While it’s been an illuminating and tumultuous week for Hollywood, the hard conversations on sexual abuse have sparked many in the fashion industry to speak up as well. Yesterday model and activist Cameron Russell chose to use her Instagram as an anonymous forum for models and former assistants alike to tell their stories of being violated. “A brave model (and friend) reached out to me with her story today,” Russell explained. “She has asked to remain anonymous but asked that I share her words here because the photographer still works in the industry. She wants to encourage other women to speak up. We need a way to begin breaking the silence while remaining protected.” The anonymous postings display a chilling correlation to the culture of misconduct many actresses described and the enabling of the sweeping under the rug behavior. “We are not talking about one, five, or even twenty men. We are talking about a culture of exploitation and it must stop.”
See just a few of the model testimonies below.
TRIGGER WARNING ⚠️ A brave model (and friend) reached out to me with her story today. She has asked to remain anonymous but asked that I share her words here because the photographer still works in the industry. She wants to encourage other women to speak up. We need a way to begin breaking the silence while remaining protected. We are not talking about one, five, or even twenty men. We are talking about a culture of exploitation and it must stop. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE YOUR STORY ANONYMOUSLY, DIRECT MESSAGE ME and I will post your words. If you would like to share publicly use the hashtag #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse so the industry can see the size and scope of this problem. Hearing about #harveyweinstein this week has sparked conversations about how widespread and how familiar his behavior is. We talked about how hard it is to share stories of assault. When they are the norm, calling them out can feel disruptive and unprofessional. On many occasions I've been called a feminist for reporting unwanted groping, spanking, pinching, pressure for dates, phone calls and texts of a sexual nature, lack of appropriate changing areas, etc. And because the response has always been "are you surprised?" or "that's part of the job" I tolerated them. When the offenses were bigger, calling them out is terrifying, and demands a level of exposure and backlash to what is already painful and sometimes shameful. #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse
TRIGGER WARNING ⚠️ Thank you strong friend. Even stories that don't end in rape are important to share. As a young mode I know I had a hard time listening to my intuition because industry norms around physical and sexual boundaries are so loose, and often vile. This behavior is rampant and not okay. DM me your story to remain anonymous or post using #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse