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Modeling Camp NYC: Are They Preparing Teens For The Harsh Realities Of The Industry?

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The thought of modeling camp where teens are taught to be a little more like Kate Moss may raise a few eyebrows. And, even though we're fashion enthusiasts ourselves, we can't help but cringe when we think of young girls preening for an industry that hasn't exactly proven to be kid-friendly.

"Good Morning America" took cameras inside Modeling Camp NYC, a week-long fashion camp aimed at teaching girls between 12 and 18 how to be a model. The program will set parents back a whopping $999 (not including housing), but the girls are taught handy skills like "runway walking, makeup application, and camera engagement," according to an article in The New Yorker this month.

If the idea of modeling camp sounds ludicrous to you (hey, Christy, Naomi and Gisele all managed to do just fine without it), the program seems to be lacking what some might consider the most important lesson: preparation for the well-known perils of the industry.

Eating disorders, underage exploitation and drug use are just a few of the issues that the modeling industry has been grappling with, but Heather Cole, a former model and founder of Modeling Camp NYC, doesn't have any interest in adding these topics to the curriculum. "It's not appropriate; it's not our place," she says. "This is summer camp. Girls are coming to have fun. We're not looking to get into anything negative"

Instead, the campers are provided with the opportunity to meet with major modeling agencies like Elite and Wilhelmina and get posing tips from industry insiders. Cole stresses on the camp's website that the goal is to get the girls to realize their "inner beauty" (how one can learn to see their inner beauty by being taught how to look pretty on camera is beyond us though).

Whether or not teens leave the camp with higher self esteem, there has been increased attention on young girls' negative experiences in the modeling industry (the recent documentary "Girl Model" is a pretty raw depiction). And, if you're going to go ahead and charge people for a vocational education, it only makes sense to include the bad with the good. Do you think that the camp should warn girls of the harsh realities of the fashion industry?

Watch the "Good Morning America" segment on Modeling Camp NYC:

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See some magazine covers without airbrushing. We wonder if this posing skill is taught at modeling camp...

Magazine Covers Without Airbrushing
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