Everybody knows that the fashion industry has been notoriously toxic when it comes to promoting healthy body images.
The term "plus-size model" is a fairly new concept that is slowly being embraced by designers and brands, but not without a fight.
A 24-Year-Old Former Model Is Speaking Out
A 24-year-old former model named Megan Mesveskas is speaking out against the discrimination that "plus-size" models face in the fashion industry.
She recently shared a video on TikTok detailing her experience with an NYC-based photographer.
The Agent Sent An Inquiry To A Photographer
Mesveskas owns Model Nexus, a modeling agency that is founded on body diversity.
She explains that she reached out to William Lords, an established photographer in New York, to inquire about a photo shoot for one of her models.
She Was Angered By The Response From The Company
The young woman goes on to detail the exchange she had over email with one of Lords' staff members.
The email she received back from the company quickly went viral online racking up thousands of views and reposts.
She Shared Screenshots Of The Email
The former model started by saying: "OK, so you all probably have heard of designers charging more for curvy models because it's more fabric or whatever. But what about a photographer charging more to shoot curvy or plus-size models? That's a new one."
Before adding, "I guess he just doesn't want to have to look at them through his camera."
There Was A $100 Price Difference For "Plus/Curve" Models
The original email quoted Megan $950 for Lords to shoot a "standard" model but $1,050 for him to photograph a “plus/curve” model.
The $100 price difference was shocking to Mesveskas and she immediately took to social media to speak out about it.
Lords Had To Defend His Business Pricing
The photographer found himself facing heated backlash from social media users after being accused of "fatphobia."
He's speaking out to defend his company's pricing and explain the business reason behind the price difference.
He Said Many Models Don't Understand His Role In Wardrobe
Talking to the New York Post, Lords explained, "It's easy to jump on something you don’t understand."
He was surprised Mesveskas went straight to social media instead of consulting him because he has a very standard reason for his pricing breakdown.
The Price Covers Test Shoots, A Look Book, And Wardrobe
Lords was "noticeably upset" while speaking to the New York Post detailing his side of the story.
He explained that the price breakdown covers "test shoots" and an entire look-book customized to each model. Pricing includes access to a full wardrobe of designer clothing that Lords says he handpicks and buys himself.
Standard Runway Sizes Are Easier To Find And More Affordable
Additionally, he explains that the standard runway sizes for models (0-4) are much easier to find, whereas clothing for plus-size models is more expensive and difficult to source through designers.
"Getting those clothes is very difficult," he says.
He Says He Needs To Charge More To Compensate For The Extra Work
He continued, "I need to charge a bit higher because it's hard to find anything. I go out there and buy the clothes with my own credit card for the models to wear as part of our package."
Mesveskas has not directly responded to Lords since the videos went viral.
Other Models And Social Media Users Have Shared The Email Shaming Lords
The original email continues to circulate online with other models and social media users calling for Lords to be canceled.
Lords added, "I'm a black man in America, and two white women tell me I’m discriminating [against] them? I’m so hurt by this. Nobody is telling the true story.”
Lords Has Updated His Pricing Policy And Business Plan In Response
In response to all of the backlash, Lords told Newsweek that he has made the decision to adjust his pricing to make all sessions the same price regardless of the model's size.
However, he noted that the quality of the clothing will be different and he will even ask models to provide their own clothing in the future.