At times I get emails from young, underage models, pleading for advice on how to approach their parents about allowing them to model or send pictures to agencies. While my heart really does go out to them, I never quite feel right about giving advice in this situation--mostly because the final decision is up to the parents. I'll never advise or condone sneaking or pursuing modeling behind your parents' back. So I thought I'd make this quick post to address this topic.
I've had some girls toy with the idea of sending their photos and information to agencies without letting their parents know, in the hopes of getting an agency interested in them, which would in turn somehow be proof enough to the parents that modeling is something they should be allowed to do. This idea sounds great in theory but it could end up backfiring and working against you. For one thing, I'm sure your parents wouldn't appreciate suddenly being propositioned by a modeling agency that wants to sign you...most adults don't like being pushed into a corner anyway. Additionally, if the agency finds out that your parents don't even know why they are contacting you in the first place, that could reflect badly on you. Agencies do not like to have their time wasted, especially if it turns out that even with the interest, your parents still won't allow you to model.
I've been going through a lot of agency websites in the past few days and I'm starting to notice that many of them are explicitly stating on their websites that if you are under 18 years of age, you better have a parent/guardian with you when visiting the office for casting calls or interviews and many are even going as far to state that you must have a parent/guardian submit your pictures and information on your behalf if you are underage. This means that you can't even send an email on your own to express interest in agency representation--your parents have to do it for you in order for the agency to consider your submission.
This goes to show that there must be a trend of young, aspiring male and female models eager to enter the field by any means necessary--even if that means keeping their parents out of the loop. Again, I don't condone this kind of behavior or encourage it. It's one thing to be passionate and determined about entering the modeling industry but there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it and lying about your parents' involvement--or lack thereof--is the wrong way.
If you're having trouble convincing your parents to let you pursue modeling, don't lose hope. It may take some time to convince them and understand that until you turn 18, they have the final say on the matter. Check out this link I did a while back addressing how to talk to your parents about modeling...hopefully it will help out: