Girl Model

The taxi driver suddenly stopped his car. The momentary relief offered by this unexpected break in his suicidal way to drive in the Russian traffic, was compensated by the unpleasant feeling that we did not reach yet my destination. We were still somewhere in the northern periphery of Moscow, an hour or so after he picked me up at the Domodedovo airport.

The address corresponded to a Soviet-era residential complex, quite different from the hotel where I was directed. A middle aged man, whose face was covered in smoker’s wrinkles, the driver turned his head to me handing a black folder. His fingers where thick, and his nails long and yellow.

Take a look, Mister. Choose the one you like.

Girl Model, a documentary by Ashley Sabin and David Redmon.

The catalogue

Having spent most of my life traveling, and not being this my first time in the former USSR, I had an idea of the content of that book. Or, I should say, of that catalogue.

Since I did not move my hand to collect the offer, the cabbie turned also his back, and opened the folder for my easy reading. The expected content of half naked women glowed from those pages, while he was turning them.

Spasiba. But I am not interested. Just drive me to the hotel, I had a long travel.

My driver did not give up easily. Thinking that the ladies on the book were maybe not of my taste, took out another folder from his magician’s hat and flipped once again the pages in front of my eyes. The girls in those pictures were just teenagers, some where twenty year old, some nineteen. Most of them were definitively underage.

No, thanks. I really just want to get to my hotel. I am not interested.

Every one is interested. — he answered.

It is unfortunate to be a girl, in Russia. In one of his controversial movies, Sasha Cohen expressed brilliantly the idea, pretending to address former USSR citizens, “There are many job opportunities in the West. For men, construction worker, taxi driver or accountant. For woman, prostitute.”

Model Girl

Nadya Vall is a thirteen year Siberian child, deceived in the modeling world by poverty, ignorance and exploitation. Nadya is one of tens of thousands russian children, recruited by modeling agencies whose scopes are often hidden and whose methods are controversial.

Directors David Redmon and Ashley Sabin followed Nadya in her first contacts with one of those model agencies, and in her first trip — alone, and just thirteen — to Japan. Here Nadya is promised modeling jobs and 8000 US dollars: a unique occasion to support her family. However, things never turn out the way Nadya expects. Soon she will be sent back to Siberia with a 2000 US dollars debt.

Girl Model is a fascinating and disturbing document on children exploitation.

Nadya Vall

Nadya kept working for the modeling agency. Here are some of her pictures. The other young model girl featured in the documentary is named Madlen Nazarova.

Most girls, if not Nadya, are soon enslaved by the debts contracted with the scouting and modeling agencies recruiting them. And soon most of these children are exploited in the pornography and prostitution market.

5 responses to “Girl Model

  1. Pingback: Nadya Vall « The Incredible Tide·

  2. Pingback: A girl named Madlen « The Incredible Tide·

    • Marion, it has been a while since I have been in contact with Madlen and Nadya. You can try to reach them on Facebook (Madlen), Instagram (both Madlen and Nadya) and on the Russian Vkontakte (Nadya). Good luck!

  3. Well, it must be very ‘fortunate’ to be a GUY in Russia. When you don’t have rights at all, and no law to protect you. The whole life of a Russian man is supposed to be constant ‘sacrifice’ to “the Motherland”, the family, girlfriend, boss, whatever. Ever heard about violence in the Russian army, or about peculiarities of the Russian correctional system?

    In Russia, you are literally nothing if you are not coming from a rich AND well-connected family. It has nothing to do with what your sex or ethnicity, or religion, is. Just violence against boys and men is more than socially acceptable, unlike the same against girls and women.

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