A‘harmless’ smack on the bum. It’s a compliment. A stranger standing a little too closely on the train. It’s just crowded. The boss who puts their hand on your shoulder. They ‘re beingfriendly.
Cameron Russell Photo Gallery
Sparked by the sickening sexual abuse allegations against 65-year-old movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who denies that anything nonconsensual happened, the number of victims who’ve come forward currently stands at more than 40. Men and women in their thousands are beginning to speak out against sexual harassment and assault. Abuse they experienced years ago but brushed off, abuse they were victim to last week but were too afraid to come forward, abuse that’s happening all the time.
Enter American model and activist Cameron Russell, who last week transformed her Instagram page into an outlet for victims to tell their stories. After Cameron received a message from a friend, opening up about her own experience of sexual harassment within the fashion industry and asking Cameron to share her story, the 30 year old began the #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse campaign. Now – and with post upon post of sexual abuse stories – many ofwhich are centred around photographers propositioning models or pushing them into shoots they are uncomfortable with – Cameron’s been encouraging others to get in touch, speak out and share their stories.
A few years ago I was shooting with another model at a client’s corporate headquarters,’ Cameron wrote on Instagram, as a caption to an image reading: ‘What is sexual harassment?’
‘In the staff kitchen on the required labour law posters, we read the definition of sexual harassment. “This sounds like our job description,” I said.. .When I got home and looked up the definition online, it was so spot on it felt like someone who knew us…of course they did. Sexual harassment is unacceptably commonplace.
I sat down to make a list of my own experiences. Nonconsensual kisses, spanks, gropes, and pinches. Failing to provide adequate changing space, shaming in response to requests for adequate changing space. Bullying by editors, photographers, stylists, and clients to go topless or nude. Publishing nudity after contractually agreeing not to.. .Being unclear about boundaries because so many have been crossed.. .And this is only what’s easy to share.’ At the time Look went to press, Cameron had shared almost 80 stories of different women, detailing their accounts of abuse within the fashion industry. While no names have been mentioned, Cameron has revealed that it’s her plan to have ‘follow-up meetings’ regarding the anonymity of the accused within the Instagram post in a bid to help these women.
‘For now, let us end with gratitude to the hundreds who came forward to share. a celebration of our resilience. #myjobshould notincludeabuse,’ she wrote.
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