Taking your clothes off and having strangers paint you may sound fun and easy to some people, but it's tough work. Sometimes models have to hold awkward and unnatural poses for long periods of time (like headstands...yes, it happens) while people stare, point, and try to avoid making eye contact. In France, a group of models have banded together to protest poor working conditions and low wages. They feel that their jobs are important to the arts and should be shown more respect.
La Coordination des Modèles was formed in 2008 so that the models could establish a unified front and organize against the unfair conditions of their jobs. Earlier this month, they organized a protest because, according to the group's coordinator Patrick Bellaiche, "all the complaints and demands we’ve been bringing since 2008 have amounted to nothing." Artnet writes that as workers without contracts or salaries, the models don't receive benefits and have no job security: "If a class gets canceled at the last minute, the model is down a day’s work. If a model is sick, the art schools will just call someone else."
The requests of the models are simple when you consider the paychecks that fashion models receive for a fraction of the work. The art world as we know it would not exist if not for these people, so their concerns should be taken seriously. For more information about their struggle, head to the organization's website here.