About ModelMom

Welcome to my blog. Here’s a bit about how it got started and the people behind it.

My (now 19 year old) daughter was ‘discovered’ by a modeling agency at the age of 14.  The irony is that I am a child development professional, feminist and educator who teaches about media representations of women, and has counseled women with eating disorders for many years. I have very mixed feelings about this whole thing, but ventured into this world with Alice, my daughter, to keep her safe and happy. So far, almost 4 and a half years later, she’s still at it as a college student. It’s been fun, safe, a pretty easy way to make a little bit of money. Minneapolis isn’t a huge market and most of her work has been doing shows for “project runway” type local designers.

I am an Associate Professor of Parent and Family Education  in the Department of Family Social Sciences at the University of Minnesota. There I teach graduate courses that help prepare parent educators, and researchers in parenting and family life education. Before moving to Minnesota in 2007, we lived in the Maryland (near DC) where I worked at the Univ. of MD (go Terps) in the Dept. of Family Studies and Cooperative Extension where I did a ton of outreach and education on family and youth type topics. My work is also as an advocate for parents and for the professionals who support families, such as child care workers. I largely work and do research on under resourced families, with particular interest in those that are headed or supported by women’s work and their caregiving. My current line of inquiry is on parents’ use of technology and ways to integrate technology to support parents and parenting.

My other feminist sensibilities comes from my early work as a nutritionist. For the first 10 years of my career I was a nutrition educator and counselor, and developed a specialty in eating disorders. It was actually this work that raised my interest and fascination with the factors that influence behavior and development, inside and out, and that led to my further study of human development and social contexts (and parenting).

Finally, it’s fair to say that my perspective on being a woman has been greatly shaped by my own timeline. I was born in the mid-1950s and went through high school in the late 60s and early 70s. It was a time when our mothers didn’t model for us the women we were to become, yet had lots of encouragement and eventually opportunities in school, work and the media. I’ve worked and supported myself since I was 22. I have been very privileged in many ways and strongly support every woman’s choice in how she wants her life to be, in whatever roles she chooses.

Our family now lives in St. Paul. Alice is in college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My husband and Alice’s dad Patrick works in data and statistics in downtown Minneapolis. And we have three wonderful pets: Oscar and Grace (cats) and Audrey, the practically perfect pug.

Susan


5 Responses to “About ModelMom”

  1. Hey, my husband actually told me about your blog after looking for photos of our daughter, Kelsey, on the Aveda website. We have similar backgrounds (born in the 60s-me, daughter the same age who reads Twilight, owns and rides horses, new to modeling since September 07).

  2. How great to know another family involved in all of this. I’m meeting a few now and then, but there isn’t a lot of opportunity. Although my blog ventures into areas beyond Alice’s modeling, it stays pretty focused on issues related to parenting teen girls, or parenting, or girls. I hope you’ll chime in with your thoughts.

    And I hope we meet at an event.

  3. Hello Susan, We are in process of launching an online social media/network platform, for which we are looking for contributors who wish to blog on socially and culturally relevant contemporary issues. Through this platform we intend to raise awareness of our audience – film-makers, film-lovers and conscious/global citizens, for which I will like to inquire if you can contribute to the blog on this platform.

  4. Hi there,

    My name is Alex and I just had a quick question about your blog. Please email me back at your earliest convenience!

  5. Hi Alex,

    Thanks for contacting me. What would you like to know about my blog?

    Susan Walker

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