - our children) into that perspective in order to be persuaded to buy the stuff sold by the stores. I can't imagine myself buying a birthday present for my daughter unless there's a happy retouched kid playing with that particular toy outside the package.

The work, the fun
I hear people "defending" the issue with arguments like

My kid LOVE posing in front of the camera... She loves going to work

Usually that would lead to a response from me sounding similar to this Really? So when she was like 12 months old she looked at you saying - "Mom, I'd like to be a model - please take me..."
Okay - sorry about that... Anyway, the point is that our children haven't agreed to this kind of work - And why would you choose modeling anyway? The entire world cries out about child labour in far eastern countries - But in a more bizarre way we're actually practicing it right here on a daily basis and we can't even see it? (or accept it!)? It's NOT playtime for a child to pose in front of a camera in a studio amongst a lot of people that he/she don't know. It's WORK and while some people might think that our children is just having fun in the daycare or kindergarden while WE (read: the parents) are going to work all day - the children is actually at "work" too. They're learning how to behave, act, react, interact and so forth on a daily basis. When we finally have some time in the late afternoon we drag them into a studio so mum and dad can post beautiful pictures (and yes, they ARE indeed beautiful) on Facebook, Twitter and all the other social services...

Earning your part, baby
Another "sweet" argument I get from time to time is this one...

Do you have any idea how much it cost to have a baby? The kid have to earn his/her part too

Right... When my wife and I decided to have a child a few years back we went through everything to see if we were able to give our child the best childhood we could in terms of economy and so forth. I can't recall any situation during that process where one of us calculated with the child to earn its part by the age of 2. In response to the argument from before I personally think that you (as a parent) should have thought of that BEFORE your knees went their separate way... But once again, that's a completely different story...

From time to time I hear another argument about the money the child is making. Mom and dad are putting those money into a savings account that the child can have when it grows old enough. Not a bad idea... If your kid work really hard while being an infant or toddler the amount of money could potentially be an awesome night out as a teenager. Bars, boys/girls, drinks and whatnot. I think it's great way to teach the responsibility of adults to children. I didn't add the "sarcasm" tag to this paragraph as you might get it anyway. Wouldn't it be safer/greater if we (again, parents) added like a few bucks to a savings account for the kid to withdraw some day? It'll definitely spare us for the discussion about: "I made those money as a kid - I decide what I'm gonna use the for" later on. Instead the responsible parent could add this to "the other conversation": "Mom and dad saved up those money for you so you could buy new furnitures for your room...". But again, what do I know about arguments for older kids and how to raise a teenager...?

So where are we now?
Though it's important to understand that our society and consumerism has taught us that we need the photos of our youngsters in magazines and advertisements it's also imperative that we take a stand on this issue nevertheless. Do we, as parents, accept that our children are being used/misused as "objects" in commercials? Do we HAVE to live out our broken dreams through them because we wasn't "beautiful enough" to be models ourselves? And should we accept that our society beautifies our children the way that it does?

Think about all of those questions and leave any thoughts in the comments below.. Thanks for taking your time to read!

- End -

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