THE BLOG

Exploitation in the Modelling Industry Is Still Very Real

12/08/2014 13:10 BST | Updated 11/10/2014 10:59 BST

Once again the ugly side of the modelling industry has reared it's head. Recently another man working in the industry has been exposed as using his position as a 'casting agent' (note the inverted commas) to try and get young impressionable girls into bed in exchange for promises of success in the industry. One person may have spoken out but you have to wonder just how many people he was able to exploit before this happened.

What's more saddening though is that this is far from an isolated incident. Unfortunately, whenever you get an industry where more people want to do a job than there are jobs available you will inevitably get people who will take advantage, and when you add attractive young girls and guys to the equation it doesn't take much to guess what they will be after.

I have worked in this industry a long time and I'm fully aware that these things go on at every level of the industry from top photographers through to these fake agents and model scouts. But what I can say with 100% certainty that none of my team have ever exploited a model for their own gain and I know that the majority of people in the industry are like us - hard working individuals who represent their companies with integrity and honestly want the best for the models that they work with.

But it's the one or two that do take advantage of the wannabees that ruin the reputation of the industry for the rest of us. It doesn't take much for the media to make the modelling industry public enemy number one and sadly the negative stories will always get more exposure than the many honest people working in the industry that are helping to secure their models a good working wage.

On the other hand it could be argued that these scammers wouldn't keep pulling these same tricks again and again if they didn't work; there are people out there who do allow themselves to be exploited and it's sad to think that they can use their body as a commodity to get a step up the ladder. It's not just modelling where these things happen of course; from the days of the infamous Hollywood 'casting couch' through to rap music video girls there is an endless stream of young people prepared to give their bodies away for a chance at the success in the entertainment industry.

We live in sexually liberated times and I'm not one to judge, but what I will always speak out against people working in my industry making false promises to get what they want off impressionable teenage girls. I work with 18/19 year old guys and girls all the time and although they may physically be grown up many of them are emotionally and mentally still only on the cusp of adulthood. It's time the industry spoke up and did something to stop rogue agents, photographers and chancers from taking advantage of people for their own gain regardless of how willingly the victims go along with their advances.

The fact is that modelling is not the dream career that so many people think it is. It's hard to break into and hard work when and if you manage to do so. Models deal with rejection and negativity on a daily basis and although many models make a lot of money a models salary it takes patience, work and a thick skin to even get close to succeeding as a model.

So to anyone who does want to model I can give you the following advice. Like most things in life if someone is promising things that are too good to be true then they almost certainly are. If anyone promises you that they are going to make you into a successful model then they are flat out lying to you and anyone reputable in the industry will tell you that there's no such thing as guaranteed success for a model. An agent can develop a model and get them in front of the right people but whether or not a model gets any work is down to the clients, not the agency.

What makes me sad though is that no matter how many times I and people like me warn potential models/actors/singers about the dangers of being taken advantage of it will continue to happen. Just please, if you're reading this don't let it happen to you.