A photographer charged $100 more than his “standard” pricing to take pictures of plus-size models, and the internet is hitting back.
Megan Mesveskas is a 24-year-old model and founder of the agency Model Nexus, which specialises in body diversity. On Friday, Mesveskas took to TikTok to share an email she received after reaching out to a well-known photographer, William Lords, asking about his rates and availability to photograph some of her clients. The photographer’s studio manager responded with two separate pricing for photoshoots. The price to shoot a “standard” model was $950, but the price for photographing a “plus-sized/curve” model was $1050.
“Yep, you’re reading that right,” Mesveskas said after sharing a screenshot from the email correspondence. “A curve or a plus-sized model is going to cost an extra hundred dollars.”
The video received a little more than 1,600 likes on Mesveskas’ TikTok account, but went viral when fellow models and members of her agency shared their outrage regarding the pricing discrepancy.
Sixtine Rouyre is a model signed to Model Nexus with more than 600,000 followers across her social media platforms. After viewing Mesveskas’ TikTok video, Rouyre responded with her own message to the photographer.
“This is just one more example of how awful the modeling industry is to literally anyone over a size zero,” Rouyre said in the TikTok video, which was viewed more than 97,000 times. “How does it make sense to charge more because the person standing in front of you, that you’re taking photos of, is bigger?”
The fashion industry has slowly made strides toward body diversity, with brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria’s Secret featuring size-inclusive clothing and models in their newest collections. In fashion terms, the category of “plus-size” is used to refer to models who are above a size eight, though this definition is heavily disputed, with body positivity campaigners pointing out that most plus-size clothing doesn’t start until a size 16. While being plus-size has different meanings for everyone, models who don’t fit within the size zero mold are still discriminated against in the fashion world.
After receiving outrage for his pricing, Lords told Newsweek that the reason he charges $100 more for curvy models is because of the “time and cost involved in obtaining ‘creative and high end’ clothing for the models” that is on par with clothing offered to “straight-sized” models.
“$100 is absolutely nothing compared to what I do for these girls,” he said.
While Lords believes that his extra pricing is fair, Rouyre feels that this is just another example of fatphobia in the fashion industry: “Your fatphobia is showing, it’s f**king disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourself.”
The Independent has reached out to William Lords for comment.