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Should the modeling industry be regulated?


When people think of problems plaguing models in the fashion industry, I'm willing to bet most people think about weight issues.  Here's something I hadn't really thought about before now:

"The modeling industry is essentially unregulated. There
are no provisions for rest and meal breaks [during work hours]. And a
lot of modeling agencies have a huge amount of power over international
girls because they sponsor their visas."

The industry might seem glamorous, but it is important to remember that it is first and foremost a business, and there is little protection for models - "no access to health coverage, no workman's comp, and scant recourse for sexual harassment and abuse"

Former model Sara Ziff is collaborating with Fordham University's Fashion Law Institute to develop a code of conduct and rights for fashion models. 

Ziff released a film in September called Picture Me about the ugly side of modeling.  Anyone seen it?

Do you think the modeling industry should be regulated the same as any other industry?  Would some form of union work?

Dec 22, 2010 @ 01:50 pm

5 Replies


Probably yes

Unions are something everyone has an opinion on for pro or con so I won't wade into that debate. But in principle, yes - there should absolutely be workplace safety and health standards. Frankly I'm shocked that there aren't! However, some basics may be covered by the jurisdiction - for instance if you are a Toronto-based firm, wouldn't you be subject to Province of Ontario labour regs?

Dec 22, 2010 @ 02:02 pm


Everyone always thinks it's so glamourous to be a model and that if you are one, you're somehow an 'elite' part of society. Sometimes it's as if the industry treats models as if they're 'just a pretty face but not smart enough to handle anything else so we don't need to provide them with these benefits cause they won't know how to use it anyway'... you know what I mean? They're essentially mobile mannequins.

I really hope they do provide labour rights for models soon!
Dec 22, 2010 @ 02:26 pm


A Toronto-based firm should be subject to Ontario labour regulations,
but I think that the problem comes when the girls are sent on jobs

I'm sure that a Toronto-based firm would be subject to Ontario labour
regulations, but I think you can run into problems when you send models
overseas. Also, I think the problem could stems from the age of models. I'd estimate that most get started from 15 years old. I can definitely see how a young girl being sent overseas by herself to model could easily be pushed around.
Dec 22, 2010 @ 03:14 pm

Is that really an exception?

Are there lawyers on this board? I'd be curious to know if a company could circumvent labour laws simply by sending their employees overseas. I would imagine that they'd still be required to adhere to the laws for the country in which they are based?

For example, if you travel for work but are based in Canada, you pay Canadian income taxes, not to the various countries in which you've worked temporarily. So I wonder if this is a similar thing?
Dec 22, 2010 @ 03:31 pm

I'm not sure

but there must be enough reason if people are trying to take action to regulate the industry!

I haven't been able to find too much info on it, but anyone interested can get a bit more info here:
Dec 23, 2010 @ 10:03 am

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