The Dark Side of Glamour: Girl Model

Girl Model is the hard-hitting, behind-the-scenes documentary that explores the ‘underbelly’ of the modelling industry.

Directed by Ashley Sabin and David Redmon, we follow Nadya, an attractive 13 year-old girl from Siberia who dreams of becoming a top model. Winning a local beauty competition, set up by a model agency, Nadya is picked up by Ashley Arbaugh, an American model scout and flown to Japan. Assured that she will earn huge amounts of money and gain the necessary experience to continue her career in Europe, she leaves family and friends for the neon lights of Tokyo. However what awaits Nadya is not the fame and glamour usually associated with the fashion world, but a lonely existence of castings and exploitation.

Parallel to Nadya’s plight, the film also looks at Ashley; both as a model in her teenage years and currently as a model booker. Tasked with scouring the remotest corners of Europe for young models to work in the Far East, she remains ambivalent to the plight of many of the girls she discovers, maintaining that her motivation is the fast cash she can earn and, rather puzzlingly, a desire to avenge herself for all the injustices that she too suffered as a young model.

Featuring candid interviews with model reps, agency owners and models, the film is both bleak and deeply saddening. A chilling tale of the predatory nature of many agencies and their insatiable desire for younger, thinner models, it is essential viewing for the X-Factor generation, seduced by the myth of the bright lights and allure of fashion.  A cautionary account where the young are manipulated and the agencies remain indifferent to their suffering and anguish.

Girl Model(15)

US 2012 Dir: Ashley Sabin & David Redmon 78mins part-subtitled.


~ by cinemalicious on March 11, 2012.

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