Model Alliance: Should We Feel Bad for Models?

Yes, the conditions are inhuman: hair and makeup every day, crazy salaries, free Chanel bags. But seriously, maybe we should feel for these models.

By Coco Vomero for

photo courtesy of

Whether we like to admit it or not, modeling is a profession. Sure, it's not like yours or mine -- there are no cubicles, 9-to-5 schedule, regular reviews or watercooler gossip. Instead, there's excess money, world travel and freedom. But that's not all there is. Should we be concerned that 14-year-old girls are having nude photos taken of themselves and working 16-hour days without any structure -- including nutrition, parenting and education?

How to survive fashion week

Cue in The Model Alliance (MA) to help us with our decision. The mission of MA is to establish ethical standards to improve working conditions for models in the American fashion industry by educating models on child labor laws and their rights.

A typical model's career starts at age 13 and has the life span of a Hollywood marriage -- 10 years or less. With the lack of supervision or a standard set of rules, young girls are taken advantage of on a daily basis. Think: a combination of Toddlers and Tiaras and Intervention. Fame and fortune are the priority, and education and lunch are not.

What's in & out for fall

So is it worth it? The chances of making it "big" in the industry are nearly the same as making it to the NBA. Not every girl will get her wings and walk the Victoria's Secret runway or become Karl Lagerfeld's muse.

But let's not forget, for the lucky few, modeling can be a one-of-a-kind career. I will open my heart and arms to the tweens who are mistreated and taken advantage of in the industry, but I will be damned if I shed a tear of sympathy for the likes of Kate Moss and Gisele Bundchen, rolling in more dough than corporate CEOs. #justsayin.

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