At the time of writing, Terry Richardson has exactly 666k followers on Instagram. Many will claim this is relevant because based on reports from models and other influencers in the fashion industry, Richardson is the Devil… or at least his sweaty, stinky, generally all-around pervy side-kick. The man doesn’t carry quite enough clout to be recognized as Beelzebub incarnate, especially since Vogue threw shade on Richardson this April via a statement that basically said: Terry is gross; we have no plans to work with him in the future. (It’s the least craven thing Vogue has done in awhile. Two. Slow. Claps.)
However, it’s wearing to recount the number of times Terry has been accused by supermodels like Coco Rocha and Rie Rasmussen, model Jamie Peck (who says he requested that she call him Uncle Terry, and also asked if he could play with her tampon), and most recently model Emma J. Appleton, of harassment. He’s also attributed to quotable gems like: “It’s not who you know, it’s who you blow. I don’t have a hole in my jeans for nothing” and “A lot of it starts with me saying to a girl, ‘Do you want to do nudes?’ And they’re like, ‘I don’t want to be naked. So I say, ‘I’ll be naked and you take the pictures. You can have the camera. You can have the phallus.'” (As told to The Observer in 2004.) Modern day Oscar Wilde, this man.
Now “anecdotal” is a dangerous victim-blaming word some people like to casually throw around in reference to Terry and these models’ accounts, but like they say, where there’s smoke, there’s always fire. Or in this case a creep with a camera and a crotch he wants you to grab.
Keeping his vulgarity company is his singular vision for photography. How many times can one man take the exact same photograph? How many times can he hashtag that so-and-so is #awesome? He’s like a kid who just bangs the same note on the piano. OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Until you want to jump out a window. His work is the photography equivalent to Fifty Shades of Grey. Tasteless and crude. Pretty shitty and uninspired. But instead of appealing to bored housewives in the midwest who have some religious aversion to a vibrator, Terry has some followers on Instagram that, well, he shouldn’t. Many of whom carry serious influence in the fashion industry and who should set a better example. UNFOLLOW, PEOPLE. Unfollow.
Man Repeller, aka Leandra Medine. In most regards, Leandra is one of the saving graces of fashion bloggers. She’s smart, Sassy (circa 1990 in its heyday), and she doesn’t wear makeup. And while she’s never come out and said that her site is her CLARION CALL FOR ALL FEMINISTS, she has said, “In my mind, the only thing that matters when defining feminism is a dedication to equality.” And yet, she follows Terry. While it’s not possible to be all fem, all the time, following Terry is the wrong move and it’s definitely repelling, but for the wrong reasons.
Garance Doré. Doré is Scott Schulman’s (aka The Sartorialist) other, perhaps better (according to a recent article in the NY Times) half, who has been gifting the Internet with her behind-the-scenes street snaps, illustrations, and good sense of humor and cheer. She seems like a classy woman who wouldn’t necessarily enjoy Terry’s particular “vision,” or his antics/proclivity for sexual harassment. (Although, she’s French, and they have different laws there.)
Diane Von Furstenberg. DVF is quoted all over the Internet about being a WOMAN. Hear her roar, comme ci: “The biggest mistake a woman can make is not to be herself in public or private.” “When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.” “I always knew the woman I wanted to be.” Apparently the kind of woman she wants to be is the one that follows Terry on Insta. Does she manage her own account? We don’t know. But for the lady who has always flouted a fem-positive attitude, who has said that her “MISSION IN LIFE IS TO EMPOWER” other women, to keep dibs on what a dude who has repeatedly been accused of molesting the models, is a bit (A LOT) of a non sequitur. And a disappointing one at that.
Aaron Paul. Because he loves his wife ad nauseam, we find it nasty that he follows Terry. It’s kind of like finding out that your dad follows Terry. Or your mom. Adding insult to injury Aaron’s wife, Lauren Parsekian, runs an organization called Kind Campaign, “an internationally recognized movement, documentary and school program based upon the powerful belief in KINDness, that brings awareness and healing to the negative and lasting effects of girl-against-girl ‘crime.’” But sexual harassment and tampon tea is OK with AP? Unfollow, dude.
Ellen DeGeneres. Technically we can’t tell if she follows Terry on Instagram, because she follows too many people to see the whole list (why do you do this Instagram?!), but she does follow him on Twitter. Gross. Hypocritical. Moving on.
Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Oprah. Just kidding. None of these self-involved hot-to-trot witches follow Terry, because they follow ZERO people. Even Michelle Obama follows 4.