Posts Tagged ‘New York model’

New York model

One of the most difficult tasks for a critic is to review content that is morally repugnant. Watching Girl Model, a shocking American documentary that follows a New York model scout and the 13-year-old Siberian girl she sends unchaperoned to Tokyo, it is hard to know whether to applaud directors David Redmon and Ashley Sabin for exposing the underside of the fashion business – or demand they abandon their documentarian stance and rescue young Nadya on the spot.

The documentary begins as Ashley Arbaugh (not to be confused with the co-director) arrives in Novosibirsk to review an auditorium full of pencil-thin girls. She is scouting for the Japanese market, where they want them new and “fresh” – young enough that we will eventually hear them being coached to lie about their ages. A former model herself, Arbaugh is dismissive of her work, claiming the ever-shifting aesthetics are based on nothing at all, while she dredges up concern for the girls that seems merely pro forma.