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"My models are my children" -- sounds familiar?

There’s a…well, I guess we can call a sort of exposé on ‘the dark side of modeling’ over at cnn.com.

For my purposes here, the short version is that, as happens with writers and publishers, models are suing a number of ‘talent agencies’ for everything from withholding payment (gee, sounds familiar to anyone?) to micromanaging the models’ lives, down to what they eat.

Apparently, very few modeling agencies are willing to disclose how they conduct their business to reporters, but a few had things to say. The one soundbite that made my mental alarm go was this one, made by one of the principals at one of the agencies named in the lawsuit:

“My models are my children. I care about all of them. This business is not all about money, but about people.”

Many years ago, in this very blog, author Shiloh Walker commented that she doesn’t want her publisher to be her family, but a properly run business. A couple of months ago, Courtney Milan tweeted that very often, it’s family who commits the worst abuses against vulnerable people (sadly, I don’t have a link to that tweet).

Further, anyone reading this blog for more than a couple of years, has seen this pattern of behaviour repeat itself with at least a half dozen publishers.

Anyone want to place bets as to when those models who work for that agency, and who are part of the lawsuit, stop being this person’s ‘children’ and transform into ‘bad apples’?

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