The popular online magazine Huffpost often features stories from individuals who’ve had various types of unique life experiences. Recently, HuffPost shared a story from a woman who faced unexpected hardships when her coworkers discovered she had posed nude for a magazine centerfold.
The author of the story, TJ Butler, explains that she began modeling in her late teens as a way to make money. She had recently aged out of the foster care system and was happy to find a consistent source of income.
Modeling was Butler’s main income source, but she also worked various part-time jobs. One summer, when modeling jobs weren’t coming in as abundantly, she took a job as a waitress at a relatively upscale new restaurant.
Butler explains how the work was hard but she was generally happy to have a job and tended to get along with her coworkers. However, one day, she was in a restroom stall on her break, speaking to one of her photographers. Thinking she was alone, Butler referenced the fact that the magazine featuring her centerfold was now available at the local Barnes and Noble.
Then, she heard someone else exit one of the other restroom stalls. Hoping it was just another customer instead of a coworker, Butler ended the conversation abruptly, washed up, and left the restroom.
Later in her shift, she noticed that many of the other servers had gathered together around a table in an empty party room. As she approached them, she discovered they were all looking at her centerfold and making judgmental comments, some of which involved the usage of slurs commonly used to criticize women for being promiscuous. Butler turned to leave, but not before she heard everyone laughing, presumably at her.
In her piece, Butler describes how this incident was acutely painful for her. She had struggled to feel that she was truly a peer of her coworkers, given that she came from the foster system and had struggled in ways they had not. Initially, when Butler learned she would be featured in a centerfold, she was joyful, believing this would help her attract more modeling jobs.
However, the experience with her coworkers made her feel debased and ashamed. It shook her confidence, reminding her of the concerns she had regarding whether she could truly consider herself a peer of those with whom she worked.
Stories like this one are unfortunate. They’re also not particularly uncommon. Sexual harassment in the workplace occurs across virtually all industries, and it can take many forms.
This story highlights just one example. Although Butler may not have been propositioned by a superior or physically assaulted, she was nevertheless a victim of workplace sexual harassment when her coworkers judged her in a sexual manner.
Hopefully, this will never happen to you. That said, if you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment, you may be able to take legal action to hold your employer accountable. A Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney at The Rager Law Firm can explain your legal options in greater detail. Learn more by contacting our firm online or calling us at 310-527-6994.
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