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December 23, 2013

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Private photo shoots put women at risk

Women who do private photo shoots are at risk of being sexually harassed, molested or even raped, a veteran in the industry told a local newspaper.

Private photo shoots are usually held in hotel rooms or apartments. The women are often required to pose suggestively on beds, sofas and even in bathtubs or showers, a model who identified herself as Xiao Wen told Shanghai Morning Post. She said models are often asked to wear lingerie, but may also be asked to pose nude.

She told the newspaper the photographers, some with bad intentions, are doing the photo shoots out of personal interest and promise to never publish the pictures. 

The good pay and low requirements have attracted many young and beautiful women. Some hope the photos will be circulated and they gain enough fame to become professional models.

But the lack of supervision leaves them at risk of being molested and raped, Xiao Wen was cited as saying.

She told the newspaper she earns at least 700 yuan (US$115) for a one-hour photo shoot.

“You earn the least when wearing normal underwear and you can earn double by wearing sexy lingerie and cosplay uniforms,” she was quoted as saying. “You can earn the most if you agree to pose nude.”

Xiao Wen said she earned 6,000 yuan to 7,000 yuan a month. She stressed that she never accepted sex requests, otherwise, her income would rise substantially.

“You can get more by accepting undue demands,” she told the newspaper.

She also admitted sex assaults are common.

“Very few models will strip and in most cases it is the photographers who take the clothes off them,” Xiao Wen was cited as saying. “A lot of the girls have been raped.”

She recalled one lucky escape. When she first entered the industry a photographer attempted to rape her but she escaped, the report said. She said these days about one in five photographers has bad intentions.

Despite the risk, Xiao Wen told the newspaper she has never considered calling police. “If you speak out, you can’t remain in this circle any longer,” she was cited as saying.

She also said she had signed a contract with a model agency when she first arrived in Shanghai but she quit because it was keeping two thirds of her pay.



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