Long before Alexa Chung was a spokesmodel (for Maje, L’Oreal, Madewell, etc. etc.), she was just a regular model–being disrespected and disregarded with the rest of ‘em. And now, she’s using her star power to shed some more light on the injustices happening all too frequently in the fashion industry.
In a lengthy profile published in this past weekend’s The Times Magazine, Chung divulges why, as a teen, she chose to keep most of her modeling jobs secret from her parents–and it’s a bit unsettling.
“I never really asked my mum or my dad’s advice during [my time modeling] … I didn’t want to tell them too much about the reality of what was going on–when I was taking the train to London and being asked to do certain things,” she says. “I already knew it was wrong. So, you know, if there was a casting where some creepy man there had gone on to his flat in Ilford and you know, ‘Take your clothes off…’ and if I’d have done it, I won’t tell my mum because I know that that’s wrong [...] In hindsight I look back and think, ‘Did you really need an 18-year-old girl to strip in your front room?’”
In spite of those unpleasant incidents occurring more than a decade ago, Chung says they still affect her to this day: “I get flashbacks now. Loads of flashbacks. I’ll be reminded of something because I’ve sort of blocked it out and I don’t really think of those days.”
So one of the industry’s most famous and influential faces is basically admitting to suffering from modeling PTSD–yet another reason to be grateful the Model Alliance is now out there doing its thing.