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08-03-2016
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Problems Models Can Have
Happened to read this article recently, it describes how club promoters make friends with young girls, especially models to be able to run the party. We all know how often models go to such a scene. Ashley points out it should be considered a job. Girls work in the clubs for free to attract money and customers pouring in. At the same time, promoters get paid more if they can bring more girls.

It reminds me of NYFW, models are given bags and shoes after finishing a show, which technically means they are all working for free. Do you guys ever spot the issues on the rough side of the modeling world?

Quote:
Who Runs the Girls?

By ASHLEY MEARS via nytimes.com
SEPT. 20, 2014

A FEW years ago, I attended a party at a nightclub in the meatpacking district of Manhattan with about 10 young women, most of them models, and two club promoters, men whose job was to bring beautiful women to exclusive parties. Beyoncé’s hit single “Run the World (Girls)” boomed, and the girls danced to the beat, singing, “Who run the world? Girls! Girls!” One promoter joined in, with his own twist on the chorus: “Who run the girls? Boys! Boys!” The men high-fived, and everyone laughed.

Many of the models who walked the Fashion Week runways this month in New York, London, Milan and, starting this week, Paris, are the same women who pass through these clubs. The fashion shows and the international circuit of V.I.P. parties — Miami in March, Cannes and St.-Tropez in May and July, August weekends in the Hamptons — serve as case studies in an old debate. Does the celebrated display of female beauty and sexuality empower or exploit women?

V.I.P. night life is an industry run by men, for men, and on women, who are ubiquitously called “girls.” The girls are brought in to attract big-spending clients from among the young global elite, willing to spend thousands of dollars on alcohol. Hence the V.I.P. party is sometimes half-jokingly described as “models and bottles.” The girls are seen as interchangeable; one club owner calls them “buffers” because rows of them frame his Instagram party pictures. They are recruited through friends of friends, scouted on the streets of SoHo, with its clusters of fashion agencies, or tracked down at model castings.

During the week I was a sociology professor. But during my weekends and summer vacations, I became one of these girls. In exchange for showing up at their parties, the promoters let me study them. I was what they call a “good civilian” — close enough in physique but not as valuable as a fashion model.

Girls rarely pay to be in V.I.P. nightclubs, but neither are they typically paid to be there, accepting instead gifts and perks like free drinks and even housing — no small thing for fashion’s underpaid work force. Clubs and promoters will pay to fly girls from New York to Miami, or from Prague to Cannes. Most girls don’t see promoters as exploitative, but as friends, something the promoters foster by treating them to lunch or games of bowling.

As anthropologists remind us, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Gifts are given with expectations of reciprocity. Friendships mask what would otherwise look ugly: the exchange of women’s bodies for money.

The promoters are handsomely paid, upward of $1,000 per night for those who regularly recruit high-fashion models. Girls also give the promoters access to powerful men, whom they often see as potential investors in their entrepreneurial dreams, which range from opening their own nightclubs to brokering business deals.

This is a system of trafficking in women. It is, of course, consensual, and a far cry from anything like sexual slavery. But, in an anthropological sense, it is not so different from the tribal kinship systems studied by Claude Lévi-Strauss, in which men exchanged women in order to forge alliances with other men, while women were cut out from the value that their own circulation generated.

Consider a contemporary example: Greek life on college campuses, where women circulate among fraternity parties. The best frat houses are those with the best-looking girls at their parties. In exchange, the girls get free beer. This system is not without risks. In a five-year study, the sociologists Elizabeth A. Armstrong and Laura T. Hamilton found that working-class women who joined the frat scene faced greater risks of sexual assault and academic derailment. The more popular they were at frat parties, the worse their financial and professional futures looked.

Why do women consent to their own exploitation? Flattered egos, of course, play a role. When I interviewed a 21-year-old fashion merchandising student, she explained: “I love the whole aura in New York. I love the vibes. I love like, the exclusivity.” She was keenly aware of her value to her male friends in the night-life scene: “But I always wonder, if I wasn’t, you know, skinny, if I wasn’t attractive, would they really be friends with me? Probably not.”

Beneath the glamour is an unbalanced economy in which girls generate far greater profit for men than their free drinks are worth. A successful nightclub in New York City might make $15 million to $20 million a year.

In 2013, I spent a weekend in the Hamptons at a nine-bedroom mansion shared by a few Manhattan businessmen who aimed to host at least 20 models each weekend during the summer season. They called it “model camp.” That weekend, I attended a nightclub, a pool party and a house party hosted by the chief executive of a private equity firm. One of the men explained to me that girls were “currency,” assuring him a steady stream of invitations to exclusive parties and visits from important businesspeople.

I did meet some exceptional women who joined the party in search of opportunities, such as a 24-year-old model who was looking for an internship in finance through the connections she made in nightclubs. “If you have a head on your shoulders,” she told me, “it’s a great way to meet people who work a lot and have money.” Similarly, a 28-year-old marketing professional with an Ivy League education loved having the “most interesting, amazing conversations in the world” with politicians and venture capitalists at V.I.P. dinners. But while girls can certainly meet important people at these events, they are generally in a weaker position to leverage these connections.

The unequal ability of one person to capitalize on another is a classic case of exploitation. Imagine that the Hamptons businessmen hold meetings with the private equity C.E.O., in part because I softened their introduction. In two years, perhaps their investment fund will be cranking out profits, while I’ll be turning 36, and no longer welcome at the party. What may seem like an agreeable quid pro quo looks different in the long run, when women age out of the system without any returns on the time they invested. What’s really troubling is that no one even sees it as a lost investment, in part because it feels so good.

When it comes to women, popular culture confuses pleasure and power. Sure, girls may run the world, but men run the girls. And the girls don’t seem to mind all that much.

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08-03-2016
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It really depends on the situation. Models who aren't getting much work or high profile jobs usually do the whole promoter thing so they have a place to sleep at night that they don't have to pay for in currency. The models who do get a lot of work might go out with them because it's a good time and they get free dinner, free drinks, and, a lot of times, free drugs. And they're not beholden to these promoters in any way.

But the girls who are dependent on the promoters can easily get themselves tangled up the life. I mean, they're constantly with the promoters, forced to go out from, like, 11 to 3 AM three nights a week (at least) if they want to continue sleeping in the promoter apartments. Also, a lot of promoters sleep around with the models, even though many have girlfriends (who are also models). The promoters can be nice, but I've met some of the biggest model promoters in NYC, and they're pretty scummy. One actually told me that he didn't bring out girls who he didn't want to sleep with (he had a model girlfriend, who he's cheated on with another long-time resident of his model apartment many times).

Also, what wasn't mentioned in the article was the young ages of many of these girls. In my experience, most were older teenagers or in their very early 20s. I've met some 17 year olds. A friend of mine started going out with promoters when she was 15.

Of course, no one if forced to do any of this. A model could opt to stay in a grossly overpriced model apartment through her agency, and possibly pay off the debt when she gets some work, though many never do. I think, if a model is getting good work and goes out occasionally (like, say, Greta Varlese, who, according to her snapchat, goes out once in a while when she's in NYC -- it's not very often, though), she is the winner in the deal. But, of course, it can be a very dark world to immerse yourself in, though the feeling of exclusivity can be tantalizing.

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08-03-2016
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I guess the housing thing is good. But having these young sometimes naive girls being run by older men who don't care for their well being and only care about their physical appearance...well it can be a dangerous combination sometimes, especially in the modelling world where these girls are coerced into staying silent about any abuse or severe exploitation. Maybe a few get some good stuff out of this experience but most don't aside from having a good time partying. And when sex is involved between the powerful and the powerless, it can get really bad. It seems like this job would be better suited to high class call girls instead of fashion models

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08-03-2016
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Sounds pretty unsavory to me.


Some girls (and I mean that literally--I do not think women should be called girls) come by self-respect, independence, etc. naturally. I believe it's very important for all girls to be taught these things. Otherwise, you end up with someone like Elizabeth Smart, who (it seems to me) was socialized to be compliant. Thank God she made it out alive, but it seems she could probably have escaped sooner (there were a number of opportunities she didn't take) had she been socialized differently. Girls being exploited like this could be an indication of unskillful parenting.


A few years back I did some consulting work for a company with a female executive who had worked her looks for years. At this point, she had very little left to work, but she had no plan B. She was a laughingstock among her employees and coworkers. Sex sells, but it does have a sell-by date. If you never learn to do anything else, you're going to be left with nothing but pain. There's not a woman on earth who wouldn't be well-advised to take that to heart.

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08-03-2016
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^I think elizabeth smart developed Stockholm syndrome which may be why she stayed so long, but I'm not sure. But it's not like these girls can't develop it either, they can be abused by these men and still be loyal to them...and it can be hard to get them to see the truth, especially when they're likely surrounded by people who might not care so much about their wellbeing

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08-03-2016
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its not about NY but it seems like in Japan the business of foreign (young) models is still a big issue… i really feel so sorry for those girls.


I Went Undercover As A Teen Model — Here's What I Learned

Quote:
Starbucks is our happy place. Iced lattes cool us down from the oppressive Shanghai heat, and the cheerful, air-conditioned interior serves as welcome relief from an afternoon of monotonous castings. But one of our crew wasn’t happy: She was a model from Russia, 15 years old, sitting alone and looking down at the floor. Her English wasn’t great, and she mainly talked to the other Russian girls, but through a friend, she told her story. She had just returned from a photoshoot where the photographer was touching her inappropriately. She started to cry on the set, and when the photographer complained to our agents, the agency hastily discounted the model’s fee.

I would like to tell you that this day was unusual. But events like these are common — I’m tempted to say normal — for young models working overseas. When I was 17, a modeling scout approached me at a mall. Modeling helped me pay for courses at McGill University and allowed me to travel the world. I climbed Mount Fuji, ate gelato by the Coliseum in Rome, and sailed high above the rooftops aboard the London Eye.

My Facebook page boasted photos of exotic destinations and new friends. But I struggled working in an industry that exploited so many young women so easily. After seven years in the business, I was ready to quit. But to move forward, I had to go back. So I returned overseas on a modeling contract — only this time I packed a camera along with my portfolio and heels.
The result is Agency, a documentary film I made working undercover as a model in Japan. It tells the story of models like Holly Angus, the 13-year-old Canadian who told me about being so homesick that she felt physically ill and would cry herself to sleep every night. Our agency, like many others, discouraged parents from accompanying their daughters abroad and assured them we would be chaperoned. But Holly’s apartment was unsupervised, her weekends were unsupervised, and her photoshoots were unsupervised. “I’m 13 and I’m doing this on my own? Well I guess this is what I signed up for,” she said.

I met Jacqueline, a chain-smoking 17-year-old from South Africa who talked at length about her recent trip to the hospital. She had been working back-to-back jobs, partying in the evenings, and not eating — something “models do all the time,” she explained. Concerned because she had not left her room in hours, a male model broke her door down. He found her shivering and feverish and rushed her to a hospital where she “had convulsions and almost went into a coma,” Jacqueline says.
I interviewed an Estonian model named Dagmar who was crestfallen when she was sent home after two weeks for gaining two centimeters around her waist. Like the other models, her contract guaranteed her pay and housing for two months in Osaka, which she had banked on to launch her modeling career. She never got a chance. Laura, a 14-year-old American who looks like a real-life Anna from Frozen, told me how she loves modeling wedding dresses because it makes her feel like a princess. She beamed when she described working 18 hours over the weekend and getting to kiss a 23-year-old male model on the shoot. When I asked her how she felt being away from home, she said “It gets lonely sometimes. It’s a lot to take on at 14."

Models in the U.S. lack the legal protections that many other workers enjoy. In Europe and Asia, conditions are even worse. Because they are told they are independent contractors by their agencies (an issue a newly-proposed California bill, put forth by the Model Alliance and Assembly member Marc Levine, aims to clarify), they are not protected from workplace sexual harassment, they have no mandated breaks in the workday (or night), and no minimum wage. They are weighed and measured — often on a weekly basis. I've witnessed contracts being voided because a model dared question her payment, and pocket money being withheld to discourage models who've gained weight from buying food. Though many are legally too young to drink, they are regularly exposed to drugs and alcohol by nightlife promoters, who value their fresh young presence at their clubs.

In most other industries, this would never stand, not when the majority of the workforce is still young enough to be in high school. However, because we’re talking about the fashion industry — the glamorous fashion industry — lawmakers have traditionally turned a blind eye.

But things are finally changing. Federal lawmakers are currently considering passage of the Child Performers Protection Act of 2015, which would classify models under the age of 18 as “child performers.” The law would limit working hours, guarantee financial protection in the form of proper payment (and not just discarded runway garb), and put in place a system to hold employers and contractors liable for any sexual harassment that occurs on their sets. If this bill passes, it might finally protect these girls from needless mental and physical abuse.

Following the CFDA's implementation of model health guidelines, fashion industry trendsetters like Vogue have vowed not to work with underage models. But until the government takes on regulation of the industry, the abuse will almost certainly continue. That is why we need to support the Child Performers Protection Act here at home. Then, at least we can stand up as a model for the fashion industry abroad — a beautiful, healthy, safe, and prosperous model.
refinery29.


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08-03-2016
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That bill sounds good. models need an equivalent of the screen actors guild, something that powerful that can overrule agencies and designers and other people involved.

It's things like this that make me want a law that makes adult modelling only for those 21 and over.
Also a 14 year old kissing a 23 year old is kinda weird.

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09-03-2016
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what kind of parent lets their 13 year old go alone to japan as a "model" .. i mean that's so irresponsible.

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09-03-2016
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Problems models can have - getting stuck by pins!



source: instagram.com/gabrielle.rul

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11-03-2016
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I mean with the promoter thing, a lot of the time it's for fun

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11-03-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mermoney View Post
I mean with the promoter thing, a lot of the time it's for fun
It's only fun when you're not reliant on the promoters for anything lol

And regardless, it's still a seedy environment

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