A few years ago I was shooting with another model at a client's corporate headquarters. In the staff kitchen on the required labor law posters, we read the definition of sexual harassment. "This sounds like our job description," I said. We laughed and went back to work. When I got home and looked up the definition online, it was so spot on it felt like someone who knew us...and of course they did. Sexual harassment is unacceptably commonplace.
I sat down to try to make a list of my own experiences. Non consensual kisses, spanks, gropes, and pinches. Failing to provide adequate changing space, shaming in response to requests for adequate changing space. Bullying by editors, photographers, stylists, and clients to go topless or nude. Publishing nudity after contractually agreeing not to. Non consensual massage. Inappropriate emails, text messages, and phone calls. Pressure while underage to consume alcohol. Being directed to "pretend like I'm your boyfriend." Being forced to sleep at the photographer's home rather than provided a hotel. Having my job threatened if I don't participate. Being called difficult, feminist, virgin, diva when speaking up or saying no. Being unclear about boundaries because so many boundaries have been crossed. I loose count. And this is only what's easy to share, what's as commonplace as 9am call times, fittings, and lunch. #myjobshouldnotincludeabuse