Kendall Jenner is the undisputed queen of the runway and her show of strength at the Golden Globes has only been applauded. As she graced the Golden Globes in a box cut Giambattista Valli Haute Couture, wearing black in support of the Time’s Up and #MeToo campaign, her show of support is without any indication of harassment from her own industry, the world of fashion.
She along with Heidi Klum strutted down and smiled sultry for the camera as they vowed support for all suffering from sexual harassment but did not pin point at the gaping legal loophole that leaves models vulnerable when faced with workplace harassment. As per a report by Racked, models are considered independent contractors and thus aren’t protected from harassment and discrimination the way employees of other companies are. At the same time, modeling agencies which earn commission by recommending models to designers and fashion houses, dodge accountability for the welfare of their clients by listing themselves as “management companies.”
According to a report by Model Alliance, a New York-based advocacy group, 86.7% of models face sexual harassment at work place. This is double the average of 40% women facing sexual harassment across all industry.
Under Federal and New York state law, independent contractors like the models, lack protection against sexual harassment. A model’s status as an independent contractor strips them of legal anti-discrimination rules otherwise granted to employees. Actors on the other hand are given a stronger defense as they fall in the category of employees.
In New York, modeling agencies get away by the use of ‘incidental booking exceptions’ whereby they say that owing to the fast moving nature of the fashion industry, bookings are incidental during the tenure when they advise models. The usage of this clause allows them not to be held liable for any harassment or discrimination their models may face.
I was reluctant even scared about posting this but now more than ever is important to speak out! As models and as women, we need to stand together and demand the respect we deserve. Keep ➡️➡️ #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse
But the voices are not all lost, Victoria Secret model, Sara Sampaio is now suing a men’s magazine for breaching her no-nudity clause in her contract. But this again is a supermodel making her stance after years in the industry. For models trying to make a mark, it is still a long battle without support of legislature. These grimsome facts from the fashion industry were expected to be put in the spotlight by Jenner as she wore black and strutted down a red carpet that wanted to celebrate power and struggle of women over their beauty.