Victoria’s Secret model Sara Sampaio said to Net-A-Porter recently that models don’t have a voice in the industry. They’re expected to look good and do as they’re told on set. Unfortunately for magazine’s such as Lui, Sampaio is no longer willing to obey traditional industry conventions.
Back in 2017, Lui released their Fall issue which featured the 26-year-old model on the cover. The image revealed the topless Sampaio laying on her side, breasts showing, partially covered with a fur coat.
The central portraits of her in the magazine also expose her bare breasts as well as her nipples, something to which she didn’t agree. The model told the magazine that she didn’t want to pose nude but did so anyway, and they signed a contract stating they wouldn’t publish the images.
Sara said the company told her the photographs would only show her “wet-skin” and not her nude body. She said, “I felt violated.”
For Sampaio, the issue isn’t with nudity; it’s the fact that she doesn’t like exposing her body in men’s magazines. The lesson she hopes to spread to other models in the industry is women have agency and control of their body, despite what the industry wants them to think.
Women can control how they are perceived, and it is up to them to decide which images are used. If a model says she doesn’t want certain images published than organizations need to respect that.
Sampaio said when women complain of being treated unfairly they are labeled as “difficult” and are subsequently blackballed from the scene. Sampaio said models are “not respected,” despite the fact that the industry is female-dominated.
Sampaio admitted the challenging aspect of the industry is to know that other women out there are willing to pose in whatever position they’re told for fame. Models feel they have to violate themselves to get ahead.