Glamour modelling, empowering or exploitation?

In this slideshow, we hear aspiring model Alice Beauvoisin, 21, share her perspective on the world of glamour modelling.

In this short video, I interview both Alice Beauvoisin and Sammy Dobson, 26. Alice speaks out about equal rights, her choice to pose nude, while Sammy, an actress, tells all about the impact that topless modelling has had on her acting career.

Hundreds, potentially thousands, of young women aspire to become ‘glamour’ models in the UK, but their quest for fame could make them vulnerable to fraud, exploitation or even assault.

Celebrities such as Katie Price or ‘Jordan’ have used topless and nude modelling as a platform, to create multi-million pound empires that branch in to, television opportunities, clothing lines and fragrances.

In the hope of hitchhiking their way on to this road to success, young women could potentially be exploited – or worse, in danger.

Aspiring model, Alice, believes it is her choice to pose nude or topless and the experience so far, she has found to be empowering.

“I am a model because I choose to be one. I choose to pose nude, because I can. I love what I do, it’s art. I find it very liberating. It feels like releasing the shackles of a fear of being naked.”

Although Alice claims to feel liberated by her modelling, when accompanying her to a photo shoot, she did not appear to be in control of the scenario. Paul Gallagher is a 54-year-old photographer who contacted her over the internet. Paul picked the location, the theme and gave very strong direction throughout the photo shoot.

Alice was not paid for her time and the photographs are not going to be used in any magazines or other publications. It is difficult to see which part of Alice’s experience

When asked what her friends and family think of her modelling, Alice admits that not all of her family know that she poses nude and the people she has confided in are not completely accepting.

“They think I should not present myself in that way, as a sexual object.”

Despite the obvious risks of arranging a meeting with a stranger via the internet, it seems that Alice may not have thought through the potential repercussions of being photographed nude.

Sammy Dobson, a 26-year-old actress, wishes that she had thought more carefully about the effects that nudity could have on her career.

“I arranged a shoot with Nuts magazine when I was 18. I, now, as an actress am limited to the parts I can audition for. Bid companies like Disney and Warner Brothers do very thorough background searches.”

“It’s one of those daft things you do when you’re young, when you think you know your own mind. Things like that stay with you forever.”

Sammy arranged the photo shoot herself, but once she got to the studio, she quickly realised that she was not the one calling the shots.

“I regret it from a career point of view and although I felt like I was in control at the time, I was not. The poses, I was made to sit in, the things I was made to wear, I regret arranging it. I regret putting myself through exploitation at such a young age.”

Sammy’s mother, Mandy Dobson, 52, voiced her concerns at the time.

“Her dad and I tried to talk her out of it at the time, but Sammy had made her decision. I’m just thankful that she chose a well known magazine, you hear horror stories of young girls being extorted, abducted and even assaulted.”

Charlotte Lockwood, a 21-year-old model, represented by Tyne Tees Models has heard her fair share of horror stories.

“I’ve heard of people making shoot arrangements who’ve then gotten themselves into situations they wish they hadn’t. Paying for a portfolio that never materializes, organizing shoots with inappropriate photographers and worse. With all modeling, I think you just need to be as sensible and safe as possible, always take someone with you if you’re not going through an agency.”

If you have approached an agency and they don’t think you’re suitable for modeling, don’t let photographers take advantage of your aspirations. Reputable agencies or photographers will not ask for money and they will not object to a friend or family member accompanying you to a meeting or photo shoot.

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