Scouted‘s Julia Samersova Dishes on Child Modeling

02/17/2012 at 02:00 PM ET
Courtesy E!

Audiences got a taste of Julia Samersova as the director of scouting on the E! show, Scouted, but the longtime industry vet actually considers casting her passion, especially when it comes to broadening society’s view of beautiful children.

“I personally love casting kids, especially when we have to go out in the streets, into the playgrounds, soccer fields, and actually look for kids,” she tells PEOPLE.

“It’s a really amazing moment to walk up to a parent or to a kid and say, ‘I think you’re really special’ or ‘I think you have something.'”

“That’s the most fun part to me about what I do, changing somebody’s life within five seconds of meeting them,” she continues, “to make maybe a little girl who never even thought she was beautiful, think she is beautiful.”

The owner of Cast Inc., Samersova got her start in child casting in 2009, when she worked on the launch of Planet Awesome Kid, a street style blog featuring kids from around the world. The success of the project led her to be contacted by bigger name companies, such as H&M and J.Crew, who were seeking regular kids to include in their campaigns not often represented.

“I think for a very long time, especially in the kids market, it’s sort of been very cookie-cutter kids, the All-American, blonde, blue-eyed look,” she says, “and I think that we’re really moving away from that and I think that’s why companies are so interested in showing that all sorts of children can be beautiful.”

“It’s important for kids to grow up with images of kids that look like them,” she adds. “I’m always looking for the child that’s a little bit unique. It’s the boy that had his nose broken. The kid with the funky Afro. Even an albino kid with red hair. Whatever differences that actually make people stand out, that to me is the most beautiful.”

Courtesy Julia Samersova

While the appearance of young children in ad campaigns aimed at adults has sometimes caused controversy, Samersova contends that when done properly, there’s no harm done by it — and she would even be willing to let her own daughter, 3-year-old Violet, give it a go.

“I’m a mom, first and foremost,” she says. “But if somebody came to me and said, ‘Can we put your 3-year-old in an ad campaign for H&M or Gap?’ I would say absolutely. When it’s a reputable company and the images are childlike and pure, I have no problem with it.”

Kiran Hefa

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Showing 23 comments

chelsea on

I don’t understand this ladys face.

Maya on

I know! And every time she opens her mouth I just want to punch her.

tara on

Wow. Why so much hate on an article about love and beauty? I dont know Julia personally but she seems a like a great person inside and out.

acorr on

if that is her child she is holding…that child looks kind of heavy…thick. Not in a healthy…oh she’ll grow out of it but like she’s not eating healthy food.

acorr on

I nursed my son till he was 3. He weighed 10 lbs 3 oz at birth. He was always a big boy. Now at 5 years he is right up there with his peers. The picture of her with her little girl, the little girls hands look bloated

Sus on

Another pic of Julia and her child who is NOT chubby.

Pretty rude of you, fellow mamas.

Janice on

Her daughter is not overweight!!! Julia lost her pregnancy weight and stopped taking her thyroid medication when she started juicing and eating healthy organic foods. She is against junk food and I’m sure her daughter is eating the same healthy, nutritious foods she is eating!!! Stop picking on a little girl you have no idea about, it’s disgusting…

me on

I totally agree with her that there’s nothing wrong with children modelling as long as it’s images of children being children, not pretending to be adults. However, I don’t like what she says about the kids with ‘unique’ features. I understand that our society has always favoured a certain look, but to say that only ‘unique’ kids are beautiful is just as bad as saying that only blue eyed blonde children are beautiful. It’s like reverse discrimination and I almost feel like ‘regular’ looking children now get left behind because they are not ‘unique’ or ‘exotic’. How about all children are beautiful? Period.

Holiday on

acorr you are very rude to basically call her beautiful daughter fat and bloated! And what does you nursing your son for 3 years have to do with anything?? Lots of people would that that is ODD and you are practically bragging about it.

Julia Samersova on

I agree, ALL CHILDREN ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!! I think that was exactly the point I was trying to make! I want all children to grown up feeling special and beautiful and smart!

The jnr. on

I can´t believe all the comments here!. Why are people so incredible rude for no reason, shame on you!!

Jacqui on

Me, well said. I was thinking the same thing. So a blonde haired and blue-eyed child is now “out”? Ridiculous.

Shannon on

“the All-American, blonde, blue-eyed look”

Since when did blonde, blue-eyed become synonymous with America? LOL The first “Americans” looked nothing like that. America is comprised of many cultures and looks. DIVERSITY is what is “All-American.”

Shannon on

I almost feel like ‘regular’ looking children now get left behind “because they are not ‘unique’ or ‘exotic’.”

Who’s to say what’s regular??? These comments are quite telling. Everyone is unique. Rugs and plants are exotic; people aren’t.

ecl on

Is it really that hard to understand what she is saying? We once ONLY got images of blond, blue eyed children. Now the industry is trying to represent the diverse looks of the population so that those who aren’t blond and blue eyed also see themselves portrayed as attractive. And look around. There are still plenty of images of blond, blue eyed children. I’m hardly crying for them and the horrible discrimination they are now facing. I understand that it can be amusing to be deliberately obtuse in order to enjoy feeling outrages, but really? It’s not complicated.

sher on

Disgusted with all the nasty comments here from bashing julia and her daughter to getting upset that julia is casting all different types of looks and not sticking to what we have all been used to . basically giving all different looks a chance..whats wrong with that.????

acorr on

this lady can walk around and judge my children but I can’t judge hers, ya, seems fair…

JMO on

I think people take things too literally.

Jillian on

I can’t believe the comments about this child. Wow.

Lisa on

Someone buy this woman a camisole please!

Ashley on

Accor—nursing your child til they were 3??????? Holy Lady Gaga! DEFINITELY not the road I will take. To each their own, though.

acorr on

I nursed my first son for 6 weeeks but when my second one came along he just seemed to really take to it and before I knew it he was 3. Nursing my son until he was 3…I am so proud of myself. There is such a large community of women who nursed their children as long if not longer than I.

So Ashley you are judging me for breastfeeding so long? When you decide to do it, I hope you post your results so other women can judge you too. My comment on the above story was based on the fact that I have watched this womens show and all she does is judge other people’s children. So, I judged her child. And I judged on the only photo given. Just as you judged me on the comment I gave.

I don’t take offense but I am going to defend myself. Everone has a story and everyone has an opinion. My point was that I had large children at birth. With my children, with nursing they were quite healthy and thick. But once I stopped nursing hey thinned out and are now quite slim. This womens daughter looks over weight, sure maybe she’ll grow out of it but since this women judges other peoples children for a living I thought I would share my thoughts on a picture that SHE posted.

Holiday on

acorr so because she judges children you are going to be a mean bully to a 3 year old and call her fat and bloated?? That is real mature. And you say you are a mommy. Thats not right, I am a mom of 2 beautiful kids a 6 year old boy and 21 month old baby girl ( who I might add I still nurse) but I would never call a little kid fat.