Our-Industry

Nearly 1 out of 3 female models report inappropriate touching on the job.

Nearly 1 our of 3 female models report inappropriate touching on the job.

Nearly 1 out of 3 female models report inappropriate touching on the job.

Over 85% of female models report being asked to pose nude at a job or casting without prior notice.

Over 85% of female models report to being asked to pose nude at a job or casting witout prior notice.

Over 85% of female models report being asked to pose nude at a job or casting without prior notice.

Nearly 1 out of 3 also report being pressured to have sex on the job.

Nearly 1 out of 3 also report being pressures to have sex on the job.

Nearly 1 out of 3 also report being pressured to have sex on the job.

Testimony:

Testimony:

Testimony:

Testimony:

“My body, my choice!  Just because I'm a model doesn't mean I should be treated as a sexual object available at anyone's leisure."
       

~ Dominique Silver, model

“My body, my choice!  Just because I'm a model doesn't mean I should be treated as a sexual object available at anyone's leisure."
       

~ Dominique Silver, model

“My body, my choice!  Just because I'm a model doesn't mean I should be treated as a sexual object available at anyone's leisure."
       

~ Dominique Silver, model

Reid Rohling

"Refusing to take my clothes off, work for free, and 'just sit there and look pretty' while witnessing systemic abuse within our industry should not label me as being 'difficult to work with.' RESPECT recognizes that sexual harassment and financial concerns are linked -- ultimately, both are about power (or lack thereof) in a system that currently leaves models vulnerable to abuse. This Program is necessary to hold those in power accountable for their actions by empowering the workers themselves."

Reid Rohling, model

"Refusing to take my clothes off, work for free, and 'just sit there and look pretty' while witnessing systemic abuse within our industry should not label me as being 'difficult to work with.' RESPECT recognizes that sexual harassment and financial concerns are linked -- ultimately, both are about power (or lack thereof) in a system that currently leaves models vulnerable to abuse. This Program is necessary to hold those in power accountable for their actions by empowering the workers themselves."

Reid Rohling, model

"Refusing to take my clothes off, work for free, and 'just sit there and look pretty' while witnessing systemic abuse within our industry should not label me as being 'difficult to work with.' RESPECT recognizes that sexual harassment and financial concerns are linked -- ultimately, both are about power (or lack thereof) in a system that currently leaves models vulnerable to abuse. This Program is necessary to hold those in power accountable for their actions by empowering the workers themselves."

Reid Rohling, model

  

“While I have been fortunate to never experience sexual abuse in the workplace, I have seen it first-hand. A few years ago, I reported inappropriate behavior by an agent who was twice the age of a 16-year-model I worked with. He sent her suggestive photos of himself after showering, pressed for the same in return, and persuaded her to take a trip with him. He was supposed to be her advisor, a mentor, someone she thought she could trust. Instead, he leveraged his power and took advantage of a young and naive girl who didn't know how to say no for fear of losing her representation.” 

Louise Parker, model

  

“While I have been fortunate to never experience sexual abuse in the workplace, I have seen it first-hand. A few years ago, I reported inappropriate behavior by an agent who was twice the age of a 16-year-model I worked with. He sent her suggestive photos of himself after showering, pressed for the same in return, and persuaded her to take a trip with him. He was supposed to be her advisor, a mentor, someone she thought she could trust. Instead, he leveraged his power and took advantage of a young and naive girl who didn't know how to say no for fear of losing her representation.” 

Louise Parker, model

  

“While I have been fortunate to never experience sexual abuse in the workplace, I have seen it first-hand. A few years ago, I reported inappropriate behavior by an agent who was twice the age of a 16-year-model I worked with. He sent her suggestive photos of himself after showering, pressed for the same in return, and persuaded her to take a trip with him. He was supposed to be her advisor, a mentor, someone she thought she could trust. Instead, he leveraged his power and took advantage of a young and naive girl who didn't know how to say no for fear of losing her representation.” 

Louise Parker, model

A Closer Look:

A Closer Look:

A Closer Look:

A Closer Look:

The power imbalance between most models and the agencies and clients they work with contributes to a culture that tolerates sexual harassment.  In the United States, fashion models are generally considered “independent contractors”, thereby excluding them from many legal protections against harassment and discrimination afforded only to “employees”. These classification issues, in addition to the ways some modeling agencies have been able to skirt licensing requirements and other regulations, further adds to models’ vulnerability to abuse and cultivates a workplace environment that lacks accountability.

The power imbalance between most models and the agencies and clients they work with contributes to a culture that tolerates sexual harassment.  In the United States, fashion models are generally considered “independent contractors”, thereby excluding them from many legal protections against harassment and discrimination afforded only to “employees”. These classification issues, in addition to the ways some modeling agencies have been able to skirt licensing requirements and other regulations, further adds to models’ vulnerability to abuse and cultivates a workplace environment that lacks accountability.

The power imbalance between most models and the agencies and clients they work with contributes to a culture that tolerates sexual harassment.  In the United States, fashion models are generally considered “independent contractors”, thereby excluding them from many legal protections against harassment and discrimination afforded only to “employees”. These classification issues, in addition to the ways some modeling agencies have been able to skirt licensing requirements and other regulations, further adds to models’ vulnerability to abuse and cultivates a workplace environment that lacks accountability.

In a study on the prevalence of eating disorders in the modeling industry, 4 of 5 models
were determined to be underweight.

In a study on the prevalence of eating disorders in the modeling industry, 4 of 5 models
were determined to be underweight.

1 in 5 models were told their agency would stop representing them unless they lost weight.

1 in 5 models were told their agency would stop representing them unless they lost weight.

Over half of models were told they wouldn't book jobs unless they lost weight.

Over half of models were told they wouldn't book jobs unless they lost weight.

Nearly 1 in 10 models were told to undergo plastic surgery.

Nearly 1 in 10 models were told to undergo plastic surgery.

Testimony:

Testimony:

Testimony:

Testimony:

“The abuses that plague the modeling industry have been overlooked for far too long. Blatant cases of sexual harassment, sexual abuse as well as severe eating disorders are commonplace and consistently normalized. These abuses should not be tolerated any longer. An industry-wide initiative is imperative to drive the needed change. We are at a critical moment in time and the RESPECT Program is our solution and call to action.”

– Carre Otis

“The abuses that plague the modeling industry have been overlooked for far too long. Blatant cases of sexual harassment, sexual abuse as well as severe eating disorders are commonplace and consistently normalized. These abuses should not be tolerated any longer. An industry-wide initiative is imperative to drive the needed change. We are at a critical moment in time and the RESPECT Program is our solution and call to action.”

– Carre Otis

"RESPECT is what models have been waiting for for years if not decades. A structure to feel safe, protected and recognized as workers and human beings. Silence is over!"

        -Victoire Dauxerre

“I am really lucky I recovered because
many girls don’t – they still have
osteoporosis. I got my periods back,
but some of my friends who are 24 are
infertile now.”

        -Victoire Dauxerre

A Closer Look:

The appearance pressures experienced by fashion models have been criticized as harmful to their health, as well as increasing eating disorder risk among youth by promoting ideals of extreme thinness. In 2016, the Model Alliance partnered with researchers at Harvard School of Public Health and Northeastern University to undertake a strategic study to assess professional fashion models’ perceptions of the potential impact and feasibility of various policy proposals. A sample of 85 female fashion models, mean age 22.7 years, completed an online survey assessing unhealthy weight control behaviors, perceived pressure from agencies to lose weight, as well as the perceived impact and feasibility of potential policy actions. 

Models reported high levels of pressure to lose weight. The policy approaches rated as most impactful were those to increase worker protections, though they were rated as only moderately feasible. Requiring employers to provide food and a 30-min break for jobs longer than six hours was rated as both impactful and feasible. Imposing restrictions on minimum BMI was rated as the least impactful. Approaches providing employment protections and healthier working conditions are most supported by professional models.

A Closer Look:

The appearance pressures experienced by fashion models have been criticized as harmful to their health, as well as increasing eating disorder risk among youth by promoting ideals of extreme thinness. In 2016, the Model Alliance partnered with researchers at Harvard School of Public Health and Northeastern University to undertake a strategic study to assess professional fashion models’ perceptions of the potential impact and feasibility of various policy proposals. A sample of 85 female fashion models, mean age 22.7 years, completed an online survey assessing unhealthy weight control behaviors, perceived pressure from agencies to lose weight, as well as the perceived impact and feasibility of potential policy actions. 

Models reported high levels of pressure to lose weight. The policy approaches rated as most impactful were those to increase worker protections, though they were rated as only moderately feasible. Requiring employers to provide food and a 30-min break for jobs longer than six hours was rated as both impactful and feasible. Imposing restrictions on minimum BMI was rated as the least impactful. Approaches providing employment protections and healthier working conditions are most supported by professional models.

A Closer Look:

The appearance pressures experienced by fashion models have been criticized as harmful to their health, as well as increasing eating disorder risk among youth by promoting ideals of extreme thinness. In 2016, the Model Alliance partnered with researchers at Harvard School of Public Health and Northeastern University to undertake a strategic study to assess professional fashion models’ perceptions of the potential impact and feasibility of various policy proposals. A sample of 85 female fashion models, mean age 22.7 years, completed an online survey assessing unhealthy weight control behaviors, perceived pressure from agencies to lose weight, as well as the perceived impact and feasibility of potential policy actions. 

Models reported high levels of pressure to lose weight. The policy approaches rated as most impactful were those to increase worker protections, though they were rated as only moderately feasible. Requiring employers to provide food and a 30-min break for jobs longer than six hours was rated as both impactful and feasible. Imposing restrictions on minimum BMI was rated as the least impactful. Approaches providing employment protections and healthier working conditions are most supported by professional models.

A Closer Look:

The appearance pressures experienced by fashion models have been criticized as harmful to their health, as well as increasing eating disorder risk among youth by promoting ideals of extreme thinness. In 2016, the Model Alliance partnered with researchers at Harvard School of Public Health and Northeastern University to undertake a strategic study to assess professional fashion models’ perceptions of the potential impact and feasibility of various policy proposals. A sample of 85 female fashion models, mean age 22.7 years, completed an online survey assessing unhealthy weight control behaviors, perceived pressure from agencies to lose weight, as well as the perceived impact and feasibility of potential policy actions. 

Models reported high levels of pressure to lose weight. The policy approaches rated as most impactful were those to increase worker protections, though they were rated as only moderately feasible. Requiring employers to provide food and a 30-min break for jobs longer than six hours was rated as both impactful and feasible. Imposing restrictions on minimum BMI was rated as the least impactful. Approaches providing employment protections and healthier working conditions are most supported by professional models.

Cash advances are common as models wait months for paychecks to materialize. Models report that agencies often charge fees of around 5%.

Cash advances are common as models wait months for paychecks to materialize. Models report that agencies often charge fees of around 5%.

1 in 5 models work in debt to their agency for the costs of starting their care.

1 in 5 models work in debt to their agency for the costs of starting their care.

1 in 5 models work in debt to their agency.

In 2005, a class-action lawsuit brought by models against their agencies was settled at $22 million. In the aftermath, agencies pledged to be more transparent.

In 2005, a class-action lawsuit brought by models against their agencies was settled at $22 million. In the aftermath, agencies pledged to be more transparent.

In Miami, one model reported being charged up to $1,850 a month to stay in a two- bedroom apartment that fit nine people on bunk beds and a couch – with the agency making as much as $13,750 above market rate each month. In New York, another model reported being charged over $2,000 a month by her agency for a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment shared with 11 other women.

Source: Runway Injustice, CNN Money, 2016

In Miami, one model reported being charged up to $1,850 a month to stay in a two- bedroom apartment that fit nine people on bunk beds and a couch – with the agency making as much as $13,750 above market rate each month. In New York, another model reported being charged over $2,000 a month by her agency for a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment shared with 11 other women.

Source: Runway Injustice, CNN Money, 2016

Testimony:

Testimony:

Testimony:

Testimony:

“Working as a model is considered a ‘hobby,’ not a ‘job.’ Models are afraid to ask for their rights, which they don't even know. Agencies often treat their responsibilities towards models as if they were favors. Late and irregular payments, unclear statements and high, not proven expenses should not be acceptable. Yet, they’re all accepted as ‘normal’ in the modeling industry.”

- Anonymous

“Working as a model is considered a ‘hobby,’ not a ‘job.’ Models are afraid to ask for their rights, which they don't even know. Agencies often treat their responsibilities towards models as if they were favors. Late and irregular payments, unclear statements and high, not proven expenses should not be acceptable. Yet, they’re all accepted as ‘normal’ in the modeling industry.”

- Anonymous

A Closer Look

A Closer Look

A Closer Look

A Closer Look

New York City’s fashion industry employs more than 184,000, accounting for 5.4 percent of the city’s workforce. Although New York Fashion Week adds nearly $900 million to the city's economy – more than the U.S. Open, the New York City Marathon or the 2014 Super Bowl – financial insecurity remains a major issue for many models and freelancers working in the fashion industry.
 
Models frequently encounter problems getting paid for the work they perform. This is in part due to a lack of financial transparency between modeling agencies and clients.  Further, because models in the U.S. are generally treated as independent contractors, they often must pay their own way to photo shoots and incur other work-related expenses. Agencies may pay for these expenses up front, but then deduct them from a model’s paycheck, without necessarily providing a list of itemized costs to the model. Models report that they often wait months to get paid monies owes, and agencies sometimes charge interest on the amount advanced to pay for the models’ expenses.

New York City’s fashion industry employs more than 184,000, accounting for 5.4 percent of the city’s workforce. Although New York Fashion Week adds nearly $900 million to the city's economy – more than the U.S. Open, the New York City Marathon or the 2014 Super Bowl – financial insecurity remains a major issue for many models and freelancers working in the fashion industry.
 
Models frequently encounter problems getting paid for the work they perform. This is in part due to a lack of financial transparency between modeling agencies and clients.  Further, because models in the U.S. are generally treated as independent contractors, they often must pay their own way to photo shoots and incur other work-related expenses. Agencies may pay for these expenses up front, but then deduct them from a model’s paycheck, without necessarily providing a list of itemized costs to the model. Models report that they often wait months to get paid monies owes, and agencies sometimes charge interest on the amount advanced to pay for the models’ expenses.

In New York, one child-modeling scheme allegedly stole more than $200,000 from 100 clients with promises of lucrative modeling jobs. This scam continued for years, even after state officials had tried to shut it down.

In the UK, there were 327 reported cases of scam model recruiters in the last year alone. The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau reports that a “significant” number involved scammers operating on social media and left victims out of pocket.

Testimony:

Testimony:

Testimony:

Testimony:

"It is vital that models are protected against sexual harassment, scams, and other workplace grievances. As a former model, I know all too well what it's like to not be treated with the same respect as other individuals working in the fashion industry. Modeling is a business and the faces of that business deserve the same rights as anyone else. The RESPECT Program is a groundbreaking initiative that will finally give models a transparent system to alleviate these grievances once and for all."

Madeline Hill, former model

"It is vital that models are protected against sexual harassment, scams, and other workplace grievances. As a former model, I know all too well what it's like to not be treated with the same respect as other individuals working in the fashion industry. Modeling is a business and the faces of that business deserve the same rights as anyone else. The RESPECT Program is a groundbreaking initiative that will finally give models a transparent system to alleviate these grievances once and for all."

Madeline Hill, former model

"It is vital that models are protected against sexual harassment, scams, and other workplace grievances. As a former model, I know all too well what it's like to not be treated with the same respect as other individuals working in the fashion industry. Modeling is a business and the faces of that business deserve the same rights as anyone else. The RESPECT Program is a groundbreaking initiative that will finally give models a transparent system to alleviate these grievances once and for all."

Madeline Hill, former model

“The RESPECT Program comes at a crucial moment for addressing problems that models have silently dealt with for years. We now have a solution that offers an equitable way by which everyone in the fashion industry can be accountable for upholding the standards in which we all believe. It's positive, practical and will make our industry all the better for adopting it. I support this Program because I believe it will create an industry that is accountable and ethical towards its talent--it offers an unbiased set of tools that will help set new standards such that those in the fashion business can enjoy creative freedom and personal safety without sacrificing integrity.”

– Karen Elson, model

“The RESPECT Program comes at a crucial moment for addressing problems that models have silently dealt with for years. We now have a solution that offers an equitable way by which everyone in the fashion industry can be accountable for upholding the standards in which we all believe. It's positive, practical and will make our industry all the better for adopting it. I support this Program because I believe it will create an industry that is accountable and ethical towards its talent--it offers an unbiased set of tools that will help set new standards such that those in the fashion business can enjoy creative freedom and personal safety without sacrificing integrity.”

– Karen Elson, model

Get in Touch:  info@modelalliance.org

Get in Touch:  info@modelalliance.org

Get in Touch:  info@modelalliance.org

Get in Touch:  info@modelalliance.org

© Model Alliance 2018. All Rights Reserved.

© Program For Respect 2018. All Rights Reserved.