We've all heard stories of how difficult and personally taxing the modeling industry can be, from unsustainable working hours to overly restrictive diets. But most of us have not heard about the darker side of modeling for photography and film.
Natalie—@nataliewatkinz on TikTok—shared in a series of viral TikToks a modeling job for a film that almost resulted in her death.
Natalie was scheduled to appear on set to film the opening of a movie, but when she got there she discovered that wasn't the assignment at all.
Instead of being for the opening of a full-length film, she was modeling for a fetish website. Natalie was expected to get into a swimming pool, handcuffed to the ladder that exits the pool. Viewers would see a woman trapped on the ladder, struggling to free herself before lying dead in the swimming pool.
The TikToker had experience with modeling for fetish websites before. Since she was only two years into her career, she figured it was best to say yes instead of no, so she decided to do it.
You can watch the first video of her story here:
#greenscreen this shit scared me so bad and wasn’t worth the 600$ #modeling #models #actress
The handcuffs she was given were not breakaway handcuffs, but they were left loose enough on her wrists she would be able to wiggle her hands free. The plan was to film the struggling portion of the video, have Natalie come up for air, then go to the bottom of the pool to film the ending.
But while filming the segment, Natalie accidentally hit her right hand against the pool ladder and closed the handcuff the rest of the way. She began to panic, unable to free herself and felt herself running out of air.
She imagined herself drowning.
#greenscreen if any models have questions on how to avoid creeps like this DM me!!!! #modeling #models #actress #actor #horrortok #horrorstory
Through her panic, Natalie figured out that she could still free her left hand from the handcuffs, which allowed her to slip her left hand, still handcuffed, out of the ladder, so she could go to the surface for air.
Natalie was okay after the incident, though scared, and she completed the rest of the modeling and received compensation.
She discovered after talking to a modeling friend that this had happened with this particular client, but the other model had not been as lucky as Natalie.
"I called my other good model friend, and she was like, 'Oh my god. You shot with them? Why didn't you call me beforehand?'"
"And she just goes on and starts telling me about how she used to work with them, and some scary sh*t happened to her with the guy. Thankfully he didn't try any of that with me."
"And she also let me know that someone has died in that pool doing the skit that he had me doing. What the f**k?"
TikTok was concerned for Natalie and urged her to report the videographer before anyone else got hurt.
Natalie shared a video that troubled some people, as she entertained the idea of sharing the man's name and information on the internet, but only after the video had received enough views.
Some were concerned at that point about Natalie valuing fame over other people's safety, and others became somewhat apathetic, encouraging her to be more selective about her work in the future, even if she was still relatively new in the industry.
The internet was clearly relieved on Natalie's behalf that she had lived to tell the tale of a scary work experience, and had also been appropriately paid for it. But they were worried for her, too, and how far the model might stereotypically be willing to go for fame and money.