It’s no news to any of you by this point that photographers, modeling agencies, designers, and others have been exposed as harassers, assaulters or just creeps. They label themselves as “professional” and gain tons of clout just so they can use that for their benefit and satisfaction, which is just SICK! So, the question is, if I’m a model, no matter what age or gender or whatever and I want to pursue a modeling career while also being safe in this sick sick sick society, what can I do? Well, we’ve gathered some tips that will hopefully help you with that dilemma.
- Set boundaries.
What does set boundaries mean? Well basically be very upfront about what you’re okay and not okay with, if the photographer/modeling agency/ designer/ etc.… you’re working with makes u feel bad about them or crosses these boundaries, then that’s when you know you shouldn’t be working with them.
Though if you’re not comfortable with stating your boundaries to the person in question, then the best you can do is just be mindful of your boundaries and stay alert, and NEVER, I repeat never ever do anything you’re not comfortable with, whether it’s sending exposed pictures, posing in a certain way, or whatever makes you uncomfortable, if it feels wrong to you, then it is! Just tell them that it makes you uncomfortable and watch how they respond closely, if they understand then it’s great, if they start explaining how it’s fine or get mad or just overall respond negatively or in a suspicious way, then that’s your cue to leave.
2. Don’t work with a photographer alone
Being alone with a photographer is never safe! Especially nowadays where almost everyone with a platform is a harasser or a rapist. And of course, the solution can’t be “no don’t work with male photographers”, it’s simply “don’t work with male photographers ALONE”. Just make sure you have an escort with you, whether it’s a parent, a family member, a friend, literally anyone. And if the photographer in question is actually a professional that only cares about the shoot, then they won’t have a problem with you bringing someone, they might even suggest it!
3. Ask around
If you know someone who has worked closely with the guy in question, then ask them about their experience, “was he professional?”, “was he respectful?”, “did he respect your boundaries?”, “were you uncomfortable?”, “did you feel safe around him?”, these are all great questions to ask and your friend will understand where you’re coming from and give you all the details about their experience with him.
If you don’t personally know anyone who has worked with him, try contacting the models who have done shoots with him, their feedback will most definitely help!
Also check the comments and reviews if they have a website, this one is a reach but, in some cases, it can be helpful.
4.The messages or emails
Messages and emails should always be professional, keep an eye out if the guy in question
- Sends you messages saying you’re sexy, hot, or just messages using disturbing/ sexual terms,
- tries to have a relationship with you out of work (unless you’re okay with it and it’s a mutual agreement),
- tries to have a casual conversation with you, asking what you’re doing, where you’re at, and just asks questions that are unprofessional,
- if he calls you or tries to facetime you,
- If he texts you late at night or at questionable times.
Unless you have a relationship outside of work, then it’s red flag, these just tell you that the person is not professional and is crossing boundaries he shouldn’t be crossing.
5. Expose them
If the person turns out to be a harasser, then exposing them is very important (whether it’s on social media, in their comment section, on the news, filing a police report against them, etc…) not just so you can get closure and revenge on them, but also to help out other aspiring models like you and prevent them going through the same thing you went through, because a person that’s as sick as them should be locked behind bars, not have a platform with thousands of followers that love and support them!
In conclusion, nowadays none of us are safe, and just because we aren’t safe doesn’t mean we have to put our lives on hold and wait for the world to change itself. We must take action, fight for what’s right, and stay safe! Do whatever you want but just take your precautions, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.