The glitz and the glamour of the Fashion industry have never fooled me, and the over - sized and highly publicized billboards, ad advertisements, perfume ads, catalogues, magazines, profiles and databases of fashion labels and fashion runways/ shows - all work within an industry built up from supreme superficiality and deranged aesthetic admiration. The cost of this was overheard on a trip I made over the weekend; traveling not too far from London. I overheard a conversation (not willingly wanting to hear but forced) about models, actual models who were discussing their experience with casting directors, and others who work within the industry.

Feigning sexuality to gain work

The conversation was disturbing, to say the least. An international male model was discussing one factor of "pretending to be gay to get paid." The male model I overheard also talked about "the sexual advances" that crept up by designers and possibly photographers who would not pay him unless he would feign his sexuality." He admitted to not saying a word and playing the game - only revealing his heterosexuality when at a party (etc). Another male model discussed receiving texts - sexual texts from those possible powers in order for continued work.

Barrett Pall

My research that followed from overhearing this conversation led me to find out more, and youtube personality Barrett Pall - a former model who says he was "deemed too short at 5'9" feared he would be blacklisted for his outburst about the industry.

His outburst reveals modeling for free, being under complete scrutiny over your image and appearance, males/females forcing themselves to lose weight, and in the case of some male models to obtain the perfect physique of bulk and muscle to the industries standards - and the extremes to do that. He also mentioned, what he said would "ultimately blacklist him" - the sexual predators and advancements that can be made from casting directors, agents, photographers, stylists and more who feel they have the right because you are a body/ face and nothing else.

Other models on the sexual harassment issue

Barrett Pall's confession is one that many see but choose to not hear, and other comments came to the forefront with one comment mentioning, an American fashion photographer/ occasional film - maker who has done some major campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Versace, and Revlon(to name a few).

A model claimed that he had inappropriately propositioned him and many other young male models before/after him, yet nothing is done about it. Terry Richardson may come to mind? Another who has been countlessly named as 'perverted' yet seemingly works as normal.

This sexual harassment has been around since the 80's and 90's with some models commenting on the video of their past experiences with some extremely disturbing influences/people. Michael Ryan, a 90's supermodel mentioned this, as did Kevin Jewell who commented that 'he had traveled the world to Tokyo, Paris, New York in the 80's and did some nasty crap!" Kevin only began to leave that behind when he hit the higher levels of the fashion industry (yet it can exist there too.)

The naked truth about male models

This old documentary didn't reveal any new blindfolds, but instead permitted me to again laugh at the industry.

The money within the fashion industry is millions and millions, yet these male models are living in tiny shared apartments paying off debt to their agents, competing like animals for cover shoots, billboards, and runway shows, and working for free in an attempt to gain a huge and profitable campaign/spread (etc.) It's the hunger games inside that world, and more power to the manipulators and exploiters of it.

The models Alliance

Run by models Eva, Dunja, and Victoria - in 2009 they created a haven for models of all kinds to have opportunities to speak up without fear of blacklisting. In 2013 the 'Ten Point Code' for models and protection in fashion shoots was signed by a few brands.