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August 22 2014

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1 posts tagged "PBS"

Girl Model: A Not-So-Pretty Picture

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For all the glitter and glamour the modeling industry offers, there’s an equal and opposite dark side: the threat of exploitation, unfair contracts, and poor working conditions. But rarely has the industry looked as dark as it does in Girl Model, Ashley Sabin and David Redmon’s new documentary, which debuts on PBS on March 24. Focusing on Ashley Arbaugh, a former American model-turned-scout who specializes in finding Russian girls for work in Japan, and 13-year-old Nadya Vall, her latest discovery, the film offers a stinging critique of one of the industry’s shadowy quarters—which Sabin says is far more wide-reaching than the film’s narrow focus suggests. Here, Sabin speaks to Style.com about the upcoming documentary.

How did you see Nadya change from the beginning of the film to the end?
David and I like to see the film as an initiation process. When you take these young girls out of their social support, their social network, and school, and you put them into a foreign environment without very many adults to guide them, it sort of conditions them to believe that those negative feelings they are having are OK and normal. So the transition that we saw with Nadya was that she was starting to accept what we saw as not appropriate. At the same time, I hope Nadya does well, and I hope that she is able to make money from her career. But if she doesn’t make money, without any schooling, she doesn’t really have any alternative.

The story the film tells is a specific one. Do you think such practices are widespread throughout the industry?
I think it even exists in New York. I think it exists in Paris. I think it exists in Italy. The reason I think that is because we did a bunch of screenings with the Model Alliance, and afterward the comments that we would get—from models, agents, fashion designers, fashion photographers—were not only the same story, they were worse. That surprised me—that there are all these people in this industry who are maybe forced to turn a blind eye. Maybe they don’t participate in this act, but they know about it. Continue Reading “Girl Model: A Not-So-Pretty Picture” »