• 00:39
  • 17.01.2021
Top lingerie model: ‘I’m fed up’

Top lingerie model: ‘I’m fed up’

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VICTORIA’S Secret angel Sara Sampaio has admitted she often feels pressured to strip naked on photoshoots and slammed the industry for a “hypocritical” response to disgraced photographer Terry Richardson.
Speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon, the Portuguese-born 26-year-old said even at the top of the fashion industry she feels bullied into getting naked while working.
“I’ve definitely had throughout my career a lot of times that I’ve got pushed into some things I didn’t want to. Or things that people are like ‘oh that’s just part of the business’,” she said.
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“I’m fed up and I’m in a great position in the fashion industry so I can’t imagine all these new girls just coming in. Especially when you’re a new face it’s a lot of s**t you go through.
“Underage girls being forced to do topless photos, underage girls being sexualised very early and even older girls being bullied into getting naked. It doesn’t need to be like that.”
Speaking about her recent experience with French men’s magazine Lui, which she outed on Instagram after it published pictures against her will, Sampaio revealed how she came under pressure to strip despite agreeing to shoot the Autumn cover on a no nudity contract.
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The 10-year industry veteran said a crew member approached her with previous nude photos she had posed for, saying: “‘But this is no different than this,’ and I’m like ‘yes it is.’ It’s about choice.
“Just because you’ve kissed a lot of guys in the past, it doesn’t give anyone the right to come and kiss you without your permission.”
She told how the magazine broke her trust by publishing “accidents” she had marked as not for publication. “While you’re shooting it’s really hard to make sure everything is always covered,” she said. “You really have to trust the team they’re not going to use the photos you don’t want them to use.
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“To my surprise, one of those accidents was on the cover and one was inside with the story. And I felt very hurt because for me, the one time that I made sure this was not going to happen, they still did it.”
Sampaio’s decision to shame them on social media to her 5.9 million followers made industry headlines and received hundreds of thousands of likes. But she said speaking up is still a fine line for models who rely on social media success to book jobs and command top dollar.
“Being vocal about these things doesn’t really get a lot of engagement,” she said. “A selfie might get 400,000 likes and if I post a post about [an issue], I might get 50,000.
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“At the end of the day, it’s part of my job to have big numbers on social media and you want to make sure those are not screwed up, so you kind of have to think about not posting too much of that, but I feel this part of my community, it’s my duty to do so.”
As for whether the industry will start to change, given the revelations following the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the voice social media has given to so many, Sampaio said fashion “desperately needs” people to start being called out by name to make them accountable.
She referenced the scandal surrounding famous fashion photographer Terry Richardson, who was finally black-listed by top magazines including Vogue, GQ and Glamour last month, after years of sexual harassment and assault allegations against him.
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“Everyone knows it’s happening, no one does anything about it,” said Sampaio. “Everyone knew about Terry Richardson and all these people looked the other way and kept working with him. And now this whole Weinstein thing happened and all of a sudden yeah, it’s, ‘let’s use him as a scapegoat.’
“That’s kind of hypocritical. You guys knew this was happening. You still chose to work with him year after year and you’re putting these girls into a bad situation.”

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