Jezebel recently spoke with one of the models featured in Vice magazine’s Internet-hell-raising, suicide-themed editorial, and what she revealed is almost as disturbing as the broken bodies, nooses, and slit wrists in the spread.
In the Q&A, 26-year-old Paige Morgan said it wasn’t until she was on set that she was told the feature would depict female writers — Sylvia Plath, Dorothy Parker and Virginia Woolf among them — taking their own lives with only fashion credits to accompany the disturbing images (now replaced online with a statement from the publication).
Morgan said she felt “uncomfortable” with the situation, but the pressure to continue working in the insular New York City fashion world, without being blacklisted for not knowing her place, made her keep her mouth shut — even about her own struggles with depression and mental illness. “In this industry, any sort of objection to a job is seen as you being ‘difficult.’” she said. She sums up what it is to be a model pretty poignantly:
“You pose how you’re told to pose, you wear what you’re told to wear, you pose with who you’re told to pose with — even in situations where someone is physically unsafe, or enduring sexual harassment, if you say, ‘Stop, this is unsafe,’ most often the person who bears the brunt of that is the model. The model is the person who has the least amount of power in the situation.”
With all the child-labor laws and health initiatives, it’s really, really upsetting that some models still work in environments in which they’re afraid to speak up for themselves, and given no other ally on set.
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