a. Age

Part: 
Four
Chapter: 
 

Perhaps the single most common feature of models is their relative, and in the vast majority of cases, absolute youth. As one law enforcement officer who has extensively investigated the production of commercial pornography told us, "they [the producers] are looking for models that look as young as possible. They may use alt eighteen-year-old model and dress her up to look like she is 15."[968] Female models appearing in "mainstream" commercial pornography appear rarely to be over thirty years old or even in their late twenties; indeed, most whose age we have been able to gauge began their careers in their late teens.[969] Indeed, one former model who now works in the front office of an "adult" video company explained her decision to retire thus: "Good roles for women over nineteen years old have become few and far between."[970] William  Margold, a leading figure in the "adult" film industry, described it simply as "essentially an overage juvenile hall."[971] While male models apparently can enter and remain in the industry at a somewhat older age,[972] on the whole we find Mr. Margold's imagery particularly apt.[973]

Notes

  1. Los Angeles Hearing, Vol. I, William Roberts, pp. 64-65. This emphasis on youth apparently took hold in hardcore sex films in the years after World War II. Before then models who appeared in what were at that time known as "stag films" were in their late twenties or early thirties. Sampson, Commercial Traffic in Sexually Oriented Materials in the United States in 3 Technical Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography 1, (1971), p. 186.
  2. The ages at which some prominent "X" rated film models apparently began performing are, so far as we can determine from materials on the public record, as follows: Angel (18); Ali Moore (18); Amber Lynn (19); Jessie St. James (18 or 19); Mindy Rae (19); Shauna Grant (18); Tiffany Clark (18); Nikki Charm (18); Ginger Lynn (19 or 20); Richard Pacheco  (20 or 21); Seka (24); Samantha Fox (28); Chelsea Black ("fortyish"). The ages listed above are largely taken from articles or interviews published in adult film industry trade publications or in commercial, sexually-explicit "guides" to adult films and videos. As a result, it is possible that models or interviewers understated their ages to maintain a desirable public image. Nevertheless, in 1971 Sampson, supra, note 968 found that "many current female performers appear to be in their late teens or early twenties." Id. p. 186. Further, about half of our witnesses who had appeared in sexually-explicit films or photos began such performing in their teens: Lisa (Washington, D.C.); Jeff (Washington, D.C.); George (Los Angeles); Chris (Los Angeles); Harry James (Miami); and Linda Marchiano (New York). See also, Lederer, Then and Now: An Interview with a Former Pornography Model, in Take Back the Night: Women on Pornography, pp. 57,58 (began nude modeling immediately after graduation from high school) (hereinafter "Lederer Interview"); People v. Fixler, 128 Cal. Rptr. 363(Ct. App. 2d Dist. 1976) (use of fourteen-year-old model by large scale commercial publisher of sexually-explicit magazines).
  3. Where Are They Now?, Adult Video News, (Aug. 1985), p. 52.
  4. Los Angeles Hearing, Vol. I, William Margold, p. 411.
  5. Bennett, Breaking into X-Rated Films, A Guide for Prospective Porn Stars, Hustler Erotic Video Guide, (May 1986), p. 71. (Interview with William Margold).
  6. See, Interview: Cecil Howard, Adult Video News 1 (October 1984) (interview with prominent "adult film" producer) ("AVN: Does it appear to you that we're now seeing younger and younger girls doing films? CH: It's true and I think that's horrible:' Id., p. 24.)