My name is Lily Goodman and I just turned 13 years old. In the next several days, Governor Cuomo will either sign or veto the Model Alliance’s child model bill. As a child model and activist, I encourage you to take a minute to ask Governor Cuomo to sign this bill to protect young models and give them the same rights as all child performers.
I have been modeling since I was three years old, and have had many different modeling jobs over the last 10 years. I am lucky that I am with a reputable agency and have worked with good adults. I have also had the privilege of family coming with me to every casting call and job, but this is not the case for all models. Many child models go to castings and jobs without a chaperone. Most parents can’t take off from work and travel with their child. When parents are not around, young models can make decisions that could negatively impact their future. If a chaperone is required to be on-set, we can limit and maybe stop the horrors that child models have faced in the past.
This year I was featured in a national ad campaign to fight human trafficking. I learned that the modeling industry is often used to lure young girls into human trafficking. They are promised modeling careers, and through sham modeling agencies and just bad adults, they end up being sold into slavery. Unfortunately many of these girls are no older than myself.
It makes me sad that these girls come to this country looking for opportunity and end up being sold as slaves. I believe this legislation will put the sham agencies out of business because adult chaperones will be required to be on set. When responsible adults are accompanying child models, the bad guys will not be able to sell children into slavery. I believe this bill could help protect many innocent girls.
My mom told me since I was very young that I must always pursue a higher education and think about what I will do for a career in addition to modeling. I didn’t quite understand what she was trying to tell me until one day a crew came to our house for a photo-shoot. I was getting my hair and makeup done by this gorgeous lady who just happened to be a model also. She was making conversation by asking me about school and she told me that she dropped out of high school to pursue her modeling career when she was 16 years old. I was shocked. I had all sorts of questions buzzing in my head, but then I understood what my mom meant. This lady seemed sort of sad and I felt sorry for her. The legislation will require a tutor on set so models do not have to sacrifice their education. It will encourage models to think about their future careers beyond modeling and that education is important.
When I hear stories about some children quitting school or coming to America without their parents to model, I break a little inside. A child should never have to choose between modeling and education. Missing out on education can hurt you in the long run. I am only 13 so this legislation will affect my future modeling career and I am hoping you will take the time to think about the children who will be protected by this legislation and call Governor Cuomo and ask for his signature so you can be a part of changing the modeling industry forever.
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
Let’s all help child models for the future generations to come.