Spurred by the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the subsequent stories of sexual harassment in Hollywood that surfaced this week, Cameron Russell has decided to share a number of horrifying stories she has heard about similar happenings within the world of fashion. The model took to Instagram to share screenshots of messages sent to her by friends, colleagues, and followers detailing the abuse they have experienced.
“A brave model (and friend) reached out to me with her story today,” Russell wrote in the caption of the first image she shared. “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.”
The model went on to explain that hearing about Weinstein had “sparked conversation about how widespread and familiar this behaviour is” so decided to help spread stories that are typically so difficult to share.
From inappropriate comments to terrifying tales of abuse mainly by photographers, the stories make for very uneasy reading. What is just as shocking however, is how common it is mentioned that agents have been complicit with the abuse and have pressed models to keep quiet about the events in order to preserve their reputations.