My name is Alise Shoemaker and I started modeling in New York at 14 years old. As a former child model, I’m asking you to take five minutes today to urge Governor Cuomo to sign the Model Alliance’s child model bill into state law.
I’m grateful for the opportunities modeling has given me, but currently there is a lack of responsibility for the minors who work as models in New York. During my early modeling career, I experienced numerous inappropriate gestures while working with adults in positions of authority. There were many opportunities, on and off the set, to participate in the use of alcohol and other substances, and I was often placed in situations that were inappropriate for a girl of my age.
When I was 15 years old, a designer who had been featured on America’s Next Top Model and had all the promise of making me famous tried to take advantage of me. That designer is now in jail for 59 years to life after being convicted of multiple counts of rape and molestation of child models.
When I was 16 years old, my agency pressured me to drop out of high school. They said I needed to be fully available to pursue a high fashion runway career, and so, like many other young models, I did. Eventually, at 23, I earned my GED, but as a child I should never have been expected to make that choice.
Young models should be able to pursue their careers without having to experience the pitfalls of an unregulated business. We’re not asking for special treatment; we just want the same basic protections afforded to other children working in New York’s entertainment industry. We’re this close to changing the law — and we need your help.
Please call Governor Cuomo’s office today at (518) 474-8390 to urge him to sign bill number A.7787/S.5486 into state law.
If you have a Twitter account, please send a tweet to Governor Cuomo:
Dear @NYGovCuomo, please sign NY A.7787/S.5486 to give child models the same protection as other child performers! #childmodels
Thanks for helping us improve the modeling industry for the next generation.