I came across these videos while doing background research for an anthropology project. It was so validating to hear women speaking out on many of the issues that I've dealt with while working as a model.
How do we contribute to an industry that perpetuates racism, rape culture, and unrealistic standards of beauty and value? Is it worth it? Do we actively work to dismantle harmful practices? Is it enough to just "be a good person" in this industry when the harm is happening all around us, and sometimes to us? What are some ways that we can hold ourselves and our peers accountable for harmful behaviors? (These questions are more rhetorical than anything, and they're questions I continue to ponder.)
I am grateful for the privileges that modeling afforded me, and I am grateful for the privilege of being white passing with "exotic" features. But more than anything, I am grateful to have some separation from the industry, and for the opportunity to examine it from an academic perspective. I loved modeling and I still do, but it's important that we see the full picture.