You Can’t Put a Label on Guilt

I was casually reading my tweets on the train home today and came across something about child labour laws in regards to modelling. I had no idea there were such thing, and so being the inquisitive person that I am (a key skill for becoming a journalist as I’ve been told – booya!) I decided to use the great mind of Google to find out about it. Gosh, I sound like some boring doctor!  When a new law is passed, especially in the fashion industry, I like to know what it’s about – I mean, how many laws are passed in relation to matters that aren’t taken seriously?!

You know, I think it’s kind of cute when you see a child advertising a brand but, to be honest, their rights as employees has never crossed my mind – does this make me naïve? I guess it’s now my job to tell you about this new law that protects child modelling labour rights. Well…….

  • Children under the age of 18 will be recognised as child performers.
  • There’ll be limits to the number of hours they can work (don’t we all wish this was the case!).
  • A strict curfew of midnight will be put in place on a school night.
  • There must be chaperones and/or tutors on set.

…I don’t know about you but I’m not the sort of girl who loves law but the fact none of these legislations were in place actually shocks me. The fact that this age group was not protected before this law passed is just WOW – hello we live in the 21st Century, exploitation should not be happening! It’s so not chic. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for children modelling for clothes, whatever age they are, I’m just not cool with stubborn designers thinking it’s ok to over-work kids so long as their line looks good. Hate to break it to you Marc Jacobs, but modelling your clothes on guilt is very last season.

Unfortunately, there’s an unfortunately that goes a long with this law. IT IS ONLY RELEVANT TO NEW YORK. Shame, right? Well, I have no doubt that other fashion capitals will be following in the Louboutin’s of The Big Apple. If you’re a famous designer reading this piece (please god, one day) then watch out, because if you exploit a child under these regulations you could be fined $1000 dollars for the first offence…and trust me the more offences, the more $$$.


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