My Model Children

Posted on April 23, 2012


On Friday I asked if any readers had theories on the origins of this photo since I admitted I only recognized my son The Fonz, had never met the other three people in my life, and had no idea where the picture was taken.

Did I forget to mention my children are models?

I probably never mentioned it because it’s obnoxious enough when people claim their kids are cute, but it reaches a whole new level of obnoxiousness when people claim their children are paid for looking cute.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say my kids are models*, and the asterisk comes because they live in China, and if you know anything about the Chinese, you know they love white kids. When The Fonz was a baby we would push his stroller through the market and crowds of dozens and dozens of Chinese would gather around to admire him and ask if they could pick him up or give him a bite of the apple they were eating. It’s very flattering to be the parents of such admired kids—until you hear someone compliment Todd’s very ordinary looking children.  (Sorry, Todd. I’m not the only one who thinks so.)

Whether they deserve the attention or not, the love of white children has resulted in opportunities for my sons to model a couple times each month, not enough for me to become their agent and quit my job, but the financial incentives are secondary. Modeling will provide a self-esteem foundation for the rest of their lives. If they attend college in the United States, other kids will ask what they were doing before they moved to the US, and Optimist Prime can answer, “Oh, I’ve been working abroad as a model. No big deal. I’m just like everybody else. I put my designer jeans on one leg at a time.”  He doesn’t have to say where he modeled or mention he was only a kid, because the point has been made–he was of the modeling profession—an elite group of people who are better than the rest of use because they get paid for their looks.

This self-esteem foundation will provide them with the kind of confidence that tricks people into thinking they’re attractive, no matter how ugly they might actually be as adults.

Modeling has also been good for my self-esteem.  Many of my wife’s friends say OP looks just like me and then mention how cute he is.  Isn’t that the same as saying I’m attractive?  I like to think so.  Just don’t tell my wife you think OP is cute unless you want her in your face accusing you of flirting with her husband.

Oddly enough, when my kids first started modeling, it had the unexpected side-effect of reminding me to keep in better touch with my family.

Me: “Hi, sis.  This is Paul calling again.”
My sister: “Hey, Paul.  How are you?”
Me: “No time to talk, my kids are late for another modeling shoot.”
My sister: “But you called me!”
Me: “Busy, busy. Sorry, can’t talk now. Not everyone has the luxury of sitting around all day watching their kids not model.”

Eventually I grew weary of taunting my family because it was like kicking an ugly child while he was down.

See if you can spot the five-year-old Optimist Prime in this clip. Hint: He’s not one of the Asian kids.

Posted in: Family