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My wife, Ali, and I are currently at war over an issue regarding our 7-year-old daughter Kayla. Here’s the back-story.
Kayla is a very pretty little girl and recently a friend of my wife’s passed on a few of her photos to a local modeling agent. As a result Kayla’s now been offered some modeling work.
The shots themselves are pretty innocuous – she’ll be posing for a kid’s fashion range. But as a father I’m worried about putting Kayla’s pictures out for all to see, especially with the Internet.
I’m also concerned by Ali’s attitude and the messages she’s going to send to our daughter. I love my wife but she can also be a little shallow at times and is obsessed with the way she looks and her weight and diet. I’m worried this new venture is going to expose our daughter to a world I don’t want her to be a part off.
What do you think Rene? Am I worrying too much here? And would you ever let Casey go down the modeling road?
Robert, San Diego.
Whoa, I hear a lot of stuff in this letter. First there’s your concern for your daughter’s safety and I get that. But more than that, the fact that your wife seems to be hell-bent on a modeling career for your daughter, against your protests, is very troubling. That said here’s how I see it.
CONCERN ABOUT KAYLA AND THE INTERNET: I get what you’re saying regarding the photos but if you, your wife or a friend has ever posted a picture of Kayla on a social networking site, well then she’s out there. Of course candid shots during the family vacation are one thing, modeling clothing with make-up and professional lighting is something else. If you’ve ever watched an episode of TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras you know how grown up these girls can look. And speaking of that show…..
ALI NEEDS TO GET A GRIP: One of the most jaw dropping aspects of that show is the stage mothers, women who will stop at nothing to make sure their kid “wins.” It seems like there is something terribly lacking in these women’s lives, as though they missed out when they were younger and are now living vicariously through their kids. Is that what is going on with Ali? Did she want to model and never did – or did she try without success? Where is this drive to push Kayla into it coming from? And the most glaring omission from this letter is…..
WHAT DOES KAYLA WANT? So far, it sounds like this is all about Ali and you by extension of your concern. Does Kayla even want to model? Does she know what’s going to go into it, that it’s not all pretty pictures and there is actual work and long hours involved?
First things first, you and Ali are going to have to get on the same page about this. I’ve been married a long time and my personal belief is if one person in the relationship has a problem then you both have a problem. Ali’s push to get Kayla into the modeling world despite your concern is troubling to say the least. Is she willing to put her daughter’s budding career ahead of your marriage? If the answer is yes, well, Robert, the issues and problems are deeper than what’s laid out here.
Maybe you could compromise. How about allowing Kayla (if she wants to do this) to model but making sure that your wife or you are at all the shoots so that she is presented in a decent light? I’m not sure how much work she would get if those stipulations were in place but it’s worth asking.
Lastly, it is very troubling that Ali, by your own admission, seems overly concerned with her diet, weight and looks. I’m not sure what the answer is there; I’ll leave that to a mental health professional. However if you can see that in Ali, think of the cues Kayla is picking up. You may have to work overtime to make sure Kayla has an accurate portrait of what a healthy woman (mind and body) looks like and reassure her that she looks great.
Best of luck to you!
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