September 20, 2019,

Women who are eternally beautiful often desire to be a model.

Good for us.

Our passion to watch them walking, interviewing, movie acting, Reality TV-ing, endorsing and swimming is insatiable.

We like to watch and they like being watched. It’s a perfect marriage., Grace-and-Shine-photo

Because of that, at least in part, we only see the glamorous side of modeling but make no mistake about it, research indicates that modeling can be a very trying experience.

Especially for the young.

A film that profoundly tells that story is appropriately titled, The Model., Nordisk-Film-photo-credit.

The Model is a 2016 Danish thriller drama film directed by Mads Matthiesen and written by Matthiesen, Martin Zandvliet and Anders August.

The film stars Maria Palm and Ed Skrein.

Here is the storyline. A young Danish model named Emma is fighting for a breakthrough in the Parisian fashion world.

At the beginning of the film we see her at home with her boyfriend and family living a very common, simple and seemingly enjoyable life.

She yearns for more. We find out why later.

It’s about low self-esteem and previous high school bullying. A familiar model’s tale.

An opportunity opens up and she leaves home.

Her journey to the center of the city of fashion, Paris, and the glamorous life as a top model evolve into a true drama, as Emma meets the attractive and somewhat older fashion photographer Shane White.

Emma begins to love her new exciting and glamour lifestyle meeting people that most of us only see and read about in magazines and watch on E Entertainment.

With the powerful Shane by her side, the fashion industry’s doors begin to open wide.

Seems too good to be true.

And it is.

Well, as you might expect, Shane can get any woman he wants and he wants a lot of them.

Emma has trouble dealing with that, especially after she dumped her hometown boyfriend to be with him.

Ultimately in life, Emma finds out, as some of us have the hard way, important people in our lives may behave very badly,

We get that.

The question becomes, how we will react to that questionable and sometimes startling behavior.

We can’t control what they do. It’s not about them. It is about us.

Every time.

Emma did not react well.

Her experience in modeling is not unusual. Despite what many critics say, we’re certain The Model will be worth your time.

What are some of the real life pitfalls that we don’t see on Reality TV or the runway?

We’ve never seen this on camera.

It is a phone conversation between the agency and the young model. She wants to get paid and wonders why, even though the modeling assignment is long done, she hasn’t seen any money.

Modeling agencies are notorious for slowly paying models especially if they are young and have little to no influence or powerful mentors.

There’s more.

Agencies make their money at both ends of the transaction as they may take 20 percent of the model’s fee as well as 20 percent of the client’s fee for the job.

How convenient.

This structure can make it hard for a girl in a foreign country to pay the rent. Often agencies will loan a young model money and charge a fee.

The informative team at adds, “The modeling world is notorious for the slowness of payment, not to mention what can be a lack of financial transparency on the part of modeling agencies. Even with these steps, models, especially young ones who have less bargaining power, can find themselves drowning in debt.”

It appears the agencies have figured out virtually every angle to profit from the models, away from their modeling work.

There is evidence that every single time there is a service performed by the agency, there’s a service charge. For example, if they call a cab to take a girl to the airport instead of charging say $90, they charge $130 because they picked up the phone.

There always seems to be a reason to charge more.

This next angle is really clever and insidious.

Some agencies also overcharge models for the apartments. They stuff the apartment with 5-10 models, charging up to $1,500 a month each girl on an apartment that may only rent for $4,000-$5,000 a month, making a nice profit.

A documentary that takes you deep into this sometimes precarious world is Girl Model., Alpha Cine Cinereach photo

Girl Model is a 2011 documentary film following Ashley, a conflicted model scout recruiting young Siberian girls to model in Japan, and Nadya, a recruited 13-year-old who gets financially taken advantage of during her modeling work in Japan.

Sound familiar?

Despite a lack of obvious similarities between Siberia and Tokyo, a thriving model industry connects these distant regions.

The penetrating film follows two protagonists involved in this industry: Ashley, a deeply ambivalent model scout who scours the Siberian countryside looking for fresh faces to send to the Japanese market, and one of her discoveries, Nadya, a thirteen year-old plucked from the Siberian countryside and dropped into the center of Tokyo with promises of a profitable career.

After Ashley’s initial discovery of Nadya, the two rarely meet again, but their stories are inextricably bound. As Nadya’s optimism about rescuing her family from their financial difficulties grows, her dreams contrast against Ashley’s more jaded outlook about the industry’s corrosive influence.

The insightful film was directed by David Redmon and A. Sabin. How insightful is the movie? The film holds a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Here is the take on the on the film from the website, “GIRL MODEL is a lyrical exploration of a world defined by glass surfaces and camera lenses, reflecting back differing versions of reality to the young women caught in their scope. As we enter further into this world, it more and more resembles a hall of mirrors, where appearances can’t be trusted, perception become distorted, and there is no clear way out. Will Nadya, and the other girls like her, be able to find anyone to help them navigate this maze, or will they follow a path like Ashley’s, having learned the tricks of the labyrinth but unable to escape its lure?”

While receiving much praise for its subject matter, it left some critics wondering why the filmmakers didn’t question the participants more thoroughly.

Ty Burr of the Boston Globe writes, “It’s a valid approach that doesn’t yield as many dividends as the filmmakers hope. You sense there are dots left unconnected, a larger picture we’re not seeing. Are the various agency heads exploiting the models on their own, or is there malevolent collusion? Who’s making money and how? ‘Girl Model’ shows but doesn’t investigate.”

Good point. If you are going to make a film that is somewhat of an expose you should probably do it fully. If that is your intention. Why raise issues without speaking to possible solutions?

That was one tough review but Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times writes takes it even further, “Filled with blind eyes and unspoken agreements, ‘Girl Model’ opens a can of worms, then disdains to follow their slimy trails.”

Finally Matan Uziel of The Glammonitor writes, “This video gives one a very disturbing insight into how wealthy nations prey upon the poor in other countries. It’s just a small slice of the exploitation that goes on. This ‘meat’ market, a prelude to sex trafficking, is creepy and ugly, and shocking, and we must do our best to stop it from happening. The fashion industry may look glamorous from the outside, and it’s deceiving.”

From our view, we found it to be educational and insightful but not shocking. For any of us who have worked in the media, we are well aware that the artful gray world of fashion is filled with far more flakes, predators and questionable people than the upright ones who have a reputation and stand out because of it.

Parents should always beware.

So yes, we love to watch the gorgeous models and part of the reason we enjoy looking at these beautiful women is to escape the harshness of life ourselves. We probably should, but we really don’t want to focus on the darker side or the industry any more than we want to see the coach roaches scurrying behind the walls at our favorite hole in the wall restaurant.

We know they are there but we just want to eat some good food and socialize.

Shallow yes, but fun it is.

There is so much tragedy in our faces in the news we suspect that watching gorgeous models do their thing is all that we want to see.

We wish them the best.

We really wish that their parents do their best., Alpha Cine Cinereach photo

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Opening photo,