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Cameron Russell asked models about sexual harassment. Here are 3 must-read responses.

The model and activist shines a light on an important issue.

It's been more than five years since model and activist Cameron Russell filmed her breakthrough TED Talk, "Looks aren't everything. Believe me, I'm a model."

Russell is a model who has consistently used her platform to advocate for topics she's passionate about, such as gender, race, and climate change. She's also one of the founders of Model Mafia, an ever-growing network of models fighting for more equitable and less exploitative working conditions.

In the wake of the ongoing assault and harassment scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein, and the ever-present issue of sexual harassment in the workforce — which, according to a 2015 survey, 1 in 3 women in the U.S. workforce have experienced — Russell decided to once again use her following and position to call attention to an important, if unpleasant, topic.


Russell launched the #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse campaign on social media, asking for stories about sexual harassment in the modeling world. The responses were eye-opening.

Similar to how actress Alyssa Milano's viral "Me Too" tweet and the internet's powerful response put a spotlight on just how widespread assault and harassment are, Russell's campaign put the focus on how rampant this is within the world of modeling, specifically. Models sent Russell their all-too-common horror stories, and she shared them on her Instagram profile.

Stories of young women, some of whom were underage, being coerced into situations beyond their comfort zones filled the page.

Trigger warning ⚠️ #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse

A post shared by Cameron Russell (@cameronrussell) on

Stories of photographers asking inappropriate questions about the models' sex lives popped up multiple times.

Trigger warning ⚠️ #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse

A post shared by Cameron Russell (@cameronrussell) on

There were even some stories that demonstrated how models were made to fear for their physical safety while at work.

Trigger warning ⚠️ #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse

A post shared by Cameron Russell (@cameronrussell) on

How and why does this happen? For one, harassment is often normalized in the workspace, allowing predators to continue the behaviors without punishment.

A personal story from Russell shows how that happens. On Instagram, Russell explains the time she saw the definition of sexual harassment on a labor law poster, saying that it looked "like [her] job description." (emphasis added.)

"When I got home and looked up the definition online, it was so spot on it felt like someone who knew us ... and of course they did. Sexual harassment is unacceptably commonplace. I sat down to try to make a list of my own experiences. Non consensual kisses, spanks, gropes, and pinches. Failing to provide adequate changing space, shaming in response to requests for adequate changing space. Bullying by editors, photographers, stylists, and clients to go topless or nude. Publishing nudity after contractually agreeing not to. Non consensual massage. Inappropriate emails, text messages, and phone calls. Pressure while underage to consume alcohol. Being directed to 'pretend like I'm your boyfriend.' Being forced to sleep at the photographer's home rather than provided a hotel. Having my job threatened if I don't participate. Being called difficult, feminist, virgin, diva when speaking up or saying no. Being unclear about boundaries because so many boundaries have been crossed. I lose count. And this is only what's easy to share, what's as commonplace as 9am call times, fittings, and lunch."

Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for H&M.

No job should include abuse. No matter the industry. And it's past time to start taking claims of workplace harassment seriously.

Highlighting acts of normalized harassment, such as those shared by Russell, is a great start. It helps us all understand the devastating effects of these  actions that go excused on a much-too-regular basis.

Setting firm boundaries and letting other people who've been harassed or assaulted understand that they're not alone is a step toward stopping it in the future. It's a step toward a culture that will no longer tolerate these actions.

For more stories from the #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse campaign, visit Russell's Instagram page or check out the hashtag directly on Twitter and Instagram.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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