As the pile of accusations against Harvey Weinstein grows, women across industries outside of Hollywood are starting to speak up about their own experiences with sexual harassment. It was only a matter of time before the fashion industry was implicated, and Cameron Russell has been sharing anonymous horror stories of on-set assault and harassment from other models.
Victoria's Secret Angel Sara Sampaio is the latest to add her voice to the conversation, sharing a story about her recent cover shoot with French magazine Lui on her Instagram. In the post, Sampaio alleges that she agreed to the shoot under the condition that there would be no nudity, adding a clause to that effect in the agreement. Despite this, she says, she was "aggressively pressured to do nude shots on set."
While reviewing the final images, Sampaio noticed there were shots in which parts of her body had accidentally been exposed, and reiterated that those were not to be used. Instead, Lui published a nude cover image of Sampaio. As a result, the model says she has been working with her agency and attorney to bring suit against Lui for making her feel "violated, mistreated and disrespected as a professional and as a woman."
Like so many other models, this is not the first time Sampaio felt pressure to get naked on set. She says that she has been "bullied" by people who went so far as to show her previous nude photos of herself in an effort to pressure into doing so again. Sampaio rightly points out that posing naked once does not obligate her to do so again, saying: "Just because I've consented to posing nude in the past, it does not give anyone the permission to assume I would do so again under any circumstance."
"I have the right to show my body how, when, where and for whatever purpose I choose," she continues. "It's my choice. And when I make that choice, I expect to be treated with respect and professionalism."
There are many ways that women can be violated by both men in power and by a system which conspires for an end product over human decency. Hopefully, thanks to bravery from women like Sampaio, that system will change.
You can read Sampaio's full account below: