New Alliance Of Models Reveals Scary Industry Statistics

Model Sara Ziff is launching The Model Alliance, a union for models, this Monday.

Photo: Getty Images / Michael Loccisano

New York models will gather for more than Fashion Week next week.This Monday, model Sara Ziff will launch The Model Alliance, a non-profit organisation advocating models’ rights.

Ziff founded the group in 2011 to fight against what she calls an “unregulated industry” filled with child labour, sexual harassment, drugs, and eating disorders.

Click here to see scary industry statistics >
“There’s this misperception that models are making millions of dollars,” Ziff told Metro New York. “What people don’t realise is that models are often working for free.”

Ziff has been outspoken about the injustices of the modelling world for some time. In 2009, she provided an inside look at the industry in her 2009 award-winning documentary “Picture Me” where she revealed sexual abuse cases. 

Among the goals the group hopes to achieve are affordable health care and drafting a “Models’ Bill of Rights.” containing strict rights for underage models.

The discussion of a model union has been around for years. Trade Union Equity made strides last year by announcing an employment contract for models working London Fashion Week

The organisation will hold a premiere reception Monday night at the Standard Hotel. Admittance will be free; however, an annual membership, providing access to their newsletter and grievance service, will cost $50.  

The Model Alliance site also released an online survey revealing some shocking statistics of New York and Los Angeles based models. 

In a sample of 85, over half of the models reported exposure to cocaine, suffer from depression or have been asked to lose weight. 

We’d like to see numbers based on a larger scale to see if the results are the same; however, these are still pretty cringeworthy.

Over half of models (54.7%) begin at the ages of 13 and 16.

More than 1/3 (37.3%) begin modelling at ages 17 through 20.

Nearly 1 in 3 girls (29.7%) have experienced inappropriate touching at work...

...while over a quarter (28%) have been pressured to engage in sex at work.

86.8% of models have been asked to pose nude without prior notice.

46.4% of those who posed nude were OK with it. However, 27.5% posed because they felt it necessary to keep their job.

29.1% of models experiencing sexual harassment feel they can tell their agencies.

Over two-thirds of models (68.3%) suffer from anxiety or depression.

64.1% of models have been asked by their agencies to lose weight.

31.2% have had an eating disorder.

Over three quarters (76.5%) have been exposed to drugs and/or alcohol while working.

Over half (50.6%) have been exposed to cocaine.

28.8% of models do not have health insurance.

See which models made AskMen's list of 99 most desirable women for 2012.

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