On set at a Victoria's Secret PINK shoot in Miami a few weeks ago, model Behati Prinsloo seemed perfectly happy and at ease in front of the camera and amongst the crew and hair and makeup team, who Prinsloo calls "my family." But the 22-year-old model says working in the industry hasn't always been easy.
"You're sixteen and thrown into this world of adults, and you have to be an adult," Behati, who was discovered at age 15, told us. "You have to deal with everything, you have to deal with your money and with rejection. You grow up really quick. It's very stressful, it's a lot of traveling, a lot of time away from family, a lot of dealing with stuff you shouldn't be dealing with at that age."
Underage models has become a buzzy issue, with models like Coco Rocha advocating stricter age limitations and with the CFDA setting new guidelines recommending designers use models only 16 and older. Behati thinks models should be able to get started at a young age, but that there should be more restrictions and guidelines regarding their worklife. "I think you should be able to get discovered when you're young but maybe not get thrown into it so full on," she said. "Maybe start off that everyone has to finish school and that you don't move away from home right away and there are more restrictions on hours."
"There's no one that looks after models," she added. "There's nothing that looks after us. There's no one that helps models figure out what they should do, or help them with their money, and it's especially hard for underage models. You have to figure it out on your own."