The mother of a popular child model of clothing brands in China was accused, after she was spotted kicking her daughter in public.
On a video clip posted on April 6 that happenrd in Hangzhou, China, 3–year-old Niu Niu was kicked by her own mother during a photo shoot, after working as a model for a whole day, and hearing her mother say: “I’ll kick you to death, do you believe it? Pick up the flower right now, don’t piss me off during shooting.”
A report stated that the mother has been overworking Niu Niu, who has been continuously working for about six months.
After the video went viral, all online stores who have been working with Niu Niu pulled out her photos and video from their sites. Online stores signed a petition advocating child model welfare, which has been participated in by 110 online stores. But because there’s no regulations and law to enforce, the people called their act as “all show and no substance.”
The mother felt bullied after knowing that clothing stores don’t want to work with her and posted a response to defend her actions towards her daughter. She claimed that she had no intention of hurting her daughter. The act of kicking her daughter was because Niu Niu was running to close to the road, but the set is an outdoor studio and there’s no road.
Niu Niu’s mother believes that this was an act of jealousy on Niu Niu’s success, and probably other showbiz parents are responsible for taking the footage.
She said: “No parent could claim that they have never beaten their child. I rarely beat my child, normally.” She claimed that Niu Niu did not sustain any injuries from being kicked, therefore she didn’t cry.
It did not end there, as more footage and testimony has been revealed by the crew who had worked with her.
A video footage was taken in March 2019, using a coat hanger the mother threatens and hits Niu Niu.
Another footage, where the mother said, “say hello, quick, say hello. Smile for me. Shake your bum, swirl,” as the little girl immediately changes her facial expressions and follows her mother command.
The poor little girl has been forced by her mother to do a lot of jobs, reported a shop owner who has worked with her, told the BJ news.
“They are usually required to complete one shoot within four minutes, or 15 shoots in an hour.”
A photographer also said that Niu Niu’s case is very common in the industry and Niu Niu starts working from 9 am to 6 pm, and receives a punch on her back because she couldn’t keep her back straight, due to tiredness.
“There are a lot of pushy moms like this, some even restrain sleeping hours, to stop kids from growing too tall. They can’t be a child model anymore if they’re taller than 160cm.”
A child model like Niu Niu can earn from RMB $5,000 to $10,000 (US$744 – $1400) per day and the most popular can even buy a house within 1 year. According to chat history, Niu Niu had modeled for 400 clothing items within 4 days.
In an interview, Niu Niu said that she doesn’t like taking photos wearing fancy clothes as she prefers running like a 3-year-old should be. But her mother said that her daughter was joking and the bruises on her leg are the result of her being clumsy and tripped, as a result.