When Jaqi Clements gave birth to identical twins in 2010, she couldn’t have imagined the journey that was in store for them. Most mothers look into their newborn babies’ eyes and see perfection, but there was something very different about the Clements twins that Jaqi couldn’t quite put her finger on. It’s no secret that parents hope and pray for their kids to have successful lives when they grow up and for these twins, nobody could have anticipated how quickly that success would come. Read here to find out how these identical twins became mega popular Instagram models at just seven years old.
1. Two Little Surprises
Jaqi and Kevin Clements were thrilled when they learned that their family would be expanding by not one, but two little bundles of joy. They ecstatically shared the news with their two-year-old son Chase that he would soon have identical twin sisters.
She was so excited at the thought of picking out matching girly clothes and accessories for her twin baby girls. The Clements were also well aware that the birth of the twins would change their lives forever, but they had no idea to what extent.
2. Totally In Love
On July 7, 2010, Leah Rose and Ava Marie were welcomed into the world with open arms, and Jaqi simply couldn’t take her eyes off her adorable and sweet baby twin girls. It was love at first sight for the Clements.
Naturally, when a mother gazes at her newborn children she only sees perfection, but Jaqi couldn’t help noticing the girls’ perfectly symmetrical features, lovely skin tone, and shiny little tufts of smooth hair. As it turns out, the Clements wouldn’t be the only ones to notice.
3. So Much Attention
As Leah Rose and Ava Marie grew into cute little babies, the Clements’ family and friends would frequently comment on the twins’ unique and sweet features. There was really something special about the girls, and it was hard to miss.
Not only did friends and family comment on Leah and Ava, complete strangers approached Jaqi about her daughters. Some even went as far as offering to sign the twins to modeling agencies. Jaqi started to feel really uneasy about all this attention, so she decided to take action.
4. Taking Action
There was no denying that the girls really did possess naturally photogenic features. Jaqi knew in her heart that if everyone was seeing what she already knew about her daughters, it had to be true. However, she felt uncomfortable with strangers staring and commenting all the time because the twins were just babies.
After lots of hesitation, Jaqi decided she wanted to be the one to sign up her twin daughters with a modeling agency. So when the girls were six-months-old, she approached an agency. It wasn’t long before she deeply regretted that decision, though.
5. Reassessing the Situation
Jaqi realized that she was biting off more than she could chew at that point in her life. She knew that with a two-year-old son and now two little girls, she couldn’t commit Leah and Ava to modeling at such a young age. Just getting out the door with three kids was enough of a challenge, so Jaqi knew her decision wasn’t realistic.
She pulled her daughters out of the agency after giving it a go because she wanted her family to live a normal life while her children were still young. Jaqi never regretted this decision, but as the girls got older things began to change.
6. Good Parenting Skills
After the short-lived modeling stint, Jaqi decided that she would never make decisions for the twins without their input. She wanted to be an active mother, but she never wanted to force any hobbies or interests onto her children forcibly.
Both Kevin and Jaqi knew that one day, they would discuss the idea of modeling with their daughters, but they felt nervous and apprehensive about when Leah and Ava would be old enough to make a decision like this. It was a serious issue to think about, but the girls would make it easy for their parents a few years later.
7. Lucky Seven
Jaqi is a firm believer in luck and signs, so when the girls turned seven on July 7, 2017, she knew it was the year to bring up the topic of modeling with her girls, seeing that seven is a lucky number. She had a feeling it would be a year filled with exciting blessings for the girls.
From a young age, Leah and Ava loved to dance in front of family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers. Their mother knew they craved the spotlight and enjoyed their dance classes and swim team practices. She believed that because they finally developed their own personalities, she would ask them on their birthday if they wanted to give modeling a try as well. What the girls did next came as no surprise to the Clements.
8. A Grown-Up Decision
“I was not surprised at all when they started jumping up and down and couldn’t wait to begin,” Jaqi later related on her blog called theclementstwins.com. Leah and Ava were no strangers to cameras and stages, so the world of modeling and all its perks sounded desirable to the seven-year-old girls.
While Jaqi was well aware that the girls craved the spotlight, but she also knew the world of modeling could be perilous for such young girls. She wanted them to start small as they entered the modeling world. However, things took off quicker than anyone anticipated.
9. Starting Small
A neighbor of the Clements had just opened a pop’up children’s clothing boutique from her garage, and she needed some kids to model the clothing items. It was just perfect: the twins were more than happy to model the adorable clothing, shoes, and accessories, and Jaqi saw it as their little introduction to the world of modeling.
So Jaqi grabbed her 10-year-old Nikon camera out her garage, dolled up the girls with a tiny bit of blush and curls, and took the girls for their first mini photo shoot. This might have been a baby step, but Jaqi and the twins had no idea what lay ahead of them.
10. Camera Ready
The photo shoot didn’t go exactly as Jaqi had planned. The twins definitely weren’t camera-shy, but the girls’ lack of experience was clear. They would stare into space, and when Leah accidentally knocked into Ava, she’d shove her back, thinking it was on purpose.
Despite the girls’ antics, the shoot was very successful. Their neighbor got lovely pictures to use for her business, and Jaqi was satisfied that they were good enough to send off to some modeling agencies, hoping they would show interest. But there was something else Jaqi did that launched the girls’ modeling careers dramatically.
11. Hashtag That
To kill some time while waiting to hear back from the modeling agencies, Jaqi created an Instagram account for Leah and Ava called “clementstwins” in July 2017 with the picture below as the first post. She thought it was a great platform to create an online portfolio for agencies to look at, as well as to kickstart a fan base for the twins.
Jaqi put up the pictures from the shoot and was totally gobsmacked at how many followers, likes, and shares the account received in just a few short days. Leah and Ava became Instagram models and stars overnight with agencies practically begging to sign them on. Things were moving very quickly, and the question that remained was: which agency would get to sign the Clements twins?
12. The Life of the Gram
In just over two months, the Clements twins gained a steady following of 1,000 followers, which quickly jumped to 3,000. When the girls hit 3,000, LillyKPhotography, run by the renowned international headshot and fashion photographer Isa Battaglin, took headshots of the girls, so that Jaqi could put up more photographs of these up-and-coming Instagram models.
The headshots were an absolute hit, and the account’s following doubled to 15,000 in under a week. After Jaqi posted few more pictures, the profile soon had 25,000 followers. Jaqi recalled: “I remember thinking ‘Is this normal? Is this a glitch? Am I going to wake up tomorrow and all of these followers will just be gone?’ It almost seemed too good to be true.”
13. There Is an Art to “Gramming”
Jaqi was managing the Clements twins’ account, but she was worried that she didn’t have enough experience regarding algorithms and hashtag trends to keep the followers coming. Moreover, she was running out of pictures, so she started posting some individual pictures of the girls.
Their mother noticed that people preferred and shared the shots of both Leah and Ava together. It seemed like people enjoyed marveling at the pictures which emphasized their eyes and portrayed how similar their features were side by side. So, Jaqi continued to snap photographs of the girls donning the clothes from the pop-up store, and the fan base just continued to grow and grow. But there was more in store for these budding Instagram models.
14. Double Trouble
While Leah and Ava were quickly becoming world famous Instagram models, several agencies approached Jaqi to discuss the twins. In retrospect, Jaqi recalled how difficult this process was for her because the main focus for these agencies was the twin factor. “I have a tough time referring to them as ‘the twins’ because although they are alike in a lot of ways they are so different in others,” she wrote.
Once she wrapped her head around all the ideas, the girls signed with not one, but two modeling agencies in California: the LA-based Zuri Model & Talent and DreamRay Model & Talent in Orange County. How were the girls to juggle gigs from two agencies?
15. The Technicalities of It All
The Clements were under the impression that it was okay to sign on with two different modeling agencies since they were based in different counties. However, it didn’t take long before they realized that it wasn’t so simple and things started to get more and more complicated.
Everything was working out well for the famous Instagram models until one of the agents offered a callback to a Barbie audition. The only problem? The twins already attended that same audition a few days before through the other agency. Jaqi was really worried. Would the agency now drop the Clements twins because of this?
16. Smoothing Things Out
Jaqi decided to lay all her cards out on the table and was totally honest about the confusion with the agencies. After several phone calls and emails, everything was smoothed over. Most importantly, Jaqi stood by her principles through and through.
“I figured if either agency let us go because of it, they weren’t the type of agencies I could see my girls working with. And they didn’t.” In fact, it’s only brought even more work for the twins. Jaqi proved to be a superb manager for her daughters. Next, another family member decided to jump into the modeling game.
17. Let’s Just Cut2thischase
After the Clements twins became mega popular Instagram models and social media sensations at such a young age, their older brother Chase decided to take on the world of modeling himself as well, in addition to his already existing commercial acting skills.
His mother decided to manage and monitor her son’s career as well by creating an Instagram account for him called Cut2thischase, which is growing steadily with a modest following of 11.8 thousand fans. With all this talent and success running in the Clements family genes, you can’t help but wonder what kind of lifestyles they lead.
18. It Runs in the Fam
Kevin and Jaqi have always promoted health and fitness as a couple in order to serve as a positive example to their kids. Since Chase, Leah, and Ava were babies, their parents have advocated an active life filled with sports and hobbies in hopes that the kids would catch onto the lifestyle.
The Clements firmly believe that there is more to life than just modeling and acting, so besides for setting a positive example for the kids and managing their careers, Kevin and Jaqi take an active role in their kids’ ordinary lives.
19. Like Father, Like Son
Kevin shares his love of football and sports with son Chase whenever the opportunity presents itself. He believes taking his son to games or playing with him on the weekends is the ultimate way to create that father-son bond that will last forever.
As an advocate of health and fitness, Kevin doesn’t just talk about how important it is, but rather engages in fun activities with Chase so that he can make the decision as to whether he enjoys it himself or not.
20. Mother-Daughter Fun
While Kevin and Chase are out spending quality time at sports games and events, Jaqi loves to have girl time with her twin daughters. Leah and Ava are more than just Instagram models; they are her kids with whom Jaqi loves to go shopping and paint nails.
As a responsible mother and manager, Jaqi is fully cognizant of how cut-throat and unsuitable the world of fashion and modeling can be for young girls. She knows that success at such a young age is rare, and that she won’t be able to protect her girls from every single bad influence or negative response, but she’s sure found creative ways to do what she can while they’re still young.
21. Feet Firmly On the Ground
Jaqi is happy to give her girls the spotlight at all times and to take more of a backseat role, but she does pose with her little Instagram models here and there. She has also made it extremely clear that she is in charge of the twins and their social media pages at all times.
Jaqi emphasizes that it will take a long time before she gives Leah and Ava full control over their career decisions. For now, she’s happy to manage their affairs because she knows how social media responses, both positive and negative, can destroy young minds. And some comments have been anything but encouraging…
22. “Are They Wearing Makeup!?”
In a touching blog post, Jaqi spoke about how she deals with the negative comments and what she has to say back to the naysayers. She said that people regularly criticize her online for letting the girls wear makeup at such a young age, to which she responds how the makeup is light and natural for their age given the fact that it is an integral element of the modeling industry.
She drowns out the negativity with logical reasoning like when she wrote, “Think about children at their dance recital… some of these kids at 2 and 3 years old have a face full of makeup. Why!? Because they are also required to look a certain way.” She went on to defend her choices explaining how some mothers even host birthday parties for their daughters at beauty salons.
23. “They Look So Sad!”
Some people assume that the Clements twins are sad as Instagram models because of their serious facial expressions in the photos. Jaqi cannot believe people can make such assumptions without ever meeting the girls. Once again, she had to explain how the girls have to play a role just like actors do.
That means certain pictures require them not to smile based on the mood and theme of the photo shoot. When writing about her daughters’ wellbeing Jaqi stressed, “They are happy! They have an amazing childhood with lots of friends that they get to play with every day!”
24. Well-Rounded Girls
Jaqi believes it’s important for her to voice how she feels at all times and respond to the negative comments. Many people accuse her of being a bad mother who prevents her children from enjoying a normal childhood, and the blog provides a platform to prove them wrong.
Sometimes she has to remind the haters that her girls chose to take up modeling and are enjoying it, just like they love to dance and swim. She also explains how the girls are still kids even if they are technically part of the working world. However, this isn’t the only adventure in their lives, as the twins also enjoy many other unexpected adventures with their family.
25. There’s No Stopping Them Now
Since the Clements twins morphed into world renowned Instagram models, they have signed with many clothing brands and popular magazines. By December 2017, Leah and Ava were working up to six modeling jobs in the space of just one week.
Jaqi wrote on an Instagram post how the girls are just “lovin’ every minute” of the work and are happy to have one another with which to experience the journey. However, Jaqi is also very open about the less glamorous parts of the job and the backlash the family has received.
26. The Price of Success
Apart from the clementstwins Instagram profile, which had more than 1.4 million followers as of September 2019, Jaqi also started a website and blog for the girls where she shares the journey of Leah and Ava, as well as her own personal journey during this life-changing experience.
The girls’ mother uses this platform to share all the photo shoots of the twins, but more importantly, she started the blog to be brutally honest about what goes on behind-the-scenes of a seemingly picture perfect life of filtered Instagram models. And sometimes the picture Jaqi paints is far from pretty.
27. Exploring the World
When the girls aren’t posing as Instagram models, the Clements snap family portraits to capture special moments while they explore new places on vacation. Jaqi understands that she constantly has to update the world on her girls’ success, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t prioritize family time first.
The girls are learning and growing from this experience, and even if they were to stop modeling in the future, their parents have ensured they know what’s most important in life. The Clements twins aren’t the only young Instagram models to face these trials and tribulations. In fact, the girls just joined the ranks of several other young models who attained worldwide fame because of their extraordinarily lovely features.
28. Anna Pavaga
Born on November 2, 2009 and hailing from St. Petersburg, Russia, Anna Pavaga has been modeling since the tender age of three. Since Anna started her career, the eight-year-old modeling sensation has appeared in many fashion campaigns around the world, including the French edition of Vogue’s children’s magazine, Vogue Enfants.
Ekaterina Pavaga told Daily Mail that her daughter has loved posing in front of the camera since she was two years old, so it came as no surprise that she amassed 507,000 Instagram followers by 2018. Besides for her modeling career, Anna’s mother encourages her daughter to pursue her love for ballet and gymnastics in order to put her health first. But it seems like there is another young Russian model who also became a media sensation overnight.
29. Anastasia Knyazeva
Anastasia Knyazeva is another successful young Instagram model who became a sensation at the age of just six thanks to President Kids Management agency. Born on June 20, 2011, Anastasia was featured in several fashion campaigns for the likes of the Russian brands Chobi Kids and Amoreco Kisabiano. In 2016, the model was voted the face of Little Miss Aoki, the children’s couture line of Mischka Aoki.
Despite having one million followers on Instagram, her mother has been criticized for allowing her daughter to model at such a young age because she has to wear makeup. Much like the backlash the Clements twins have faced, people have also asked why Anastasia doesn’t smile in photos. When it comes to fame, it seems like Anastasia is following in the steps of French child model Thylane Blondeau.
30. Thylane Blondeau
The 16-year-old French model Thylane Blondeau, born on April 5, 2001, started modeling at just four-years-old. She emerged into the spotlight when she turned 10 for her shoot with Vogue Enfants, which was deemed too provocative for a child of that age.
Fast-forward seven years later, and Blondeau is still an Instagram model and bonafide success, modeling for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and L’Oréal. The Instagirl has a solid media presence with a large following on other social media platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat.
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