My kid gets to model again in Seventeen magazine

February 22, 2012 · 29 comments

in Inspiration, Journalism how-to's, Money issues, Relationships

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My daughter got into Seventeen magazine for a second time! In addition to the great photo shoot, Gabi has learned some essential life skills. Yay — at age 16, she’s becoming more entrepreneurial.

As you might know, Seventeen uses readers as models. Ooooh, dangling a wholesome peek into every girlie-girl’s favorite fantasy is such a brilliant way to build brand loyalty.

The strategy certainly hooked Gabi. She pores over Seventeen’s website and Facebook page. She always grabs the latest print edition from the mailbox the second it arrives. Her dedication increased after she was featured in the April 2011 issue, which I blogged about here: “How to be in Seventeen magazine, like my daughter.”

Now she has a second thrill. Check out page page 207 of the $4.99 special prom issue, which is on sale through April:

Putting readers in the magazine like this is a win-win for everyone.

Up until these modeling adventures, life was all about Mommy-doing-everything. But after the first shoot, Gabi personally wrote thank-you emails to the Seventeen staffers she worked with. Later, she initiated follow-up emails — plus the occasional phone call — to say hi and stay in touch.

The second shoot also showed her that success is achieved in steps — in the 2011 monthly, she was just one little ‘do among half a dozen. This time she has a whole page to herself, with a full face shot, in a special edition that is enjoying a long newsstand run.

The page on the left is from the April 2011 issue of Seventeen.

Even though Gabi initially hoped to model a lot, school has kept her too busy. Actually, I’m relieved because professional modeling can shred a pretty girl’s self-esteem. But the Seventeen gigs have the opposite impact. In the year between my baby’s two shoots, she’s grown more self-confident and savvy. Even though these are upaid assignments, the memories and lessons are priceless. Thank you, Seventeen!

P.S. — For some insight on the modeling world, here’s a New York Times story about Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl Kate Upton. She didn’t have the “right” look. But she made a boobs-bouncing YouTube video and used her Twitter to create an audience. These free, online resources are available to everyone. So cleavage or no cleavage, we can all get closer to our dreams by developing that entrepreneurial ability to seize the moment.


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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

betty ming liu February 23, 2012 at 7:41 am

thanks for stopping by! i usually try posting twice a week. but i missed my tuesday rotation because gabs and i have been running around visiting colleges. she’s a high school junior and it’s time to start thinking about The Next Step. i will do another post for this week before sunday; i’m determined to maintain my blogging schedule. xo


Vivien O-S February 23, 2012 at 8:55 am

What a knockout – like her mama! (Only, you know, with the “tall” gene.) And I especially love the wholesomeness and intelligence she radiates.


Shirley Bubbles February 23, 2012 at 9:00 am

Congratulations, Betty!


Skye February 23, 2012 at 10:23 am

When Gabi’s Seventeen issue came out last spring, I excitedly looked for it at a Walgreen’s in Manhattan. I hadn’t bought an issue since I was 17, ha ha, but picking it up, made me feel like I did when I read it back then: curious, optimistic and full of fun. Sure, I was a 30 year old getting a kick out of a teen magazine, but it felt great to flirt with nostalgia and dream again. Knowing Gabi’s your daughter made me feel like a whole group of us made it or could cheer her on. It’s a fact that superstar Whitney Houston got her modeling start on the pages of Seventeen. I could be mistaken, but I think Whitney was their first black cover model. Supermodel Niki Taylor also made bher mark with Seventeen. (Yeah, I too, was a religious devotee of the mag when I was your daughter’s age). I’m so glad that you (and

Gabi) shared this with us. These professional and social skills she is building will come in handy when she’s interviewing for colleges, internships, and jobs. When her next issue comes out, I get to go to the prom all over again. Thanks for taking me there! I wish you both the best :)


Charlotte February 23, 2012 at 11:02 am

Aww. She is beautiful. What a lovely young lady…


melimel February 23, 2012 at 11:12 am

congratulations!!! you must be a proud mama.. she is beautiful and learning life skills..


melimel February 23, 2012 at 11:16 am

congratulations you must be a proud mama!!! What a smart and beautiful daughter…


Betty February 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm

aw thanks, all of you. i am living a bit vicariously too because i never went to the prom either. but i am mindful that this is her show, not mine. :)


chapstickmom (Carol) February 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm

One of my high school classmates was in Seventeen magazine in 1974. She went on to be a TV reporter/ newscaster and has been on Boston TV in various capacities ever since.

Being a model in Seventeen should open plenty of doors for your daughter ! Well done !


Foodlover February 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Hi Betty! She is beautiful! Just like her mom. Congratulations!


Judy February 23, 2012 at 8:12 pm

What a beautiful spread!! I’m buying this issue too. I’m so glad the whole experience continues to be positive and teaches her life lessons. Maybe not being paid is a good thing.


betty ming liu February 23, 2012 at 10:22 pm

i have to say….the other reader models at these two shoots were also very confident young women. then again, i’ve watched enough “america’s top model” to know that the profession takes brains, beauty and an iron will. yeah, the money doesn’t matter. and how nice of foodlover to pay me a compliment too. :)


June February 24, 2012 at 12:38 am

Betty, congrats! Gabi is absolutely gorgeous and I can’t believe she’s getting ready for college!


Diana Lee February 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Congratulations to Gabi & Mom! It’s got to be exhilarating to see your little girl on the page of our favorite magazine of all time. She’s beautiful from the inside exuding out. You can forgive her for all her teenage angst for a moment.


betty ming liu February 25, 2012 at 8:25 pm

you’ve both gotten to the core of what’s going on in our household — college issues and teen angst galore. but we still manage all right on our good days. and thanks for the virtual hugs. :)


Kellie February 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm

You must be so proud of her! There is nothing better than to see your child’s dreams come true. She is blessed to have a creative, supportive mom like you!


Leslie February 28, 2012 at 1:06 am

It’s nice to meet your daughter “on her terms” in your blog. I know you are a proud mama, not just because she’s now been in Seventeen twice, but also because you are noticing how she is maturing as she handles this modeling experience. Beautiful and smart girl comes from a beautiful and smart mom!!!!
Good luck with the college process. My baby girl is a high school senior and will know in about a month where she’s been accepted to college. Can’t believe soon it will be time for her to leave home and be on a collge campus!


Diane March 14, 2012 at 11:11 am

You look beautiful, Gabi. Smart and gorgeous — just like your mom!


Est May 24, 2012 at 12:58 am

She’s beautiful!! I modeled for Seventeen magazine twice as well (I’m sixteen) I loved every second of it. Everyone there is so sweet! Just wondering how you guys go about getting copies of the photos?


betty ming liu May 24, 2012 at 6:23 am

Est, thank you! How nice to hear from another Seventeen model. As for getting the photos, at the first shoot, we were told to go through the actual photographer. But we were also told that we couldn’t approach him until a few months after the shoot. When I emailed him, he didn’t respond. And coincidentally, when we saw him at the second shoot, I asked him about photos. He said that he never saves them! So all we have are the photos that actually appeared in the magazine — plus the ones that I took. And they will just have to do. :)


Est May 30, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Thanks for the reply! I guess those will have to do :)


betty ming liu May 30, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Good luck!


Johanna August 22, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Do you know how often SEVENTEEN does casting calls?


betty ming liu August 23, 2012 at 6:40 am

Have no clue, Johanna. You could try calling the magazine. But also start reading its website and like the Seventeen Facebook page. One of the best things to come out of this experience for my daughter is that she learned a lot about the art of job hunting. You’ve gotta track the business you want to join and stay informed. Good luck!


Tiffany October 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm

hey, she looks gorgeous! :)
i was in seventeen too, for the october issue. if you have it, im in the unique beauty section. as a mom, did you or your daughter ever ask for a hard copy of the pictures? because i dont know if i should or not.
also, does she miss school for modelling?


betty ming liu October 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Tiffany, we don’t have that issue anymore. Too bad, would’ve loved to see you! As for photos, after the first experience, we went to the photographer’s website and asked about buying copies. But he said that he didn’t have any. That was the end of the line for us!


betty ming liu March 21, 2014 at 9:47 am

Here’s what a Seventeen modeling casting call looks like:


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