— LIONEL RICHIE
"Bitch, Bitch, Bitch, Bitch, make me rich"
— TOO $HORT
Indulge me for a moment as I clarify a common misunderstanding in our industry:
Pork chop = piece of meat.
Rump roast = piece of meat.
Nude model = not a piece of meat.
I don't care if you slather her with BBQ sauce and mint jelly while the camera is rolling; a model is still a human being and needs to be treated as such.
I'm continually shocked at the way that many people in the industry treat the female talent. I have heard the lamest justifications, but the truth is if we continue to treat a portion of our work force as subhuman, then we deserve the persecution we've got coming.
I'm not talking about the content where degradation is a part of the fantasy being sold to surfers. I'm talking about the disrespect that goes on daily "within" this industry in the way we speak about our models off-camera.
We need to be very clear about the difference between what we sell and who we are.
We sell fantasy. And within that context, a woman can be a whore/slut/bitch/whatever. And when designing a tour, it is important to use language that sells that fantasy.
But when we refer to models as "sluts" in business conversations, it drags the whole industry down. I shudder every time I see on the boards, "What do you think of this whore we just shot?"
Truthfully? I feel bad that she had to endure your disrespect. And I feel ashamed that the professional relationship between photographer and model has been tainted by so much misogyny and dehumanizing.
It would be like the apparel industry flaunting the fact that it exploits and looks down upon it's manual workers. There may very well be exploitation of models taking place, but shouldn't we be working to minimize it? At the very least minimize public perception of our exploitation!
C'mon people! Leave the name calling to rappers and pimps. Let's take the high road in our professional dealings and create an environment where the sex is dirty but our consciences are clean.
Halcyon, a.k.a. the Ambassador of Pink, does marketing and promotions for Flashcash and Tramp Stamp Studios.