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Parents' Guide to

Girl Model

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Candid look at a sometimes-frightening industry.

Movie NR 2012 77 minutes
Girl Model Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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From the opening scene, in which dozens of barely dressed girls parade in front of Ashley, Girl Model is a difficult documentary to watch. It's cringe-inducing to see how these beautiful girls -- every one of them -- are picked apart for perceived imperfections. Every person involved in the modeling industry in this movie comes across as a collaborator or perpetrator of a corrupt, soul-sucking enterprise that damages the young women involved in it. As Nadya attempts to enjoy her experience, there's really little to call home about except for unending homesickness and literal hunger.

Ashley's candor, therefore, isn't just surprising but refreshing. She's not doing anything of substance, and she knows it. The industry is built on "nothing," she says, and is dictated by the aesthetic whims of a few arbiters of what's considered fashionable or beautiful. She's cynical, and for good reason: The girls she scouts for her Tokyo agency leave their families (and in some cases their innocence) in search of fame -- or at least a steady income -- that could never materialize. They can be sent packing for gaining as little as one centimeter at a time when their bodies are supposed to be developing. Eye-opening for any older girl curious about the potential pitfalls of modeling, this is a frank depiction of a frightening industry.

Movie Details

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