A new #MeToo discussion has started about harassment that male models face
The Hush Post: Exchange of sexual favours for work in fashion industry is an open secret and males, more than the females, are the victims here.
Indian models admit that sexual exploitation is rampant in the fashion world. They say that many emerging models ‘compromise’ to get ‘instant success’.
The revelations follow model Kawaljit Singh Anand’s allegations against fashion designer Vijay Arora. Anand accused Arora of keeping him at bay after he refused to give in to his sexual demands. He further stated that such grave incidents are common in the Indian fashion and modelling industry.
The episode has opened up a can of worms in the fashion industry. A new #MeToo discussion has started about harassment that male models face.
‘Socialise their way and get work’
Actor Kabir Duhan Singh, a popular face in Southern cinema, says that he was out of work for a year because he didn’t ‘socialise’ with designers at their places.
Kabir who is about to make his Bollywood debut says, “I used to see models getting drunk with designers and dancing with them with their hands going everywhere. So, if you are giving them such liberty, they will take advantage of it, and the same goes for Bollywood.”
“The current crop in the modelling industry is very open and they want to achieve success in a short period,” News 18 quoted him as saying. Kabir adds that models are pressurised and they get scared that saying ‘no’ will take away work.
Males paid lesser than females
Another model, Amit Ranjan says that he always knew how the fashion industry works even before he entered it.
Amit Ranjan, an established name in the industry, told news agency IANS, “I think in the fashion industry, male models are exploited a lot because they get less money compared to female models. They are moulded by designers who groom them. They function on the concept of ‘I will take care of you, if you take care of me’. That’s why nobody takes anyone’s name because it is mutual.”
Ranjan reveals that many leading designers get messages from boys who are ready to do everything. “So obviously, the other person will take advantage of that. These boys seek instant success so I won’t blame one party,” he added.
Designer Varija Bajaj too admits that such things have been going on in the fashion industry. “Yes, it does exist in the fashion industry and it is not just about men against women, but also about men against men, especially in designing fraternity, and women against women,” News 18 quoted her.
Model Bharat Sharma says, “Male models come in the bottom of the food chain of client-designer-choreographer-backstage crew-makeup artists and stylists — with one exception: If you are some designer’s boyfriend then you are special.”