Many women in Hollywood have spoken out about their experiences with sexual harassment, including former model Heidi Klum who spoke out against Harvey Weinstein and Actress Cara Delevingne who shared her story with the same man, which sparkled how many other women have similar stories with him. Cara shared her story through an Instagram post, trying to inspire others to share their stories and never be ashamed of it.
Only days later, model and activist Cameron Russell decided to shine light on all the abuse that takes place in the fashion industry. Not only by encouraging women to break their silence, she started sharing anonymous stories of sexual harassment and assault experienced by models and others.
It all started by a story sent by one of her fellow models and friend, who shared her experience with one of the photographers who assaulted her at the age of 15, only for the sake of making the picture look more “sensual”. Cameron used the caption to also include her story and to trigger the hashtag #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse for those who want to share their stories publicly too.
TRIGGER WARNING ⚠️ A brave model (and friend) reached out to me with her story today. She has asked to remain anonymous but asked that I share her words here because the photographer still works in the industry. She wants to encourage other women to speak up. We need a way to begin breaking the silence while remaining protected. We are not talking about one, five, or even twenty men. We are talking about a culture of exploitation and it must stop. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE YOUR STORY ANONYMOUSLY, DIRECT MESSAGE ME and I will post your words. If you would like to share publicly use the hashtag #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse so the industry can see the size and scope of this problem. Hearing about #harveyweinstein this week has sparked conversations about how widespread and how familiar his behavior is. We talked about how hard it is to share stories of assault. When they are the norm, calling them out can feel disruptive and unprofessional. On many occasions I've been called a feminist for reporting unwanted groping, spanking, pinching, pressure for dates, phone calls and texts of a sexual nature, lack of appropriate changing areas, etc. And because the response has always been "are you surprised?" or "that's part of the job" I tolerated them. When the offenses were bigger, calling them out is terrifying, and demands a level of exposure and backlash to what is already painful and sometimes shameful. #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse
Since then, Russell has posted more than 40 anonymous heart-breaking stories of sexual harassment and assault in the industry.
The reacts were definitely incredible concerning all of the attention that has been given to the issue. The 26-years-old model and current Victoria’s Secret Angel Sara Sampaio decided to stand with Cameron Russell and support the women. Less than a week later, Sampaio used her Instagram to also share her story which she acclaimed was very scared to share, but is also so important to speak out. “I want every model and every woman to know they have the right to make their own choices about their body and image.”
Not only this, Model Doutzen Kroes also joined Russell in sharing anonymous stories, saying that she stands in solidarity with the hundreds of brave voices breaking the silence.
Russell’s brave action is helping women to break the silence and finally speak out. The world is becoming a scary place, and we have a really long way to go. Let’s just hope that speaking out will have an effective change.
What we’re witnessing today might be the end of sexual harassment. Woman from the whole world have been speaking up and we really hope that their voices would make a difference.