Why Male Fashion Models Have It Pretty Tough Too

Renae Gylbert

In the world of high fashion, it has been no secret that being stick thin and tall with an approachable face was a sure way to get a foot in the door.

For the women anyway.

In fact, it was not until recent years that high fashion began to accept curvier women, with some brands, like ModCloth, pledging to reveal the true body shape of their models, skipping the outrageous photo-shopping.

So, in some ways, women have won a victory in the image war with the fashion industry.

But what about male models? What are the standards for them?

From what it appears, male models still have to follow the usual muscular, thin, tall, cute face check-off list.

Not to mention several unwanted sexual advances from other men.

Some would argue that the high fashion industry is run mostly by gay men. Just ask America's Next Top Model returning co-host, Miss J. and the laid-off host, Mr. Jay, according to Us Magazine.

America's Next Top Model actually featured men for the first time in cycle 20.

But it should not be an excuse for sexual harassment.

Some male models take it pretty seriously when they are touched inappropriately by homosexual fashion staff. According to an article on Yahoo Style, Tim Murphy talked to a few guys about the unwanted experiences they suffer.

"Guys have spent a lot of time adjusting my briefs, or wanting to adjust my junk when I can do it myself," one model said to Murphy.

On the flip side, Murphy reports that some male models enjoy the attention, saying it makes them feel like they are doing something right, but still applies boundaries when necessary."

"I love getting sexually harassed! If I'm not getting sexually harassed, I'm doing something wrong. I have a very high tolerance for verbal sexual flirtation from either men or women, but I draw the line at touching."

It is actually a hidden secret that for male models to make it far in the fashion industry, befriending and welcoming gays into their social circle is a must.

The advantage male models have over female models is that agencies typically want them when they are a little aged, and in their mid to late twenties. With females, it is the norm to get them into the industry when they are barely out of high school. So many of these male models have a mature mindset going into the clutches of fashion, as opposed to their far younger female counterparts.

What's disturbing, Murphy reports, is that the efforts to stop harassment are far and few.

He describes a common situation with a male model who is invited back to the home of a designer. He declines the offer and tells the agency about it the next day. The agency reaches out the designer for an explanation.

Little is done afterwards because "harassment is about power, and in fashion, it's the bigwigs who have the power."

[Image via Der Stefashionist]