One truth about modeling is that it’s not a lucrative job, unless you’re already famous or if you work really really hard. You can’t make demands, you have to maintain a healthy (often slim) body, be tall, no health insurance, pay for your own travel, and pay your modeling agent/agency a huge portion of your earnings. Ask any model and they’ll tell you that being beautiful is not enough in this industry. You have to be a certain type of “look” for certain projects. So rejection is pretty common. These are only some of the few hard things you’ll have to face plus other sorts of hazards.
Not everybody can be a famous model but everyone can create a social media account and get famously known in the internet and hopefully be an influencer one day with a likable personality and talent. As an influencer, with a solid number of followers, owners of businesses and brands can contact you and have you promote their products or services on your social media channels. Your internet popularity can be lucrative as a job and it’s much more cheaper for brands to advertise through you than with conventional marketing approaches. But an influencer must also take note that brands who are willing to advertise with you will also put into consideration the type of followers you have. Meaning, if you’re an influencer who is known to share stuff about cosmetics on your social media accounts, then it’s pretty obvious that gaming brands won’t advertise with you since your followers wouldn’t be their target market.
There has been a surge of people, mostly women, who are now posing in Instagram as models. They are unofficially called “Instagram Models”. Many of these Instagram Models have garnered fame and popularity through their accounts by catering to different lifestyle genres like fitness, travel, cosmetics, hobbies, gaming, etc. And they are making good money out of it as the “influencers” of these genres. They get to earn money doing what they love doing and share it to their followers and other like minded people.
Some celebrities are also somewhat of an Instagram Model or influencers because of their fame. Besides their regular work outside Instagram, they do get paid too for a post they do for certain brands. One example of this is Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner who got paid thousands of dollars for a post promoting the doomed Fyre Festival.
Now if you’d scan Instagram more frequently, you would most likely end up discovering other accounts of beautiful young women with many followers. They too are Instagram Models but there is no clear indication of what exactly are they modeling for or what are they influencers of. They’re not celebrities but they have many followers. They have no paid partnerships with any brands but they go on vacations abroad and check-in expensive hotels. You’ll see them eating in high-end restaurants and enjoying their time in yachts. They post their luxurious lifestyles and jewelries, giving their followers the impression that their doing good in their lives even though they’re not daughters of rich people nor do they have any other jobs outside of Instagram. And the most usual thing these women have in common in their accounts, or what they are known for, are their sexy and revealing pictures, lots of it. This makes most of us ask: How do they make a living out of this? Who’s paying them?
About a month ago, I’ve discovered this site called Tag The Sponsor. It’s a website that exposes the alleged deals of these Instagram Models with rich Arab men who would pay them a huge amount of money to fly them to Dubai and provide them with extreme illicit sexual favors.
Well basically, it looks like the website pranks these women by pretending to be a rich guy from Dubai who’ll be paying for these things. So it doesn’t really prove anything with these women. But the fact that they’re willing to do it with only a few questions asked, almost guarantees that these Instagram Models are willing to do these things in a foreign land. What shocks me further is they willingly give in to the requests of the prankster like sending a photocopy of their passport or sending a video recording of themselves stating their willingness to do these things.
Prostitution is of course illegal in the Arab/Muslim world, but Dubai is still the most liberal in the Middle Eastern region. Dubai allows freedom of religion, eating of pork, drinking of liquor, and non-muslim women are not required to wear hijabs. With its lenient regulations that almost align with western lifestyles, it has become to be known as the “Las Vegas of the Middle East”.
Backlash on this topic
People are asking if is it wrong to expose women this way, since it seems to be a sort of invasion of these women’s privacy. Some would also argue that this actually only exposes women who are willingly going to commit a crime not only in a country that prohibits such transactions, but including, in the case of a Latina IG Model who was also willing to do the acts to a 13 year old minor. Some would also say that it exposes another layer of the international sex trade and trafficking with wealthy men both in the private and government sectors as patrons.