Sexual harassment is not something just happening in Hollywood. In the fashion industry, there have much going on and now, model and activist Cameron Russell (@cameronrussell) has taken to Instagram to shine the light on it.
Under the hashtag #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse, Cameron is sharing stories of harassment and abuse faced by young and inexperienced models, inflicted upon them by seasoned professionals in the industry.
In her Instagram, Cameron says, "This was not an expose because nothing in these stories should be a revelation for those working in our industry. Instead, it was the beginning of a power shift. We are speaking to each other, we are speaking up, we are speaking to lawyers, and we are speaking to well-resourced reporters."
And in light of that, we at L'Officiel Malaysia wants to share this to you, our readers, to bring to light a problem that has plagued many and hope that change will happen – through your hands and ours.
The movement started when Cameron began sharing the first story on Instagram, which was about a 15-year-old who was harassed by a photographer on set, in mid-October 2017.
From then on, many have reached out to Cameron to share their experiences, which include both female and male models and the model-activist has since shared many on her Instagram (see gallery below).
In these posts (most of which was sent by Instagram DMs), Cameron has blacked out the names mentioned to respect the privacy of all parties involved.
She says, "My first priority is to respond to people sharing their stories today. So please excuse my silence. My second priority is to work with a serious investigative team and with the support of model organizers and lawyers take the pain of people who have suffered seriously, and protect them before anything else, while working to ensure this culture of violence is shaken to its core."
She adds, "And because the response has always been 'are you surprised?' or 'that's part of the job' I tolerated them. When the offences were bigger, calling them out is terrifying, and demands a level of exposure and backlash to what is already painful and sometimes shameful."
(Screenshots in gallery below are taken from @cameronrussell)
A longtime advocate for raising awareness for the protection of models, Cameron has fought hard over the past 5 years to help the young models of the industry through her many social projects including the Model Mafia group at the People's Climate March.
The stories posted so far include both verbal and physical abuse; and even post-trauma that breaks our heart to read.
Cameron continues to say in one of her posts, ""There are many Weinsteins in our industry, they aren't hard to spot. If you know one, act now. Don't wait for 30 years for a New York Times expose."
(Cover image: Rag & Bone)