Sunday, October 21The Voice of London

Sexual abuse in the fashion industry

Background

The fashion industry has had several challenges, but the most dominant is sexual abuse. Harvey Weinstein is involved in a scandal in which he is accused of sexually abusing a fellow artist. Karl Lagerfeld has expressed his views on the situation by sketching Weinstein as a pig.

Sexual abuse in the fashion industry has recently been normalized. Edie Campbell, a British model, wrote an open letter on models’ abuse in the fashion industry. The letter was written for the ‘Women’s Wear Daily,’ and spoke about how sexual abuse has taken charge of the fashion industry. She wrote the article at a time when many models are struggling with sexual harassment claims. She gives reference to several social media posts and mostly photos on Instagram accounts. She points out in particular to the account of Cameron Russell, in which different models shared their stories of sexual abuse.

Although most of the victims are women, there are also male victims, but they tend to cover their stories. She quoted a Facebook post by model Cory Bond where he admitted that he was sexually assaulted, drugged, and inappropriately touched in his nineteen-year career in the fashion industry. She is of the view that the abuse is caused by people trying to have more ‘fun’ and ‘creativity.’ She writes the letter with the intention of fighting the evil and requesting the society to stop accepting the abuse.

These stories have various effects on the fashion industry at large. People are now becoming hesitant about joining the industry. The act destroys the reputation of the artist and exposes them to risks of societal stigmatization as well as anxiety/ mood-related disorders. Although Weinstein is accused of the action, it is not advisable to portray him as a pig as that haunts his reputation and does not solve the problem.

Words: You Zhou | Subbing: Alina Sirbu, Zoey Valkova

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