The Modeling Industry’s Teen Dream Scam

500x_0914modelscam Ashley Mears in Jezebel:

Suckers are not born a minute, but dreamers are. We all dream — of fame, fortune, and glory — and for teenage girls, all three are rolled into one tenacious fantasy: the dream of being a fashion model.

Anatomy of a Scheme: Why Teenagers Dream of Becoming Models, and How Modeling Agents Could Care Less

Enter the Model Search, an event run by corporations like iPOP, IMTA, and ProScout, who promise a shot at making these dreams come true for fees ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

One such Model Search was underway last month at a hotel in midtown NYC, where, over a few days, thousands arrived to impress representatives from over 100 international modeling and talent agencies. In the modeling showcase alone, over 500 people ages 13-25 strutted down an elevated runway constructed in the hotel's ballroom, alongside which rows of agents sat and watched.

I followed a modeling agency's scout — let's call her Allie — as she attended the search for three days. As it turns out, Allie and the hundreds of agents here are not too interested in what's on the runway. They actually find it all rather boring and tasteless.