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Why Sexual Harassment Persists in Modeling

Pressure to get naked, inappropriate touching, sexual innuendo — certain norms are unacceptable.

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In early February 2018, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the Model Alliance, an advocacy group for the modeling industry, announced that they were teaming up to install private changing areas backstage at Fashion Week shows.

It’s an important move, but lack of privacy is just one way models are made vulnerable to harassment on the job. Think sexual innuendo, pressure to get naked, inappropriate touching — and there are legal loopholes that allow these behaviors to persist.

In this episode of Model Citizen, we explore the world of sexual harassment in modeling. What exactly makes it acceptable, and how does it keep happening? Host Cleo Abram explores how it happens and discusses what can be done to stop it with Model Alliance founder Sara Ziff.

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