I'm so tired of the value people place in a child's looks!! Vent! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I got cornered (again) by a family friend at Thanksgiving who proceeded to talk my ear off about why I needed to get DS into child modeling eyesroll.gif.  This is not the first time that she has made her plea to me, and all of my firmly stated arguments against her proposed course of action make her even more belligerent.  Thanksgiving was a bit tricky because there was another mother there who has an agent for her daughter, and who is extremely proud that her daughter was in a recent Pottery Barn catalog.  So I couldn't be quite as blunt as I wanted to be without hurting feelings.  But...

 

I do NOT want my child's image to be used to sell crap!!

I do NOT want him to be pitched for his consumerist value!!

I do not want him to even know that other people judge him favorably simply because they think he is cute.

I really don't want him to expect benefit from his looks.

I really, really, really don't want him to grow up to be shallow....

 

But, sigh, people stop us all the time, everywhere so they can gush over DS.  It's been happening since he was a little baby.  It drives me crazy. crazy. crazy!!  I had a thread about this about a year ago and people reassured me that all babies get this treatment...but I think its more than that.  Family friend above is not the only one who urges me to get him into modeling...random strangers on the street tell me the same thing. And they think they are giving the greatest of compliments.  DS doesn't know what the heck they are talking about yet, but he will soon.   How do I shield him from the assumption that his looks are marketable and that somehow that is good thing?  I've sheilded him as much as I can from the media thus far, but I can't keep him in the house just because taking him into public makes me uncomfortable.

 

And don't even get me started about the social value of blond/blue eyedness. cold.gif

 

How can I make people understand that I don't think selling my child's image to a world obsessed with consumerism is a good thing?

 

Anyone have any good one liners? 

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#2 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 12:15 PM
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"Oh, he would hate it.  Have you tried the bean dip?"

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#3 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 12:28 PM
 
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Yup,  ignore when you can, be non committal when you can't

 

And remember YOU are the greatest influence in your sons life. I wouldn't worry about people comments overly impacting your sons perceptions of life and looks.


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#4 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 12:38 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're dealing with this.  Maybe you can say "Thanks for the offer, but I've thought about all the pros and cons and decided against it"  If they keep pushing, I would say "I said no, please respect that".


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#5 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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I think you're making a bigger deal about it than it is. My kids get complimented all.the.time. I don't mind it. I enjoy it. It's flattering. And they ARE very good looking boys, there is no doubt of that(and the polar opposite of blonde/blue-eyed).

 

Humans, as all animals, are hard-wired to appreciate physical beauty. It is not abnormal, I don't think it's wrong. We can make a conscious choice to value things in addition to, or other than, beauty. And I do want to encourage that with my children. But I don't think them being praised for the appearance detracts from the individual person they are. I will teach my kids to use all their strengths to their advantage. Why shouldn't they? 

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#6 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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i agree with the above posters. just say "oh thank you, but he hates sitting still for the camera" or whatever. if someone really persues it, i'd just be firm but kind and state that i didn't want to  have the conversation any longer.

 

this used to happen all the time with my DDs. not so much lately. i've had many people actually come up to me and ask if they could take DD1s picture, and had issues with people just going ahead and photographing DD2. that's been difficult, because i don't like the idea of strangers taking pictures of my children even though it's not illegal. it doesn't help that DH refuses to confront people when they do it, so i have to. oh well.

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#7 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 12:49 PM
 
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I think you're making a bigger deal about it than it is. My kids get complimented all.the.time. I don't mind it. I enjoy it. It's flattering. And they ARE very good looking boys, there is no doubt of that(and the polar opposite of blonde/blue-eyed).

It's more than that in some cases, though. I also have blonde-haired, blue-eyed children. Our culture has placed the highest premium on that combination of looks. It's not about saying a child is cute but the aggressiveness with which some people push child modeling. "Your child could be the GAP spokesmodel. No, REALLY. He looks like those GAP kids. Why don't you do it? He could make tons of money. OMG, he's just so adorable." And on and on and on. It's weird and uncomfortable.

 

OP, my kids are 3 and 5 now. We still get those comments. At dd's daycare, they recently had "kiddie couture" pictures - kind of like glamor shots. Many people there told us how dd was just the most beautiful kid and so photogenic and why don't we just get headshots and take a stab at it. My kids really haven't picked up more of it as they've gotten older. I don't think they know what "modeling" means, so I just say something like, "it's a thought" and move on. I mean it is a thought - the thought is no, but they don't have to know that. 
 


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#8 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think you're making a bigger deal about it than it is. My kids get complimented all.the.time. I don't mind it. I enjoy it. It's flattering. And they ARE very good looking boys, there is no doubt of that(and the polar opposite of blonde/blue-eyed).

 

Humans, as all animals, are hard-wired to appreciate physical beauty. It is not abnormal, I don't think it's wrong. We can make a conscious choice to value things in addition to, or other than, beauty. And I do want to encourage that with my children. But I don't think them being praised for the appearance detracts from the individual person they are. I will teach my kids to use all their strengths to their advantage. Why shouldn't they


Because the "advantage" of beauty is one that is overly valued in our screen happy world.  I don't think its flattering, and I do mind it.  Because it is all I ever hear about my son, even from some family members.  My kid is a whole person not a picture of his face.

 

There have been many studies done on the advantages given to more attractive people...simply because of their appearance.   Folks who were not hired because of their character or skill set but because they are attractive.  I find this abhorrent, and unacceptable, and I do not want my child to be a reciepient of this type of entitlement in the future.  I may as well support people being hired for the color of their skin as being hired for their looks.  Same thing really.  So I need to educate him about his white privilege (which is easy enough to do since most people accept it exists).  Its hard to be on the lookout for beauty privilege, but its something that is just as much an issue (and ties into white privilege I think).

 

A person's looks are not a strength, just the luck of the draw. 

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#9 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 12:56 PM
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I get it too, and wonder if it has to do with my son being blonde with blue eyes.

 

I try to blow it off.  I think it is people's misguided way of trying to compliment him.  So just say, oh, thanks, and move on.

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#10 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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I think you're making a bigger deal about it than it is. My kids get complimented all.the.time. I don't mind it. I enjoy it. It's flattering. And they ARE very good looking boys, there is no doubt of that(and the polar opposite of blonde/blue-eyed).

It's more than that in some cases, though. I also have blonde-haired, blue-eyed children. Our culture has placed the highest premium on that combination of looks. It's not about saying a child is cute but the aggressiveness with which some people push child modeling. "Your child could be the GAP spokesmodel. No, REALLY. He looks like those GAP kids. Why don't you do it? He could make tons of money. OMG, he's just so adorable." And on and on and on. It's weird and uncomfortable.

 

OP, my kids are 3 and 5 now. We still get those comments. At dd's daycare, they recently had "kiddie couture" pictures - kind of like glamor shots. Many people there told us how dd was just the most beautiful kid and so photogenic and why don't we just get headshots and take a stab at it. My kids really haven't picked up more of it as they've gotten older. I don't think they know what "modeling" means, so I just say something like, "it's a thought" and move on. I mean it is a thought - the thought is no, but they don't have to know that. 
 



Maybe I should have specified.... I am blonde-haired/blue-eyed. My kids are the opposite. They are biracial and have sort of an unusual set of characteristics. And fwiw, DS2 has done some modeling on a really small scale. I have no desire to pursue it with them, but we had a couple of things that offered us something directly, so for that we said ok. Honestly, I don't have a problem with my son "selling" cloth diapers. KWIM? Had it been Enfamil, then yea, we'd be having a different conversation. 

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#11 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 01:21 PM
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So go ahead and start a conversation about his other qualities.  It's much easier to have a conversation that's about something than to have one that's not about something.

 

It's impossible to control other people in your child's future.  I don't think you'll get far, even working with him from childhood onward, by demanding that your ds be alert to the possibility that he's getting opportunities because of his looks rather than his skill.  He's only responsible for how he treats other people, not how they treat him.  But if it's his pic in your avatar, I think you can calm down.  He's gorgeous, but he wouldn't be a particularly successful model - his hair blends into his skin tone even on the cloudy day when you took the pic which would make him look almost bald under bright lights, and his face casts a lot of shadows which will also become problematic in studio lighting.  Over time, his hair will likely darken and he'll lose the baby-look (it's conceivable that he might one day have acne, and his adult teeth may yet come in crooked) and probably steal no more opportunities from ordinary-looking children than anyone else does. 

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#12 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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I think you're making a bigger deal about it than it is. My kids get complimented all.the.time. I don't mind it. I enjoy it. It's flattering. And they ARE very good looking boys, there is no doubt of that(and the polar opposite of blonde/blue-eyed).

 

Humans, as all animals, are hard-wired to appreciate physical beauty. It is not abnormal, I don't think it's wrong. We can make a conscious choice to value things in addition to, or other than, beauty. And I do want to encourage that with my children. But I don't think them being praised for the appearance detracts from the individual person they are. I will teach my kids to use all their strengths to their advantage. Why shouldn't they


Because the "advantage" of beauty is one that is overly valued in our screen happy world.  I don't think its flattering, and I do mind it.  Because it is all I ever hear about my son, even from some family members.  My kid is a whole person not a picture of his face.

 

There have been many studies done on the advantages given to more attractive people...simply because of their appearance.   Folks who were not hired because of their character or skill set but because they are attractive.  I find this abhorrent, and unacceptable, and I do not want my child to be a reciepient of this type of entitlement in the future.  I may as well support people being hired for the color of their skin as being hired for their looks.  Same thing really.  So I need to educate him about his white privilege (which is easy enough to do since most people accept it exists).  Its hard to be on the lookout for beauty privilege, but its something that is just as much an issue (and ties into white privilege I think).

 

A person's looks are not a strength, just the luck of the draw. 



Maybe so. My kids aren't white, so I really can't get into a "white privelege" thing with them. 

 

I guess the thing is.... Your child is young, very young. At that age, kids aren't really "accomplished." They're not great conversationalists. There's not really a whole lot that people CAN praise. And it seems like even the things that are there get flack... like your child's size, or whether they're physically advanced, or whatever the case may be. I guess it feels like people just can't win on this one no matter what they do. 

 

Y'know.... I guess the thing is, I want my kids to be successful in what they do in their lives. So if that means being excellent students AND presenting themselves well in the physical sense, I have absolutely no problem encouraging that and teaching them to do it. 

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#13 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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I really don`t think you have to worry that much.

I remember when my cousin was a baby she would get the same comments constantly. She was absolutely stunning and people would stop and stare and comment. She is 14 now, not particularly vain in the least and completely normal looking. Being a pretty baby really doesn`t impact future looks, my sister was also a gorgeous complimented little kid and I was a totally ugly duckling and I think we are about equal in looks now that we are grown up. FWIW DD does also get commented on a lot with blondish curly hair and blue, green, hazel eyes and at times it bugs me but it is strangers and all they can see is her looks not personality, what`s funny is that she often gets compliments at the Children`s museum by other kids caregivers or parents. I think a large percentage of kids get these comments, there are a lot of adorable children.


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#14 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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Enjoy it while you can! My dd used to be extremely cute and is now 11yo) pretty but not overly so, my DS used to look like Harry Potter's uncle Vern and is only now at age 7 starting to look what many people consider handsome. Beauty is a fickle thing, so I'd recommend reaping its advantages while it's there. You as a parent can instill the other stuff :)

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. I think a large percentage of kids get these comments, there are a lot of adorable children.


yeahthat.gif

 

Also the lady in the OP who'd obsessed with child modeling sounds a little well, ...silly... TBH.  If she is annoying, the OP should politely change the subject and make it clear that she's not interested. 

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#16 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SubliminalDarkness View Post

 

I guess the thing is.... Your child is young, very young. At that age, kids aren't really "accomplished." They're not great conversationalists. There's not really a whole lot that people CAN praise. And it seems like even the things that are there get flack... like your child's size, or whether they're physically advanced, or whatever the case may be. I guess it feels like people just can't win on this one no matter what they do. 

 

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I really don`t think you have to worry that much...I think a large percentage of kids get these comments, there are a lot of adorable children.


 

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Enjoy it while you can!... Beauty is a fickle thing, so I'd recommend reaping its advantages while it's there. You as a parent can instill the other stuff :)

 

 

I agree with these statements.

 

How old is your son?


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#17 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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I don't know where you live, but what worked for us was to say, truthfully, "it's not worth it unless you live in L.A., New York, or Chicago."

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#18 of 71 Old 12-05-2010, 10:26 PM
 
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 I find this abhorrent, and unacceptable, and I do not want my child to be a reciepient of this type of entitlement in the future. 

mama i dont think you do much about this. people are too brainwashed and unless they want to see it differently its like throwing pearls to swines. they just wont get it.

 

i totally agree with you and understand where you are coming from - but remember what you are up against. just by standing up and staying true to your beliefs will be a stand itself. i mean look - people know smoking cigarettes is dangerous, but they still keep doing it ya know. there are some people who due to their personalities are 'welcomed' more. yes it is unfair but that's what its like. for instance i am a v. social and outspoken person. i speak the 'unsaidable'. i cant help it. i cant keep my mouth shut - esp. against injustices. and because of that i am chosen many a time when probably i wasnt the best one to speak up . others might have had better points of view or at least different.


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#19 of 71 Old 12-06-2010, 04:26 AM
 
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Another vote for 'you're overthinking it'.

 

It's parenting small talk. People tell pregnant people they are HUGE or TINY (often in the same day).  They ask if the baby is a good sleeper.  They talk about child models and ask if you're planning on having a sibling.  None of it means anything.  People don't REALLY care they are just making conversation.

 

Someone who already has their child in modeling doesn't care if you have yours in modeling. She just wants to talk about herself.  So indulge her or change the subject. As the others have said... looks can change in a month.  I think it's pretty rare to be nice looking your whole life. 

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#20 of 71 Old 12-06-2010, 06:17 AM
 
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Another vote for 'you're overthinking it'.

 

It's parenting small talk. People tell pregnant people they are HUGE or TINY (often in the same day).  They ask if the baby is a good sleeper.  They talk about child models and ask if you're planning on having a sibling.  None of it means anything.  People don't REALLY care they are just making conversation.

 

Someone who already has their child in modeling doesn't care if you have yours in modeling. She just wants to talk about herself.  So indulge her or change the subject. As the others have said... looks can change in a month.  I think it's pretty rare to be nice looking your whole life. 

 

yeahthat.gif

 

I've gotten this stuff about all my kids to some extent, but especially dd3 (even dh keeps saying we should get her into modeling!)  She is pretty darn cute, and she's very petite with a tiny little voice which just seems to amplify the cute factor.  She's almost 3 and people still gush over her in public.

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#21 of 71 Old 12-06-2010, 06:32 AM
 
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I would say, probably overthinking it.

 

My boys are brown, have dark hair, and dark brown eyes.  Ever since they were born, people have been telling me that they need to be models.  Or that pictures of them look like they should be in a kid's clothing magazine.  Etc.  And this is in majority-white semi-rural PA, so I think even here blond/blue-eyed is now only one of several beauty types that people find attractive.  You don't know if they're exclusively saying that about your son, or if that's their standard way of saying "Wow, I think your kid is beautiful" and say it to everybody.

 

To those who say it, "It's just not our thing" should be sufficient.  Life is too short to spend a lot of time fretting over the strange way people give compliments.

 

To your son, this is a great chance to teach.  You're his mom, you have a huge advantage over the world in your influence of him.  Use it.  Talk with him.  Explain your values and why you wouldn't want him in that industry, but without the bitter anger and high emotions.  Ask him what he thinks.

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#22 of 71 Old 12-06-2010, 06:54 AM
 
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I get this all the time too.  My ds is beautiful, and has been since the day he was born (he was a particularly pretty newborn), and people say this to me all.the.time.

 

I diffuse the situation by saying, "I know, I just don't have the time!  Do you want to take him for all the auditions?" when its a family member (the answer is ALWAYS "NO" b/c everyone knows how time consuming it is), and to strangers by saying, "I know, isn't he a cutie?!?"  with a little laugh.

 

I love my ds, for MANY reasons, and I love ALL of him - even how beautiful he is.  Do I think its terrible that average looking people don't get as many opportunities?  Sure, but theres nothing I can do about it.  Making my son feel guilty about his looks certainly isn't going to do him any good - so I appreciate all of him. 

 

As a bonus, people don't focus on the modeling thing too much, b/c I don't.  If you make an issue of it, so will they.  Just go along, diffuse the situation in one of the 2 ways above (or find another option that works for you) and bring how well he talks/plays ball/reads/interacts with others/giggles/etc.  Focus on his abilities, and I bet others will start.

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#23 of 71 Old 12-06-2010, 07:01 AM
 
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I have a super cute kid too.  He is very tiny for his age, has olive skin, BIG blue or sometimes green eyes, and crazy curly hair.   And EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. we leave the house I get compliments on his looks especially his eyes and or hair.   (oh look at those eyes/hair, he is beautiful, he is too pretty to be a boy, oh he is so cute, does he do modeling? etc.), and its said directly to him, to me and sometimes just to someone else (I hear people telling each other "did you see that little girl? she is so pretty" - talking about my son!)

 

My son has done 2 modeling things - one was to help a friend with his portpholio, and the other was to do the ad's for our local zoo.  We were asked by the zoo director to come in for the photoshoot because we are there so often.  Her reason for choosing Levi?  Because he has a good personality and follows directions well and because he is so happy all the time - nothing about how cute he is!  We love that zoo so Im happy to promote it, and Levi got to hold/pet animals he doesnt usually get to so it was just fun for him! 

 

But yeah I agree the compliments do get anoying.  Its been happening sense he was tiny!  He even seems de-sensitized to it, because he just says "yeah I know" now (I have to remind him to just say "thank you", he says that for everything else, I think he is just 'over' being complimented so often)

 

But at the same time, you have to look at people's intent.  Their idea isn't generally to 'value' his looks over his other qualities, BUT, they havent 'met' him yet or really talked to him, the looks are just what people see at first glance, and often they 'react' to that with a comment because he IS really 'pretty'.   Many times these comments from people are just said in passing (walking by, in line at the store, from the next table out to eat, etc), but the times where people have actually started talking to my son, they also end up complimenting on how smart he is, how well he converses with adults, how big his vocabulary is, how funny he is, how polite he is, how well he can follow directions, etc.   And that usually ends up being far more 'impressive' to people than their initial opinion of his good looks.   

 

 

With a cute kid, you are going to get comments, thats just how it is!  And you cant really fault people for saying something, they are just being nice and saying what they think, and I doubt that they have ill-intent.    And they dont realize how many times you've already heard the same comment already that day.  

Its more important to teach your child what is important to you and emphasize those qualities yourself, because you as mom have more weight in what your child hears than a whole bunch of random people's opinions. 

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#24 of 71 Old 12-06-2010, 07:03 AM
 
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Around here, the blonde hair/blue eyes isn't as valuable.  I think it's regional.  

 

I have two daycare kids who model and do commercials.  Neither one of them is shallow.  They work hard, and enjoy it.  Yes, they are both strikingly attractive, but not full of themselves.  (they are both boys.. so, maybe that's why)  

 

It's SOOOO much work on the part of the moms.  They have to get all the kids up, bring the sibling to me, and go to wherever the tryouts are, then they wait a few days to see if they get a callback.  If they get a callback, then the parents have to do that again, and they still might not get the job.  The oldest of the two is always sad when he doesn't get a job.  The youngest one doesn't think much about it.  

 

I wouldn't get myself involved in modeling because it's so much work for the parents and I don't have that kind of time.  My job isn't flexible enough for me to do that.  So, if someone kept suggesting it, I'd just say "That would never work with out schedule, it would be too stressful".

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#25 of 71 Old 12-06-2010, 07:06 AM
 
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Yep. I am not a particularly stunning-looking person, but I was a very tall blonde child. Everyone used to tell me that I should be a runway model. I was also a total introvert. No way was I going to go up on stage and show off clothes!

 

So I would consistently use a "pass the bean dip" kind of statement. Yeah, I considered modeling occasionally, but really, who wants the hassle and the stress of having to be beautiful? I'm also completely non-photogenic.

 

Growing up, these comments didn't make me feel good about myself or better than other people. As a shy kid, they just made me feel awkward about myself because I stood out and I didn't want to stand out. But I soon realized that there was really nothing I could do: if you have an obvious difference, people will comment on it because that's what people do. It's irritating and you can brush it off or you can tell very persistent people right out that you are not interested.

 

My daughter? Also tall, also white-blonde, and people also comment. I just smile and say, "Yes, she is tall, just like her mother." I think that sometimes people are just looking for an acknowledgment of the obvious. It's a connecting point for them. On my more-tired days, I have considered making a hat for her that says, "Yes, I'm tall." mischievous.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#26 of 71 Old 12-06-2010, 07:11 AM
 
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As PPs have said, children tend not to have done much else to distinguish themselves. Your son probably doesn't have a PhD in astrophysics, he probably hasn't sailed around the world, hasn't chained himself to a tree to help save the rainforest. So people light upon the distinguishing feature he does have and comment on it. Both my children received the same comments, that they could be baby models. I think it's what people say, just another way to saw "aw, cute!" It sounds like, in your neck of the woods, they might be a little more serious, but still, what they're essentially saying is that he's super cute.

 

But as far as not using his looks to advance himself, I mean, hey, why not? I'm talking as an adult here. In my opinion, looks are just one more way people have to stand out. People are born with certain mental propensities. Your son might eventually show to special proclivity for math. He'll have to learn about it and work a bit, but he was born with it (or whatever the characteristic might be) same as he was born with his looks. And, fwiw, you have to work on your looks too. He could be Johnny Depp, but if he doesn't shower regularly and groom himself, eat right, exercise, etc. no one is going to notice. I mean, heck, look at Demi Moore. She works at it & invests in it. I get that you don't want your kid to grow up vain and shallow, but I don't think that's necessarily going to happen, even if people do praise him for his looks. You get to teach him values. 

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#27 of 71 Old 12-06-2010, 08:51 AM
 
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My kids get comments - my Dd especially did.  People were always saying how big and pretty her eyes were.  They are the opposite of blond hair, fair skinned kiddos.  My youngest gets a whole lot of, "he's sooo cute!"  I do happen to agree; I make stunning babies, ahem, but for the most part, I think it's just a conversational piece.  All you know when you walk by or are standing in line by someone is based on their appearance, yk?  You can't exactly comment on how smart they are if you've only barely glanced at them.  It's similar how strangers comment on what an "easy" baby you have, simply because he happens to not be fussing at that moment. 

 

If relatives or friends were always insisting I put my kids in modeling, I'd just tell them it's not something we are interested in, and take it as compliment.  No biggie. 

 

It's not so much that people put a ton of value in a child's looks... it's just that as I said, it's really all they have to go off of on a first impression.  And if people I had gotten to know better always talked about it, I'd probably wonder if my kid's behavior or personality was lacking, and thus why the only thing they ever got positive comments on were how adorable they were and how nicely dressed they were.  People like to give compliments, as it's a friendly gesture.  That's all. 


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#28 of 71 Old 12-06-2010, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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With all due respect to everyone who responded that what I am describing is no big deal, this is a vent about something that drives me batty.  I think society's focus on looks is very unhealthy.  I don't care if someone is just trying to be nice or make conversation.   I don't like it!

 

I think people are missing the point.  To me a focus on looks is a bad thing, almost offensive.  I don't think I need to get over my attitude as it is cultivated from many years of experience and observation (including living in Los Angeles for five years...yikes!  What a body-image dysfunctional place!).  It is one of the main reasons I chose to have a visual media-free household for my son.

 

I think I agree with a PP who said "if you have an obvious difference, people will comment on it because that's what people do."  This is probably part of it honestly.  When we go out to library storytime or some such my son is often the only blond kid in a sea of dark hair, so he gets lots and lots of comments about his blondness.  No doubt this is because of the novelty rather than anything inherent y'know.  I have an easier time letting this slide. 

 

I do wish that people felt it impolite to comment so freely on the appearance of a child.  It is not something we do to adults because to do so would be seen as very rude.  Children are seen by many to be much closer to objects than people and I think that plays a part.  I do think that constant comments can be damaging to a child.  A good friend of mine has a very pale white-blond daughter with a super-curly 'fro, and she has gotten comments on it every day of her life, to the point that now, at seven years old she hates her hair.  When people comment on her hair in public now she panics because she feels like a freak.  I used to have waist-length red hair and I got comments every day...it was soooo wearying (and working in customer service at the time didn't help).  To the point that I finally just chopped it off to regain my sanity.  Even positively intended, constant focus on one's appearance is damaging.

 

Yes, I get to teach my child values, but I foresee having my teaching constantly sabotaged by society.  Frustrating at the least.  And whether he maintains his cuteness throughout life is rather beside the point I think.  Rather the point is that value society places on good looks is way out of proportion, and I happen to have to deal with the reprocussions of that right now.  Sadly.

 

FWIW my kid is only 17 months old so there is a long road ahead.

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#29 of 71 Old 12-06-2010, 09:31 AM
 
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Nothing to offer, just feel like venting right along with ya.  DD has had four years of hearing how pretty she is and how cute her little dresses are and it is completely disgusting.  What can you really do about it though, never leave your house?  Be happy he's a boy.

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#30 of 71 Old 12-06-2010, 09:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

I got cornered (again) by a family friend at Thanksgiving who proceeded to talk my ear off about why I needed to get DS into child modeling eyesroll.gif.  This is not the first time that she has made her plea to me, and all of my firmly stated arguments against her proposed course of action make her even more belligerent.  Thanksgiving was a bit tricky because there was another mother there who has an agent for her daughter, and who is extremely proud that her daughter was in a recent Pottery Barn catalog.  So I couldn't be quite as blunt as I wanted to be without hurting feelings.  But...

 

I do NOT want my child's image to be used to sell crap!!

I do NOT want him to be pitched for his consumerist value!!

I do not want him to even know that other people judge him favorably simply because they think he is cute.

I really don't want him to expect benefit from his looks.

I really, really, really don't want him to grow up to be shallow....

  

How can I make people understand that I don't think selling my child's image to a world obsessed with consumerism is a good thing?

 

Anyone have any good one liners? 



I don't agree with most of the posters here. If the OP was complaining/venting about random people or a neighbor that was only concerned with her LO's BEAUTY- then I would agree with the PP. This is a Friend of the Family Member and the only thing, ONLY THING this person wants to talk about is the LO's beauty. OP has told this family member that she's not interested in getting her LO into modeling, but the lady isn't taking the hint. What, do you think, is her reason that you HAVE to get him into modeling/acting?  Does she think it will secure his future? Does she really know how much work this whole process is for YOU, and how stressfull it would be as a lifestyle? What have you told this lady? Have you explained that you have NO interest in this? I don't think it's your job to explain your reasons for not wanting your LO to get into modeling/acting.  Your reasons are your own, and matter not to this lady. 

 

As for the strangers that say this- you have to understand that it's simply a compliment. Even if you are offended, or don't agree with the idea of modeling/acting the comment itself is ment to tell you that you've a beautiful child, and that the whole world would love this kiddo as well. Many people see acting and modeling as a viable way for children to get a college education fund started, and thus why many people suggest that your beautiful LO should be modeling. JUst thank them and tell them that you and DH will consider it :)  They don't need to know that you've decided against it ;)

 



You listed your reasons for what you don't want. These three stuck out at me...

I do not want him to even know that other people judge him favorably simply because they think he is cute.

I really don't want him to expect benefit from his looks.

I really, really, really don't want him to grow up to be shallow.

 

I disagree with these points. These things you've listed are things that happen if the PARENTS place emphasis on looks/appearence/behavior alone. There are hundereds of thousands of child actors/models and you cannot lump them all together as Shallow and Expecting benefits due to beauty and good things only because they are pretty....those things happen even if you don't act/model.  These are result of lifestyle and parenting.  IF you were to get your LO into acting/modeling then it would be up to you, the PARENT, to ensure that LO isn't developing a big head :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post

"Oh, he would hate it.  Have you tried the bean dip?"



I would use these for the family or friends that don't take the hint.

I like this.  Also, "DH & I will give that some thought. Did you watch Days of our lives yesterday?"  and "That isn't something we are going to discuss. Have you tried the Bean Dip today?"    No matter what you say to this lady- keep repeating it, over and over and over. Also, don't let her get to you! If she makes you mad/angry over this issue then stop interacting with her! Say Hello, and stay away from her.  You would be amazed at how the simple art of avoidance can effect someone else.  Then when she does want to know why you've avoided her then you tell her you are offended because she only wants to discuss LO's Modeling and BEAUTY.  What about the new tripple flipper back flip that was developed the other day? What about the latest coloring page, the piano practice, the video game marathon- WHATEVER your kid's in to. 

 

Happy Holidays!


Married to Michael and Mother of Jake 9, Jillianne 7, Jensen 5, Jacen 4. I've got severe osteoporosis, a fractured hip and chronic pain-so please be patient with me! Pagan,Crocheter,Reader,Homeschooler- that's me in a nutshell.

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