Vigilant Citizen — May 21, 2017
After years of silence, models are speaking out against the sadistic behavior of people in the fashion industry where abuse, exploitation, and even torture is rampant. And that is only the tip of the iceberg.
In my series of articles Symbolic Pics of the Month, I often feature fashion photoshoots where abuse and violence are celebrated and even glamorized. This abuse is however not only for the cameras – it also happens behind the scenes, for real. Indeed, the disturbing photoshoots that are often published by major magazines are symptomatic of an industry that is diseased to the core with a mindset that is bent on dehumanization and human exploitation.
A recent article in the Daily Mail detailed several accounts from people in the industry who witnessed or were subjected to sadistic treatment.
“Catwalk casting agent and industry veteran James Scully, who has worked with designers Stella McCartney and Tom Ford, fiercely criticised Balenciaga in a shocking post on the photo-sharing social network Instagram in which he accused the label’s casting directors of treating girls like cattle at a meat market.
‘I was very disturbed to hear from a number of girls this morning that… they made more than 150 girls wait in a stairwell, told them they would have to stay over three hours to be seen and not to leave,’ he wrote.
‘In their usual fashion, they shut the door, went to lunch and turned off the lights to the stairs, leaving every girl with only the lights of their phones to see.
‘Not only was this sadistic and cruel, it was dangerous, and left more than a few of the girls I spoke with traumatised . . . They refuse to be treated like animals.’
Scully accused another fashion house, which he didn’t name, of trying to ‘sneak in’ 15-year-old models (the minimum legal age is 16) to its show, adding: ‘Too many of these models are under the age of 18 and clearly not equipped to be here.’
His claims sent shockwaves through the modelling world.”
– Daily Mail, Sadism on the catwalk: Locked in the dark for hours, starved and preyed on… here, models reveal the ugly truth behind fashion’s glittering façade
British model and Vogue cover girl Edie Campbell, 26 explained that this kind of treatment is common in the fashion world.
‘It’s also probably not the most shocking example I’ve heard,’ she said. ‘I have witnessed a lot of upsetting things. I’ve seen girls be told to run laps around the studio.’
‘The problem with fashion is that it is a very informal industry. Boundaries are crossed and it allows people to behave in ways that would not ever be accepted in any other ‘work’ environment. Because the girls are desperate for work then they are easily exploited.
‘It is also a closed system. If you speak out, you are faced with the threat of never working again. And that is why what James is doing is so brave and should be applauded.’
Other models stated that sexual abuse is also a major problem in the industry … and industry that is full of underage models.