November 15th, 2012
The legal age to walk the runway in the United States of America is 16. Girls as young as 16, and even younger, are working twelve hours a day, traveling internationally, and are less educated. Work hours are long and tiresome and the models do not get enough meal breaks or sleep. The Council of Fashion Designers of America, in the past, has made weak efforts to enforce the regulations for models that are underage. Young models are developing eating disorders and unhealthy body image due to the pressure to be the size that the fashion industry requires. The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) should make the rules stricter about the work environments for underage models because they are malnourished, uneducated, and have an unhealthy body image.
Models that are underage are legally required to have work permits. These work permits are to be signed by their employers stating that they will abide by the laws and follow the strict limitations for underage workers. Limitations such as the amount of hours they work and meal breaks. In New York, child models under the age of 18 they must carry their permit with them to work and must have an At-12 green booklet that they must carry to each job. In the booklet they must record the hours they worked each day including when they get breaks and the job-site manager must sign on each page for the day. Regulations for underage models also include not working while the school the model attends is in session for more than four hours that day. They may not work more than eight hours in one day at all. No more than 48 hours in a week can be exceeded for underage models ages 16 to 17.
The stress of working in an industry that focuses solely on appearance takes a toll on young models. The self-esteem of teenage girls is already unbalanced due to the glamorous image of being thin. Most people don’t realize that most modeling agencies have a regulation size...