The modeling industry is not an easy one! With all its glitz and glam it can be intimidating for many who wish to venture into the fashion world. Such an environment can be too much for many adults, so how is it like for children? Fortunately in a country like the UAE, rules and regulations have been set in place to protect children and ensure they can pursue their happy aspirations, encouraging their talents through a system which guards their safety and rights.
Meet Dubai’s gorgeous models: They are hip, young and ready to take over the World!
Gorgeous young lady Jana Radosavljevic, one of the most popular junior models in Dubai was discovered coincidentally by a talent booker, a compatriot girl while shopping in Zara with her mom five years ago. She is nine now, but despite her young age, she has already appeared in campaigns for the likes of world-famous Bloomingdale’s and Armani Junior, as well as for one of the most popular chocolate on earth, Jana’s favorite Kinder. The Dubai-based Serbian doll has also represented a range of GCC well-known names, mostly fashion and cosmetic brands, such as – Anotah, Coco Chic, Fashion Word, Lifebuoy… while a couple of times she happens to fly back to Europe where she was shooting for diverse clients based in her country of origin.
Another Serbian cutie pie, baby Konstantin made his modeling debut alongside his famed sister, in the Coco Chic editorial S/S ’14, four months before he’s even reached his first birthday. Since then he’s gone on to appear in different FMCG and fashion campaigns and eminent UAE magazines.
Jana and Konstantin are two of the most popular mini models currently working in the industry and the siblings, no doubt, have achieved the success that many adult models can only dream about. It’s also thought that they are most likely to be the highest-earning child models in the region, although the figures are kept as a secret by the parents who make sure that every single dirham goes to the college funds.
The Rich Kids of Dubai
Though it looks like the modeling world in Dubai is all about fame, glory, prestigious places and pots of money, the reality is a bit different. “It’s not a Hollywood life we are living here, as people usually understand. It is quite dazzling, but only for my little superstars”, says Vojislav Radosavljevic, the father of this famous modeling duo, who admits that handling his offspring’s careers can, at times, be fairly demanding. “If you are the person who usually follows a rigid routine in your life, forget it! You have to be prepared for plenty of driving and waiting, short notice schedules and last minute cancelations,” he added. What is of greater importance to this father, however, is that his daughter doesn’t slip in school. “Studies comes first,” he said, adding that despite Jana’s impressive modeling career that can easily confuse and mislead even an adult , she is absolutely aware of her primary occupation – being A+ student, as she is now.
There are a lot of benefits of being a part of child modeling world – it can develop their social skills and self-esteem. You can expect your offspring to gain confidence, dialog skills, and wonderful memories. And if they are successful, there is also money to be made. “I like the fact my kids get to socialize with peers outside their regular social circle. It also helps them learn to communicate to adults and take direction from them”, said Radosavljevic. The proud father claims he is absolutely happy that his daughter and son are modeling, as long as it makes them happy. “As for now, my daughter enjoys posing, dressing up and being the center of attention, but the second she says she doesn’t like it anymore, we’re out, no matter what.”
Does your child have what it takes to be a model?
It takes a lot more than a pretty face to make a good model. Temperament and personality, as well as the enthusiasm over the required task are the key to a child’s success. So, if you’re thinking about getting your baby into modeling, remember the question to ask yourself: Does your child want to be a model, or do you want your child to be a model? A number of kids will say they’re interested in modeling just to please their parents, which is an absolutely wrong start that doesn’t take you and your successor anywhere forward.
“Before you pursue modeling for your child, ask yourself whether he’s comfortable surrounded by strangers and does he enjoy the attention. If the answer is yes, then your child might have the right character for modeling”, says Kenny Onilogbo, Managing Director of Fame Models, Dubai-based talent agency that has a separate division for junior models and talents. She provided a step by step guide for the parents who want to find out what modeling is really like for kids and how to start the career:”The first step is to get four-five color snapshots of your child and send it to a reputable agency via email. You can easily take this kind of picture at home with a smartphone or digital camera, including head shots and full-body shots,” suggests Kenny. The next step is to fill in the registration form on the agency’s website and submit required documents, such as passport and visa copy of both, the kid and the parent. The final step is to be patient and wait for the agent’s call.
Children Models Protection
With around 20 model agencies dealing with juniors across the country, each with hundred plus children on their books, child modeling has picked up in a big way in the UAE. However, it is often thought that it’s inappropriate for such a young human beings to face a quite diverse show business world that may not be safe at all times? At Fame agency, they don’t recall any bad experience or issue related to child’s safety, since the company starts at 2006.
“Modeling as an industry is still undeveloped in the region and hence there are very few regulations that govern it,” says Kenny. “We at Fame are following the standing rules defined by the Minister of Labor. Additionally, when it comes to the registration with our agency, we make sure the kid is listed by one of the parents only, not by an auntie or a family friend. Also, the copies of a child’s documents are required for the registration.” Nevertheless, it’s recommended, for safety purposes, to never leave your child alone with an agent or photographer. One of the parents should be with the child at all times to ensure that his physical and emotional safeties are protected.
So, dear mommies, feel free to register your little ones with some of the reputable agencies and never deprive your kids of their dreams! Fame will follow!
Reputable agencies in the UAE are familiar with the current regulations related to Child Labor. No minor shall be engaged on any job that is hazardous or detrimental to health, as defined in a resolution by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs. The maximum working hours for children shall be six a day, intercepted by one or more breaks for rest, food or prayer, and they shall under no circumstances be required to work overtime, or to remain in the workplace after their prescribed working hours. Exposing a child to the risk of torture or physical assault can lead to a prison sentence and a fine of up to Dh 50, 000 while using a child to record or produce pornography or aiding a child’s involvement in a sexual act can be punished by a prison sentence of up to 10 years.