Why are teenagers used in modelling? Is it a good idea?

  • Freya Hill

Good question, especially if you’re a parent or teenager researching teen modelling.

Young people are employed to predominately work as advertising, commercial and catalogue models. This means they’ll be photographed in a brand’s clothes, using a brand’s product or demonstrating a company’s service. Their final pictures are more than likely to be used in catalogues, in shops, on websites or in books that are aimed at a same age clientele. Using an adult over the age of 18 would not be relevant and potentially damaging to sales rates hence teens are used.

In a nutshell, that is what teen modelling is and why teenagers are used instead of adults. Now onto the benefits of teen modelling.

Modelling is an incredibly hard industry to break into at the best of times but with more and more talent coming to the industry thanks to programmes including Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model and The Face, girls and guys are finding a progression route through teen modelling really helpful. Jobs are not overloaded onto teen models (in respect of their age, the law and their education) and demands are much easier to cope with than those of a full time professional. In return, youngsters get the experience they need to push forward with their career and above all, have some fun!

teenage model

Trying out modelling as a teen can also save the model and family a lot of hard work, time and money. If a teenager decides to embark on a modelling career aged 18 (they will then be considered an adult model), they will probably be choosing that over University or another full-time job. If after six weeks or six months they decide that modelling is really not for them, it’s too late to ring up the University and ask for their place back (they will have to wait until next year comes around before reapplying). However, the benefit of teen modelling means young people can ‘test the water’ with photoshoots and industry professionals and then, when it comes to their big life choices, can make an informed decision as to whether modelling is really going to be the best route.

Unfortunately a few bad cases have cast a nasty dark cloud over the teen modelling industry but we must reassure you, young people (who are employed by a legitimate agency) are in the safest and most respectable of hands. The two main outcomes everyone involved wants is a great set of photos and to care for the teen model they are working with. If that isn’t enough to put your mind at rest, the law indicates towards the same child care.

To ensure the best experience from teen modelling, the young person must want to be a model (surprisingly some don’t and they’re only doing it because of pushy parents) and the model’s parents must be supportive. For models under the age of 18, a parent of guardian needs to give permission for the model to work and UK Models always recommends that a parent attends interviews/castings/shoots with them.

teenage male model

To recap, teenagers are used to model commercially, for advertising or catalogue purposes. They will only model clothing relevant to their age and are more likely to be modelling educational equipment and sportswear than underwear and make-up! Parents should be 100% behind a teen model and the model should use any experience they gain to help them decide towards (and help) their professional career.

All well and good, you can take the next step of becoming a teen model by contacting us. We will firstly assess your potential via an online form, then work with you to produce a high standard portfolio. Visit our website for more details.

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Posted by Freya Hill

Freya is been writing for many years on fashion and modelling. Her hands are a bit too wrinkly for a 23 year old and she has worked with MTV, New Look and Vauxhall Fashion Scout.