With New York the center of American fashion, NY State lawmakers want to make sure that young models are protected. The State Legislature passed a bill to make sure that child models have the same protections as child actors and performers.
According to the Daily News, "If signed into law by Gov. Cuomo, the bill will put child runway and print models on par with young actors, dancers, musicians singers, and voice-over artists who are covered in state law by mandated education, oversight and financial protections. Adding child runway and print models to the law means chaperones would be required to monitor workplaces of models under 16."
Supermodel Coca Rocha supports the bill, and said at a press conference:
I was scouted at the ripe old age of 14. By the time I was 16 I was living and working alone here in New York City. During my 10 years as a model I’m fortunate enough to have realized many of my professional goals, though not without feeling enormous pressure to agree to demands and make certain choices that no young person should ever have to deal with.
The fact is, too often young models find themselves forced to forego their education and their values in order to pursue their career, only to wind up with nothing. I will never forget being 15 years old, alone on a set as a photographer tried to harass, heckle and even threaten me into taking a semi-nude photo. I recall with sickening clarity the first time I was told (in no uncertain terms) to lose weight that I definitely couldn’t afford to lose because, as this person said, “the look this year is anorexia.”
If Cuomo signs the bill soon, it means the child models in New York Fashion Week would be covered. The Model Alliance's executive director Sarah Ziff says, "New York City is hailed as the fashion capital of the world, and with many models beginning their careers in their early teens, this legislation is vital to ensuring these young workers are protected under the law. We are thrilled by the support this legislation has received and we look forward to the day it is signed into law."
Children can still practice their best Blue Steel at an early age, though: