Pervert alert! Well, said alert is not really breaking news…but recently several models – including supermodel Rie Rasmusson and Jamie Peck — have come forward with frank and graphic allegations of sexual harassment against fashion photographer Terry Richardson (arguably the godfather of the VICEAMERICANAPPARELIRONICFACIALHAIR hipster ideology, along with fellow old letch Dov Charney, who I’m including in this post because they’re so similar they’re often confused with each other) .
More from Jezebel:
Jamie Peck, who was 19 at the time, shot with Richardson at his studio twice. Although she was prepared and willing to pose for him nude, she writes, “This man has built his business/pleasure empire on breaking the cardinal rule of asking a young girl you don’t know to come over to your house and hang out naked: don’t be a fucking creep.”
Before I could say “whoa, whoa, whoa!” dude was wearing only his tattoos and waggling the biggest dick I’d ever seen dangerously close to my unclothed person (granted, I hadn’t seen very many yet). “Why don’t you take some pictures of me?” he asked. Um, sure.
It gets worse. “I’m not sure how he maneuvered me over to the couch, but at some point he strongly suggested I touch his terrifying penis,” writes Peck.
This is where I zoom out on the situation. I can remember doing this stuff, but even at the time, it was sort of like watching someone else do it, someone who couldn’t possibly be me because I would never touch a creepy photographer’s penis. The only explanation I can come up with is that he was so darn friendly and happy about it all, and his assistants were so stoked on it as well, that I didn’t want to be the killjoy in the room. My new fake friends would’ve been bummed if I’d said no.
I must have said something about finals, because he told me, “if you make me come, you get an A.” So I did! Pretty fast, I might add. All over my left hand. His assistant handed me a towel.
While Richardson’s reputation has since been no secret (he’s been quoted as saying: “It’s not who you know, it’s who you blow. I don’t have a hole in my jeans for nothing“), his fame and influence with magazines like Vogue and designers like Miu Miu make it difficult for young models trying to establish their careers to come out against him publicly.
I’ve also seen this skeezebag many a time walking his dog in the Soho and Bowery area (he lives on Lafayette between Broome and Grand, my roommate informs me), blatantly scoping out any and every young female passerby.
OK, Richardson’s conduct and Charney’s opinions on women are pretty vile, but so what? How does this affect us as Asian Americans (and women)? Welp, aside from this behavior being despicable in itself, unfortunately it’s not contained to photo shoots or the models they “work” with.
Every American Apparel billboard and soft-porny ad on the back of VICE showcasing a jailbaitish Asian girl with legs splayed open (which seems to be the flavor du jour) is a reflection of their pervert penchants and the huge influence they’ve had on fashion and marketing. Which — whether you like it or not — sends the message that yellow and brown women are interchangeable sexdolls here to fulfill whiteboy hipster fantasies. We don’t just sell the product, we are the product. That’s the message I get when I look at this, and when I look at Asian chicks strutting around Williamsburg wearing the same outfits in the ads.
Our images are not controlled by us, but by some old scumbags – including one who’s M.O. is to waggle his dick in your face and impose an HJ before having you pose nude to sell hipster merchandise. And a whole generation of douchebag yippes think this shit is cool and edgy, and this excellent portrayal of women of color goes on and on and on.
More on the Richardson allegations at Jezebel, where contributor Jenna Sauers (a former model) is fed up and offering to post accounts from anyone who’s had a similar experience.