Video footage of a little girl being kicked by her mother during a modeling shoot sparked massive outrage in China.
In the controversial clip, 3-year-old model Niu Niu is shown on the receiving end of her mother’s kicks after she apparently refused to cooperate with the shoot.
Niu Niu, who has been working as a child model for six months, is famous on local commerce platforms modeling for multiple clothing brands.
According to Global Times, the was taken in a photography studio in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province.
Since its upload on social media on Tuesday, the clip has generated massive public anger, with many criticizing parents who force their children to make money.
Child models like Niu Niu can earn RMB $5,000 – $10,000 ($744 – $1400) per day, modeling hundreds of clothing items per shoot.
In the span of four days, Niu Niu reportedly modeled for 400 clothing items.
During an interview, the young model was asked if she likes taking photos or wearing fancy clothes. Niu Niu responded with a “no”, saying she prefers running instead. Her mom said Niu Niu was joking and explained that the bruise on her legs was a result of her being clumsy.
In response to the negative online reaction, the mother released a public apology on Weibo the following day.
“I was communicating with Niu Niu with some actions which were harmless. I apologized for the misunderstandings,” the mother said, explaining that she did not abuse her daughter.
However, more videos emerged showing the mother poking the girl when talking to her, slapping the girl’s hand, and hitting her with a clothes hanger when she refused to do as instructed during the photo shoot.
The new clips generated more criticisms and enraged the public even more.
On Thursday, many online shops for children’s garments posted their announcement on Weibo, stating that they have terminated contracts with Niu Niu’s mother.
A joint announcement from 110 children garment shops on local e-commerce platform Taobao was also released to call for regulations on the child model industry, which would effectively ban rude and violent activities toward children.
Featured image via YouTube/新京报