SVU: Drug Dealer To The Stars

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By Katiee McKinstry

Hello, feminist friends! It’s Katiee, and I’m back with another article about SVU. If you haven’t read my first article or Koli’s,you need to! In this episode, a lot of different topics are covered and I have oh so many thoughts. So, let’s get started.

The first topic I want to cover very briefly is anorexia. If this is something that triggers you, skip to the next paragraph. Stabler’s daughter refuses to eat, and he (being the stubborn mule he is) attempts to force her to eat anyway. Later, upon doing research for his case, Stabler meets a doctor who says to watch his daughter carefully, but don’t force her to do anything. The doctor says his daughter will thrive on him pushing her, and it will make her even less willing to take care of herself. In the next scene, Stabler comes home and sees his daughter not eating, and instead asks his wife to go to dinner with him. His daughter exclaims, “you can’t make me eat Italian either!” To which Stabler replies, “Good! You’re not invited.” This exchange was particularly funny to me because I love Stabler. However, I’m not sure that this is the best route to take when trying to help someone with an eating disorder. Something SVU always does well is relating cases to the detective’s personal lives - similar to this case. What are your thoughts?

This case the detectives are working involves women in the modeling industry. It is pretty common knowledge that sexual assault happens often in the modeling world, especially to minors who are just starting out. Most of these younger models do not often report, because they fear they will lose their big shot at a modeling career. They starve themselves to be beautiful and work insane hours. All in the name of modeling?

What I found interesting is the tie in with drugs, as the talent management team in this episode was funding a drug industry, and selling to the models (WHO WERE MINORS!!!) What the fuck. Two of the girls were so drugged up, they couldn’t see straight. Then, on top of that, their trusted photographer was soliciting nude photos from them and sexual favors, which the girls complied to to keep their modeling careers afloat. While this episode was not based on a true story, this kind of case happens often in the modeling industry. With the #MeToo movement in full swing, more and more women are coming forward about this… however, some survivors don’t feel comfortable reporting. It is understandable to want to keep advancing in your career, but is it worth it when the modeling industry treats its employees this way? Especially for a 17-year-old aspiring model, who wanted nothing more to achieve her dreams. Instead, she was sexually assaulted, drugged, and eventually passed away.

What can we do to insure that the modeling industry remain a safe place for those who identify as women and men and nonbinary? How can we be sure that the talent agents and photographers are keeping the models safe? We can’t all be Olivia Benson, but we can try... right?