As a model in this “era” of internet communication and anonymity, and sometimes in not-so-anonymous cases, you are almost certain to get creepy messages. These messages might be from fans of your work, photographers who want to shoot with you, or even other models. I’d like to offer you a few helpful tips to help with this issue.
1. Do not let these messages deter you from modeling. A lot of women (and perhaps men) get these messages even if they aren’t models. Being a model only means you may be seen more or that people may assume you’re more open to talking to them.
2. Read these messages carefully and be sure that the person contacting you is not simply poor with communication or misunderstanding. Obviously if the message is overtly sexual than this isn’t the case, but if the wording just seems a bit odd, it might be worth a closer look.
3. If a message is offensive, don’t waste your time arguing with the person. They may actually enjoy the argument and it won’t be a productive use of your time. The best option in this case is to simply ignore the message.
4. If the message is a shoot offer for a style outside of your limits, respond with a polite “no thank you” and move on. Just because you’d don’t feel comfortable shooting something does not mean the person meant you any disrespect by asking.
5. Familiarize yourself with the rules on the site you are communicating on and take the time to report messages you receive that are against those rules. Facebook may not do too much about creepy messages, but sites like ModelMayhem will look into the issue and if a person breaks their rules, they will handle it.
Bonus tip: Don’t bother screencapping and sharing messages you receive on social media sites in an effort to publicly call out the person. It probably won’t bother them and it’ll make you look like you’re the one with the drama. If you do want to share it with someone to ask for advice, do so privately. There are rare exceptions to this tip, usually in the case of well known models warning others about a serious issue, but generally I would suggest simply not doing it. Edited to Add: It seems that Facebook does not allow this and will remove the post if you share screencapped PM conversations. They seem less strict if you black out the person’s name, but I still suggest avoiding sharing conversations.
I use these rules every day and I’ve found I have a lot less stress once I just let things go.
If you found this article helpful, please share it and consider supporting this blog via PayPal (you can choose any amount).