fleeting youth

Ugh, This Article Completely Ruined My Dreams of Becoming a Child Model

Photo: NAT FARBMAN/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the New York Times published an article about aspiring child models that let you know it was going to be a total bummer right from the headline. Ready for it? Okay. It’s “Kid Models (and Their Moms) Trade Summer Fun for City Auditions.” Oh no.

Childhood and summer are both fleeting, but during this time of year, families flock from small towns all over the country to New York, lured by model managers who convince them to spend the season going to auditions. But jump-starting their children’s careers is often very, very costly, with little to no profit guaranteed. One mother, Julie Baker, works as a shoe-store manager and is spending her medical leave in New York:

She estimates she has spent between $7,000 and $10,000 on modeling costs in the past year for Melia, who has made between $300 and $500 during that time. To pay for this trip to the East Coast, Ms. Baker created a GoFundMe page and hosted a going-away party, where friends and family gave money.

Grace’s mother, Valerie Nelson, who works in a cardiac catheterization lab in Cincinnati, estimates she has spent $13,000 to $15,000 since her daughter began modeling two years ago. How much has Grace made so far?

“Zero dollars,” Ms. Nelson said. “That’s not a hard number to figure out.”

Well, even if it doesn’t pan out, there are worse places to spend a summer than New York City.

This Ruined My Dreams of Becoming a Child Model