Beyond the controversial associations, the professional integrity and moral upholding of the general public seems to be pushed more than the creative freedom of both the designer and the model. If there’s parental consent and personal interest, should public responsibility supersede creative rights?
Understanding opposing perspectives, the issue doesn’t rest on the singularity of age but the territory that comes with the profession. “This is the day that modeling moved from being a girls’ profession to a women’s profession,” said Susan Scafidi, the academic director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham University. “There is no doubt models who have started at 14 have gone on to great careers, but it’s just too young to be subjected to this industry.” The CFDA also noted their suggested age guideline stemmed from belief that at age 16, models are more likely to have the maturity to deal with being rejected by designers or treated disrespectfully by photographers. Promising to aid in the structuring of mentorship programs and healthy backstage environments, the real matter isn’t the age of the model, but the conditions in which their industry promotes them to work in.