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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIU chapter.

On the surface, the fashion industry looks very glamorous and all things fabulous. However, the business has its dark side. Now, more than ever, stories of sexual exploitation are being reported to the media. The most recent story concerns 28 male models that claimed to have been sexually harassed by famed photographers Bruce Weber and Mario Testino.

If you do not keep up with fashion figures, here is an introduction. Bruce Weber is known for his racy style of photography that has been featured and used by various fashion houses such as Calvin Klein, Versace, Ralph Lauren, and Abercrombie & Fitch. His work as well as Mario Testino’s are a favorite of the fashion publication, Vogue magazine. Testino has also gained credibility through his Towel series, which features high profile celebrities such as Naomi Campbell, Adriana Lima, Bella Hadid, as well as Blake lively. Not to mention, Testino has also photographed for the English royal family.

According to The New York Times, fifteen male models claimed to have been sexually exploited by Bruce Weber, whom would encourage the models to engage in unnecessary nudity as well as forced sexual behavior during photo shoots. Thirteen male models and employees also stated to the New York Times that they found themselves in forced sexual activity and masturbation involving photographer Mario Testino.

Both Weber and Testino who are being represented by their legal teams have denied the allegations made against them. Both have expressed their shock towards these statements. Although further investigation has yet to be taken, more and more claims are taking place.

Regardless of who you are and what industry you work in, the amount of people that have been subjected to sexual harassment keeps increasing. Especially in college, where one is more than likely to know someone who has gone through sexual harassment or has gone through it themself. The most we can do is look for the signs and always be aware of what is occurring to us. Most of all, do not be afraid to speak up, That is the only way for change to occur.


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