My First Experience with a Chaperone as a Teen Model
Oh yes I remember it well.
There was another model traveling with us, but she was in her early twenties and didn’t need a chaperone. I had so wanted to trade places with her, ya know, just stick my mom on her and not be thought of as “the kid who needs her mom on set.” Alas, I wasn’t there yet.
Having my mom on set wasn’t fun, as she seemed to watch everyone like a hawk while managing to keep a smile on her lips at all times. I definitely didn’t feel like I could talk freely with all the cool fashion people I was working with, less my mom jump in and “correct” something I was saying.
I also remember how my mom seemed worried about getting around Milan on our time off. See, I had also been booked for another job that shot a few days after the Vogue booking, so we had some down time in between and it was great to have the opportunity to be a tourist in Italy. But my mom wasn’t able to enjoy herself and relax with me; she was preoccupied with her thoughts. Who knows what kinds of decisions she had to mull over regarding my booming career at that time? The entire time we were in Italy, she kept getting calls at our hotel from my modeling agents in New York, asking her to confirm future assignments – assignments that seemed to be rushing in by the minute! Not to brag, but I was a hot property and my poor mom was ill equipped to handle it. She really wanted me to have the most normal adolescence possible.
Looking back on this time I am so utterly grateful that my mom was with me. No one else would have had my back like she did. And we did have a lot of laughs as well as an amazing time touring the city.
Chaperones, a necessity for child performers, can either be a hindrance or an asset depending on the way you look at it.
I say why not make the most of it! After all, it’s pretty amazing to travel with your mom to a foreign country for the first time and to have her share your exciting experiences. And it is much better to have your mom as chaperone than a stranger or a distant relative. These are memories (good or bad) that you’ll never forget. They’re character building events and whether you’re a model or not, enjoy the time you spend with your parents whether you’re lucky enough to travel the world or just hanging out in your backyard. You will look back one day and be grateful for them.