Should Male Models be Paid the Same as Female Models?

Have a look at this BBC article, featuring my good pal Roger Frampton.

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It’s reporting on the fact that male models are standardly paid significantly less than their female counterparts. The booker thinks it’s incredibly unfair, and will often request the budget to be brought up to the level of the females – even if it means paying the female model less.

My immediate reaction? Why don’t they go and work in every single other industry where they’re likely to be paid more than women then! Quite frequently, the female model is at the forefront of the shot, with the male model admiring from the side/behind/obscured. So many top-selling magazines and products are aimed at women, and therefore feature women more prominently. There are more female supermodels than male and the big female stars tend to grab the headlines. Oh! And we basically reach our peak by our mid-20s, getting less and less work after our 30s, whereas many male models are only just reaching their peak by their 30s, the lines on their faces making them more valuable throughout their 30s, 40s, even 50s and beyond.

So why shouldn’t we rake it in while we can, in a shorter-spanning career, when we’re the main event anyway?

But then I though – I’m a feminist. I’m all about gender equality. And if I’m about gender equality, I should be passionate about equality for men just the same as I am women. And male modelling isn’t the same these days – in the last decade there have been vast shifts in how the boys are employed. In the old days the big male models were raking it in with Tommy Hilfiger campaigns and cushty catalogues, but the workaday guys would be booked for the odd GQ/FHM spread, some men’s shows, and in general were basically treated as accessories in the background, holding our hands and looking away or gazing en masse at the central female model.

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Now we have e-comm. We have Mr Porter, ASOS, Boohoo, Topman: huge brands who look for exciting new faces among the males as well as the females. David Gandy is a well-known celeb. And adverts feature the men as equally in the foreground as the women, now that male grooming and constantly shifting fashion trends apply to men as well as women.

Basically men are paying more into the fashion and beauty industry these days – so fees should reflect that.

So, sorry the men, for my immediate unsympathetic reaction. I’m with you. I just hope they bring up your fee rather than cut the budget for the women. If companies are making way more money from increased sales to men, that’s only fair.

Rebecca x



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