We know that some models pursue dangerous measures in the hopes they will join the cadre of elites. We know that being a top model means million-dollar contracts and the key that unzips Leonardo DiCaprio’s pants. And we also know that many modeling agencies are all too happy to exploit preteen and teen girls, putting their sexual, mental and physical health at risk in pursuit of big bucks and prestige. Agencies get a cut of the money, after all. The 2012 documentary “Girl Model” (which is screening on Netflix now — go watch it!) pulled back the curtain on the lack of protections for underage models, especially ones who have traveled from faraway foreign countries, alone, don’t speak English or know their rights — like, say, you shouldn’t have to suck anyone’s dick to get a gig.
This week, New York’s state legislature took a step in the right direction by passing a bill that will give models under age 18 the same legal protections as child actors and other young performers. The laws would apply to both print and runway models. Keep reading »
Ever wonder why the models stomping down the runway at Fashion Week look nothing like you? Like, you’re so much bigger that one of those girls could easily wear you as a skin suit?
Well, many of the models you see in Fashion Week, in print catalogs, and on billboards are actually teenage girls. Sure, there are models like Agyness Deyn, Kate Moss, and Kate Upton who are in their 20s and 30s, but a lot of the models we are exposed to as representative as adult women’s bodies are tall, skinny, 15-year-olds. The fashion industry’s reason for hiring these young women? It’s partly a worship of youth and partly the problem that barely-pubescent girls are the only ones who can fit into sample sizes. Keep reading »
For as long as the modeling industry has boomed, there has been tales of abuse exacted upon fashion models. In some ways, it comes with the territory: it’s a business that banks upon barely nubile girls, frequently but not always sourced from poverty-stricken backgrounds in foreign countries, valued solely for their competency as human clothes hangers. It takes a rare voice to come forward and express the severity of the mistreatment and exploitation, sexual and otherwise, in a production that values above all other things being seen and not heard. Keep reading »