A decade ago, Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion showed the dark side of the fashion industry, an aspect of it highlighting the exchange of sexual favours for work. It’s rampant in the fashion world, say, Indian male models, admitting that in many cases people “compromise” to get work as emerging models seek “instant success”. Model Kawaljit Singh Anand’s open accusation aimed at designer Vijay Arora opened up the #MeToo discussion about harassment that male models face.
Kabir Duhan Singh, now a popular actor in the southern film industry and who is soon going to make his Bollywood debut, says nobody can touch anyone without permission.
Indian male models during his time, he did not get work for almost a year because he was not open to socialise with designers at their places. “I think it is on us how we present ourselves in front of others. I used to see models getting drunk with designers and dancing with them with their hands going everywhere. So, if you are giving them such liberty, they will take advantage of it, and the same goes for Bollywood,” Kabir told IANS over phone from Mauritius.
He says one has to create a boundary. “The current crop in the modelling industry is very open and they want to achieve success in a short period,” he added.
Born and brought up in Faridabad, Kabir moved to Mumbai in 2011 and took up modelling as a career. His acting career started with Telugu film “Jil”, which won him positive reviews.
He says focussing on work and having faith in your talent would give you work. “Be professional. Don’t give them (designers) liberty. I think models are pressurised and they get scared that saying ‘no’ will take away work,” he said.
Amit Ranjan, another established name in the industry, now has a production house by the name of A.R. Productions that organises fashion events. He says he always knew about how the fashion industry works even before he entered it in 2007.
“I think in the fashion industry, male models are exploited a lot because they get less money compared to female models. They are moulded by designers who groom them. They function on the concept of ‘I will take care of you, if you take care of me’. That’s why nobody takes anyone’s name because it is mutual,” Amit told IANS.
“There are many leading designers,” he said, “who get messages from boys who are ready to do everything. So obviously, the other person will take advantage of that. These boys seek instant success so I won’t blame one party,” Amit said, adding that he wanted to tell the boys that they should believe in themselves, be honest and follow their dreams. He also said that such models should not use the raging #MeToo movement for publicity. (IANS)
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