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Michael Kors Reveals 16-Year-Old Model Age Limit at Harvard Business School 13th Annual Public Forum 2010-03-23 11:00:22

How Young Is Too Young to Model?

Last night, Anna Wintour, Michael Kors, and Natalia Vodianova attended Harvard's 13th annual Public Forum to participate in a forum titled “Health Matters: Weight and Wellness in the World of Fashion” to discuss the fashion industry's issues with anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders. During the forum, Kors declared he will not hire any models under the age of 16. “I think super-young girls used to be the exception,’’ Kors said. “There’s always been a Twiggy, or a model who is very young. But they were few and far between. Now, they’re completely common. That’s something I see as a huge problem.’’

Natalia Vodianova also spoke up about the pressure of losing weight after giving birth: “After I gave birth I lost a lot of weight, and under the pressure of the industry I realized much later I had an eating disorder. I went to therapy, I’m probably breaking my own boundaries but I recognized I had a problem.”

Michael continued, stating, “The age of models really has to become a priority. We need to give these girls a chance to grow up.” I think 16 is even too young; I think 18 is a more stable age to be subject to modeling pressures. What do you think?

naziazholesusuck naziazholesusuck 7 years
i voted depends on the maturity level but i also think a chaperon is a good idea. and i think that the idea of having these super thin/anorexic models needs to go away for good. no woman in real life can possibly maintain that look unless she starves herself, which is so unhealthy in so many ways. and a young girl starving herself could actually stunt her growth. if a normal body type was acceptable to the industry(size 8-10) then i think it would be fine for a young girl especially if she wants it and it's obvious she has has it takes. i think the older you get, the harder it is to break into the business. but i also agree with the comment that said the industry is selling to 20-30 year olds(or 40 year olds) so why not use women of that age. why use teens to model thousands of dollars worth of clothes when in reality they can't afford. i wish fashion would take a more realistic approach. it doesn't have to be ugly, just real.
Yesi-Jukebox Yesi-Jukebox 7 years
I also believe 18 should be the starting age. And as lacedivory said above, girls need to be girls and not want to jump into being sexy beautiful women without even being out of high school.
lacedivory lacedivory 7 years
i think 18 is a good age and below that is not ideal. girls need to have a childhood, grow up and have fun before they lose their youth entirely! =)
simplystella simplystella 7 years
I'm positive this "younger models" trend is a consequence of the industry demanding for girls that are skinnier than ever. Girls in their early teenage years (around 12-14 yrs old) are usually skinnier as their body hasn't completely changed into a woman's body. Either way, 16 years seems more of an acceptable age to start modeling. 18een would be even better.. but it really depends on each person maturity. As a general rule, I guess it would be better to start working after finishing high school, at least..
GummiBears GummiBears 7 years
Personally I have no strong feelings either way but I feel if a girl wants to pursue modeling, she should have a chaperon til she reaches the age of majority.
French-Kiss French-Kiss 7 years
This world turns your head so fast, it should be 18.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 7 years
I think that world is very harsh and that young girls shouldn't be expose to it. At 16 you don't really have a sense of identity, your self-esteem is usually at a very low point, and your main concern is to fit in. I cannot imagine what impact the harsh reality of modeling will have on these girls. ( None likes to hear that she is not good enough, that has to affect her self-esteem). Kids should be kids, they can model once they are out of high school.
GregS GregS 7 years
When I was 10 I was touring the world performing away from parents for months at a time. What's the difference between that and modelling at 12 or 14? It's attitude, desire and maturity. It's also about the adults around the child realizing that they're working WITH a kid and that they need down time. As for abuse - well it happens in EVERY place where children happen to be. It happens in day care, schools, churches, friends homes, your home. If kids have an open line of communication with the parents, there will be no problems. If parents took the time to talk with (not to) their kids, and listened and heard what their kids were saying, the abuse wouldn't happen. Abuse happens when parents drop their kids off and leave for hours and then don't communicate with them. The kid is isolated, doesn't feel loved or appreciated and that opens the door to the predator. Do NOT blame an industry for one event.
bryseana bryseana 7 years
Also, I remember reading once that Linda Evangelista was encouraged to lie about her age when she was 19. She was told to tell people she was younger. That's weird. It's questionable as to why some designers prefer young teenage girls when their age demographic is 20 or 30 something women.
bryseana bryseana 7 years
I've heard of girls as young as 12 modeling or working at major fashion shows. I think that goes against labor laws. I don't think I'd want my daughter working at 13 years old, especially being around certain types of people in that industry. It's a way to grow up way too fast.
Rwandawithlove Rwandawithlove 7 years
I am for age 18 because I know how dumb I was at 16 and if these models are even a quarter that dumb they should not be on the runway! Kudos to Anna Wintour, Michael Kors and Natalia Vodianova speaking out on the problems in this industry
marcied23 marcied23 7 years
but sour, you're right, if they don't change cause, you will still have the same effect.
marcied23 marcied23 7 years
I think here they mean runway models, who work the seasons and pursue modeling as a full time career. there doesn't seem to be the same rules and regulations for modeling as there is for acting (kids can only be on set for a certain amount of time and they must have a tutor).
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
what about models for children's clothing? As long as the beauty standard is women who look like they haven't gone through puberty, fashion will continue to recruit women who actually haven't gone through puberty. Young models is the symptom, not the cause.
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