Clinical expose of the modeling industry
Ashley Arbaugh is an ex-model and now a US-based talent scout searching for girls to service the lucrative market in Japan, and who finds potential in Nadya, a thirteen year old she discovers at a modeling contest in Novosibirsk. But Arbaugh takes little responsibility for what happens next, as Nadya’s dreams flounder when work proves hard to come by, and the pressure of being the family breadwinner starts to get to her.
Girl Model doesn’t attempt to mount a polemic about the sexualisation of teenagers, or the exploitation of women, but coolly observes situations where both of these processes are at work. Watching the disturbing cattle call of young girls in Russia, it’s hard to miss the point that the modeling business is just as unfair as many other aspects of the modern world. Her own video diaries reveal that Arbaugh isn’t a monster; she’s just part of a cruel cycle which exploits the dreams of individuals to satisfy the egos of the few at the top of the industry.
Selected release from Fri 10 Feb. Also screening at Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow, Fri 17 & Sat 18 Feb, as part of Glasgow Film Festival.