Social media is outraged after it was revealed that a photographer charged extra fees to shoot plus-size models.
Megan Mesveskas, a model and founder of an agency named Nexus, approached photographer William Lords to enquire about his rates and availability for some of her clients.
To her shock, the photographer charged $100 (more than R1 480) more than his “standard” pricing to take pictures of plus-size models.
Masveskas posted a video on her social media platforms with a caption, “a well known New York photographer shamelessly charges curve and plus-size models an extra $100 for his dissatisfaction of having to look at them on set.”
The modelling industry might seem like it’s progress, with curvaceous supermodels such as Americans Ashley Graham and Tess Holliday are now runway regulars and glossy magazine cover stars. But the video shared by Masveskas shows the dark side of the industry.
In the video, there is a screen-shot of an email that allegedly comes from the photographer’s studio manager who wrote that the price to shoot a “standard” model was $950 (more than R14 060), but the price for photographing a “plus-sized/curve” model was $1 050 (more than R15 536).
Canadian fashion model Mikhaila “Coco” Rocha said: “Just when I think I’ve seen it all in this industry … The fact that both rates were listed, side-by-side, without any hesitation or trying to hide it. Unfortunately, forward progress is not always guaranteed in fashion and I’m sadly starting to see more and more signs that we are being pulled backwards to the early days of the 2000s. It’s really disappointing.”
Another social media source, who went digging on the photographer's profile, said: “Also, he makes them pay more and he doesn’t even post them, it seems. Looks like he hasn’t posted one single plus-sized shoot.”
Sixtine Rouyre is a model signed to Model Nexus with more than 600 000 followers across her social media platforms. After viewing Mesveskas’ TikTok video, Rouyre responded with her own message to the photographer.
“This is just one more example of how awful the modelling industry is to literally anyone over a size zero,” Rouyre said in the TikTok video, which was viewed more than 97 000 times. “How does it make sense to charge more because the person standing in front of you, that you’re taking photos of, is bigger?”
Speaking after the backlash, the photographer told Newsweek that he charges $100 more for curvy models because of the time and cost applied in fetching “creative and high end” clothing for the models.
“The $100 is absolutely nothing compared to what I do for these girls,” he said.