Sena Cech is one of the fashion models who have experienced horror while working in the industry. She has been exploited as a young model and now, through the documentary film called Picture Me, she is sharing her experiences for the world to know.
She does not discouraged any woman who wants to follow the path of modeling. She only wants to share her story and remind girls to take care of their selves and “learn to say no” – especially to the questionable demands of the agency who represent them.
At a tender age of 17, Sena Cech took the path of modeling. It was not an easy road. She was drugged while attending a Christian Dior party in Paris. She was asked by a notoriously pervert photographer to handjob an assistant during a photo shoot. She was blinded on a photo shoot because the photographer was using a camera with UV flash (a fact that everybody on set knew except her). She was set up for dates to rich men with shady “business” of sleeping with young models.
To these experiences, one fact was obvious: Sena Cech’s agency was nowhere to protect her.
It was her agency that sent her as a replacement to work for the photographer who shoots on a camera with UV flash, without telling her that the previous model has already been hospitalized while doing the job. She could recall the statements of the crew on the photo shoot, saying “‘Do you have anybody you can call? The agency is closed. No one’s coming for you.’”
The agency has also been making unofficial appointments for her to meet men like a dating service. Once, the sleazy photographer who has asked her to handjob an assistant before has booked her for dinner through her agency. Instead of keeping her away from him, the agency’s booker has said “‘Oh this is your chance to make up. Can’t you go to dinner with him? Other girls from the agency will be there.’”
“They’d also sometimes say, ‘You need to get to this place (for a shoot). We know this guy with a private jet who would like to take you.’ They’d be flying you out, booking hotel rooms, booking you out for events. It was just rich guys with jets trying to get laid. The agency didn’t protect us at all,” Sena Cech has added.
Officially retired from modeling, Sena Cech is now residing in Oregon where she goes to school for naturopathic medicine, produce fashion shows, and develops her own clothing line. She’s doing all of these while also raising her young daughter Naia. Although modeling has been a thing of the past for her, she wants to leave an advice for young models:
“Only trust yourself. People who say they’ll take care of you are the very ones who will hurt you the most. Only trust yourself. Whatever the situation is, think for yourself.”
Sena Cech has taken the courage to share her experience for everyone to ponder. May she be braver enough to name the modeling agency, the booker who has been pimping the young models, and the pervert photographer whose monstrosity lurks beneath the glamour of fashion modeling. (On second thought, it seems like everyone already know who he is).