Happy Friday folks.
For mainstream society, it is no longer uncommon to hear about the plight of the fashion model with a specific focus on substance abuse, weight issues and racism. I think we spend a lot of attention on female fashion models, rightfully so, but from my own experience and observation, the male models have it just as bad, if not worse. With an industry that is over-saturated with gay men as decision makers, it is not uncommon to hear and know stories of male models (straight or gay) who have been sexually harassed, have eating disorders and experienced terrible things that they should not have to go through, all in the name of modeling.
Further, while most of what you hear about models, especially in the context of legal disputes, tends to be primarily in the context of breach of contract claims brought on by the agency against the fashion model, or illegal agencies trying to scam models; yet to be explored is the legal liability, if any, against the modeling agency and agent where a child model i.e. a minor is taken under the wings of the agency; and provided an unsafe/hostile working environment i.e. encouraged to lose weight to the point where s/he develops eating disorders.
I honestly believe the status quo remains because: 1) fashion models have not really mobilized the way they ought to, to make sure they are heard; and 2) lawyers, to date, have not really taken a very careful look at this industry, stripped it to its bare bones and made sure they fully understand its intricacies, legally speaking, and then map out what the ideal situation ought to be when compared to other industries; and needless to say, put the brakes on the rampant ongoing customary nonsense that has been taking place for decades now. I foresee change coming in the form of courtroom battles to force unprecedented change in the modeling and fashion industry at large.
I, needless to say, intend to be a part of the group of trial lawyers who change the landscape of the modeling industry as we know it today.
In the meantime, read up on ex-fashion model Georgina Wilkin’s experience as a fashion model and the resulting anorexia she has had to cope with. It is indeed compelling and sad.
Photocredit: Georgina Wilkin’s facebook page.
“The modeling industry isn’t short on horror stories of models going to dangerous lengths to meet impossible physical standards. But even we were stunned by the latest tale, brought to us by former model Georgina Wilkin.
The 23-year-old Brit is telling the story that made her an advocate against eating disorders — because, as she told the Telegraph, “At the end of the day, my modeling career lasted for three years and as a result, I’ve had anorexia for eight.”
Wilkin started modeling at 15, at which point she was automatically told to lose weight — “a few inches from my hips so I could be eligible for the best jobs,” she told the Telegraph. She did, and even then was turned away from casting for being too big. On her own and feeling alone, the pressure quickly developed into anorexia.
And the big problem was that anorexia brought results. “My agent told me I looked great when I hadn’t eaten for 48 hours,” she tells the Sunday Times. “At one point I was hospitalized because I was so ill — a few weeks later I was booked for a Prada campaign.
Huffington Post has the full story.