The Five Stages of Baby Model Rejection

As a Mom, I’m contractually obligated to think my kids are adorable. The cutest kids in the world even. So when I look at my stunningly beautiful children, I do so with the awareness that I’m wearing some serious Mom-colored glasses. I don’t gush about it because the real world may see them through normal glasses and think, “Meh.” But when your bestie, who also happened to have a stint as a Mom to a real life baby model, says, “Hey, have you considered sending in her pics to a modeling agency?,” you think maybe your kid really is as cute as you think she is!

Of course, being a baby model is more than just being cute. And it’s a whole process to get into the game, but thankfully the bestie was there to hold my hand and walk me through the process. So I followed her advice, got some bright solid colored outfits and bought myself a Groupon to the JCPenney portrait studio and crossed my fingers. We got some great shots so I nervously – but somewhat confidently – went to the websites for some reputable local youth talent agencies and submitted my daughter’s pictures.

It wasn’t even 12 hours later before I got our first rejection email. I was immediately thrown into the five stages of baby model rejection. Should you find yourself thinking about entering the cutthroat world of baby modeling, you should be ready to experience all of these feelings as well. (But I’m sure you won’t – because your kid is adorable!)

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It’s completely normal to refuse to accept that you were so swiftly rejected. After being so sure that my baby was adorable, I could hardly begin to accept that the agency didn’t look at the pictures and send me a contract immediately. There was probably a very logical explanation. You may want to consider any of the following totally plausible reasons you received the erroneous rejection:

  • Maybe there a glitch in the system
  • Maybe my pictures didn’t upload correctly
  • Maybe my pictures didn’t download correctly
  • Maybe I misread the submission instructions
  • Maybe they sent me someone else’s rejection on accident
  • Maybe it was a not fully trained new employee that looked at the pictures and clearly isn’t qualified to make these decisions
  • Maybe their submission system was hacked by the Russians
  • Maybe a jealous Mom broke into their computers and deleted all the pictures of the especially cute kids
  • Maybe <insert your own completely ridiculous, but also very possible reason here>

I’m still not 100% sure of the reason we got rejected, but I’m still thinking it’s probably glitch-based, so feel free to stay in this stage for as long as you like.


Once you realize that they actually did reject your kid and that it wasn’t some glitch/grainy jpeg/temp that got in the way/Russians, the anger will set in. I mean, WHO THE EFF ARE THESE PEOPLE TO REJECT YOUR BEAUTIFUL BABY??? Have they even seen a cute kid before? They’re probably just jealous that their own kid isn’t as cute as yours. Who knows, maybe really cute kids aren’t on trend right now or something stupid. Because honestly? This is BS.

Feel free to stomp around the house for a while. Really get out those feelings. Not sure how to proceed? Follow your toddler’s lead. They’re probably mad about something, and if they’re not, offer them a banana but open it “wrong.” That works for me every time. Then copy whatever they do to really exercise your anger.


Once you get past the denial and anger, you may just get really, really sad. Because maybe your baby just IS as ugly as that rejection letter implied. Who knows? Maybe you’ve been wrong the whole time. I found myself introducing Izzie to people like I was sad about it: “And here’s my daughter Izzie, the baby model reject. She’s okay, but I mean, she’s not cute enough for Pampers or anything.”

People will try to make you feel better, but don’t. You have the rejection letter to prove how right you are for being depressed. Wallow in it. Your ugly baby will understand.


Then one morning you wake up and realize, you know what? My kid is cute! You start looking at other agencies. You re-read the policy on the first place you submitted and see that they encourage you to try again later. So you go to your husband and make a deal – “I’m just going to buy one more Groupon for JC Penney and get one quick set of updated pictures and submit those. And if we get rejected again, it’s okay! It’s a sign! This just wasn’t for us.” You swear up and down to everyone else – and mostly yourself – that you will not take it personally this time. You will accept the decision of the talent company no matter what it is and it will be okay. You get it. You won’t get angry. You won’t get sad. You’ll move on like a normal person that knows they have a super cute and wonderful baby.

Or you won’t.

Maybe you’ll go all the way back to denial like you just pulled the gumdrop card in Candyland, and that’s okay too. Work your way through those feelings Mama. Eventually you’ll go through your last time in the Bargaining phase and will finally move on to…


At the end of the day, you have a cute kid that happened to not be accepted by a talent agency. Remember, that even through it all, it doesn’t mean ANYTHING about your kid. It only means something about what they were looking for at the particular moment you submitted your kids pictures. Sometimes they just don’t need anymore one year old girls. Sometimes they are chock-full of brunettes. Just like every industry out there – and please don’t forget this is an industry – there is an issue of supply and demand. If no one is demanding kids that look like your kids, they just won’t need you to supply them. No matter how cute your kid is.

Which is how I finally came to accept that my baby is stinkin’ cute – and just not gonna be a model.

Well, at least not for now. But maybe next year I’ll ride this roller coaster all over again!

8 thoughts on “The Five Stages of Baby Model Rejection”

  1. Christine I actually laughed out loud at the part about the Russians. So funny, and SO adorable! Pampers level adorable!

  2. Okay, well CLEARLY it really was the Russians because your baby is beyond cute!

    One question about the banana, though: if I want to express my anger at something but I’m out of bananas, would it be fine to substitute opening the yogurt for my toddler? Because I sure seem to be doing that wrong lately…

    I laughed out loud at the sad introduction of your baby model reject. Great post!

    • Let me think about that….

      YES. An open yogurt will DEFINTELY work. Also handing them the wrong colored anything or doing something for them that they think they can do themselves but absolutely cannot.

      Godspeed, my friend.

  3. Okay, your kiddo is like, Carter’s level adorable. And I buy those clothes only half knowing what they look like because the models are so stinking cute.
    There’s a “pretty baby” contest at our local fair tomorrow, and I’m debating putting my son in it…. but I’m afraid that will make me a bad mom because I never put my daughter in it. She’s adorable, but would have given every judge the stink eye.

    • I feel bizarrely vindicated by your desire to buy clothes off my baby, so YAY! And I soooo know what you mean. I feel minor level guilties over stuff like this….I mean, you an always lie and say you put her in it, hahaha!

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