A few days ago, I had the rather unexpected
experience of watching my two youngest boys modelling for Guess Kids clothing.
It was a “runway” show, without a runway, since it was actually in the Guess
store in Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur.
Fintan, 9 and Tiarnan, 6, had been chosen
to represent Guess Kids at a live in-store fashion show. There had been no prior rehearsal, before the
day, but on the day, the boys were shown what to do. They were asked to walk
through the store to the doorway, where photographers were to be waiting, then
they would pose. The lady from Guess Kids asked them to pose – and they duly
threw funny faces and postures. This worried me a little since I was concerned
that they might not do it properly, when it came down to it. Nevertheless, this
was their lighthearted approach to the rehearsal.
Watching them get ready was funny. Both
Tiarnan and Fintan had their hair styled. Fintan was OK with his, since it merely
accentuated his natural curls. He was comfortable with that. Tiarnan however,
was most unhappy. They had made his hair spiky. When he saw himself in the
mirror he was on the edge of tears.
“They are trying to make me look cool.” He said,
most put out. “I don’t want to be COOL.”
I tried to persuade him that, actually, he
looked very nice. He was, however, completely unconvinced. I had to have a word
with the stylist and she duly restyled his hair sans spikes.
After posing for the cameras, they were to
walk through the store to the other side, where a group of mothers and children
would be waiting. There they were to pose for their customers.
After an hour or so, the show began. Fintan
was the second last to be on show, Tiarnan the last. The other three models
were all young girls. The girls went first.
To the sound of music, the kids walked
through the store one by one. The girls were cute, but they didn’t seem to have
a natural flair for the camera. That was not the case with Fintan. When he got
to his first posing position, he did such a cool move with his arms that is
difficult to describe – he grabbed at the lapels to his jacket, flicked them
forward and folded his arms, in a lopsided way, with tilted head, all in one
smooth motion. It looked so, dare I say it, COOL (which Tiarnan had so
desperately not wanted to seem). Fintan was a definite dude, in that moment.
His gesture was greeted with applause and the whirring of cameras.
Then Fintan went and posed in front of the
mother’s and kids (who hadn’t seen his display) – and did the same thing,
holding his pose at the end, with a very Brandoesque demeanour. The cheers were
wild. The compere said: “It seems we have Justin Bieber, here!” The crowd
roared louder still, appreciating the reference.
Then it was Tiarnan’s turn. He is the shyer
of the two and I did worry about whether he would handle it. He was absolutely
fine. He seemed to have learnt a bit about posing from Fintan, since he adopted
lopsided folded arm pose, for the crowd – without the cool gesture before it
and stared moodily into the cameras. He then did the same for the mothers and
kids. This time the compere remarked: “Whaaah. So serious! Models these days,
must not smile, but have to SERIOUS!” He then compared Tiarnan to the band One
Dimension. Again the crowd appreciated the reference and cheered.
The boys changed quickly for their second
set of clothes and repeated the procedure with some variation.
The crowd cheered them – yet they remained
so cool in front of them. I felt a definite pride in their composure.
The boys were pleased to learn that they
would receive clothes in payment and each, funnily enough, selected some of the
clothes they had been asked to try on, for the show.
It was a good afternoon. I think the
experience was confidence building and showed the boys that they could manage
themselves in front of a live crowd. As learning experiences go, I think that
is one of the more valuable ones, for later life.
Well done my Guess Kids boys!
Posted by Valentine Cawley
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Labels: building self-confidence, calmness before a crowd, catwalk, child model, cool dude, coolness, Fintan Cawley, Guess Kids, modelling, public performance, runway, self-expression, Tiarnan Hasyl Cawley, Tiarnanism