serious question-have you seen the documentary Girl Model (about young girls being scouted from siberia and then left in debt) and if you have, what are your thoughts on it? it concerns a darker side of the modeling industry that is rarely talked about.
I’ve read or heard of various rumors that the film was fake or severely dramatized, particularly the scene with the scout and her dolls, and that the girls were aware of the intent of the film and told to play into it. Regardless, the film cast a light on an extremely shady part of the business. I have had two contracted trips to Tokyo and been open about how horrible they were, on opposite extremes. I think the market in Tokyo can be great if the girls who are sent there are properly prepared to face it’s challenges such as 3 AM-11 PM work days, explained how contracts actually work, have strong mother agencies who support them, have open communication with their agencies, are able to contact their families or support systems regularly for emotional vitality, have a crash course in the culture, geography and customs of Tokyo, and are generally treated as humans. Regardless of the city, models go into thousands of dollars of debt that they have to crawl out of all the time. After a year and a half of work as an editorial/high fashion model working around the world with “blue chip” clientele and photographers, I was in debt $20k. I was unstable, only ever ate the oatmeal or apple sauce packs I packed in my luggage, consistently passed out in cabs or on the metro while alone, and was afraid to explore my surroundings. The modeling industry is not a glamorous launchpad into a cinematic life of luxury, it is a business that is oftentimes unsafe that has chosen to “look the other way” since it’s inception.