Headline November 25, 2016/ ''' MODELLING *STUDENTS* MODELLING '''



*STUDENTS/BOYS ON FILM* : I BECAME A MODEL in 2013, when I was in my  Third Year  of studying   English and French literature at   Oxford University.

[Now here is great experience and great writing in The First Person]. So, read on.   

AT THE AGE OF 20, I fell in love with the world of modelling. It seemed to me like easy money and a shortcut to joining a glamorous elite.

But after a year of dabbling in the industry, I realized it was making me miserable. 

Sure, I had become a part of a rarefied world cordoned off from the public  -and I'd be lying, if I said I hadn't enjoyed that  -but to remain part of that elite I was expected to work unpaid to gain a degree of celebrity that never came.

I had to cope with relentless pressure to keep my weight down, and my agency bookers expected me to attend castings for up to 17 hours a day in the  run-up to fashion week. And there was this: The money turned out to be lousy.

While a  male model  might earn a few thousand dollars for a major show and maybe in the tens of thousands for an international campaign, many magazine shoots are unpaid, and small shows often pay me only a few hundred.

I felt exploited, as did many of my peers, and yet all of us felt we couldn't speak out because  getting a reputation as being  ''difficult''  or  ''demanding'' could kill your fledgling career. So we kept posing and we kept quiet.

I became a model in 2013, when I was in my third year of studying English and French literature at  Oxford University. 

I had moved to Paris as part of my studies, and my teenage interest in Fashion  was reborn. I had always been excited by the pace of the industry and find the processes behind designing and creating these garments fascinating. But I had never considered working as a model.  

After a few days of my arrival, one casting director and I, shot a few series of portraits. A few weeks  later, he cast me in a music video. And a few months later, he sent me to one of Paris's most prestigious modelling agencies. Its verdict?  That I was  ''unsuitable''.

A chance encounter with another casting director  in early 2014 led to an invitation to visit a modelling agency. I posed for a few Polaroids, wrote down my measurements and awaited the decision.

The booker   -a kind, freckled man in his 30s  -looked me up and down as I stood by the window of his  fifth-floor studio, whispering to his assistant.

''You could do with some exercise,'' he said finally, as though I wan an out-of-season racehorse, ''but we'd love you to come on board.''

In spite of my reservations, I felt a flood of nervous euphoria. I couldn't help but be seduced by the idea that I would be paid mountains  of  cash  to lounge around and have my face splashed across billboards.

And then I began working, and reality hit: 
To be a model is to accept that you are a product as well as a person. You are also a target of sexual predators.

At times, these powerful men behave with a remarkable sense of impunity: 

While I was conducting a research for this article, one powerful fashion designer,  high on cocaine, repeatedly sent me unsolicited videos when I attempted to arrange an interview.

In some ways, I got off lightly. [Student] Matthew, a British model, signed up with his first agency while he settled into life in Paris {a few months later, he joined  Elite, the world's leading agency}. 
He soon found himself in the studio of a photographer who overstepped the mark.

''It was horrible,'' says Matthew, which is his real first name. He has quit modelling and is a student living in London.

''He made me take all my clothes off, including my underwear. His rationale was that he needed to get me over the phase of being  awkward and make me more comfortable in my own body.''
Exposing the photographer was impossible, Matthew says. ''I couldn't complain because he was part of my agency.'' The man was one of the bookers working at the agency; he freelanced as a photographer on the side.

''In fashion, it is always older people controlling younger,'' says Rene Habermacher, a Swiss-born photographer who works regularly for Japanese Vogue and other leading titles.

Ziff, of the  Model Alliance, says she was heard about countless situations that mirrored Matthew's story. ''I don't think I've ever spoken with a male model about the  Model Alliance  without them talking about sexual harassment,'' she says.

*Their age makes many models particularly vulnerable*.  ''When starting out models tend to be very young,'' says Ziff, whose modelling career started at 14. 

''Their careers are short-lived and  tenuous for the most part. If you know that you have a shelf life of maybe five years, you're much less likely to stick your neck out or complain, especially since it is so competitive.'' 

I have found it hard to stick to my decision to quit modelling. I still take jobs now and then. I miss the excitement.

Also, as a recent graduate, I could do with the cash. On certain jobs, I have been shocked by how young many of the models are.   

The Honour and Serving of the latest  Operational Research  on  *Students & World and Survival*  continues.  Thank Ya all for reading and please do share forward to knowledge all students.

With respectful dedication to the Fashion World, Great Designers, and Parents, and Students of the World. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW! -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' The Model '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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