Tags: model industry | kathy ireland | models | secrets

Model Spills the Industry's Dangerous Secrets

kathy ireland is shown in new york
Kathy Ireland attends The Daily Front Row Fashion Media Awards 2019 at the Rainbow Room in New York. (Stephen Smith/Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Thursday, 05 December 2019 04:18 PM

There is a dark side to the modeling industry. We may not see it but there is danger lurking beneath the glam, fashion and beauty and former model Kathy Ireland is speaking up about it.

The 56-year-old, who is now a successful businesswoman, shared her own experiences with Fox News in the hope of creating awareness of the situation.

In one incident, Ireland recalled being a teenager looking for work in Milan and being harassed by an older man.

"I would be in the lobby [of my hotel] checking in as a teenager and there'd be some guy there waiting for me, and he knew my name, he knew that I was going to be there. Like who are you?" she said. "He was trying to lure me to his villa and I said, 'No, I'm not going with you.'"

Ireland said she was not the only model to be approached by these older men.

"They called themselves playboys but they were actually predators," she said. "Many of them were working alongside the agency and many of the agencies were corrupt."

The modeling industry can be an exciting place filled with opportunities but if these dangers are not brought to light many young men and women could become victims of crimes including human trafficking, which Ireland is gravely concerned about.

"Human trafficking is the fastest-growing illegal business on earth, and unlike drugs, human beings can be sold over and over and over," she said.

Then there is the topic of self-esteem, which Ireland said she struggled with when trying to shed her modelling past and enter the business world.

"I believe that my ideas as CEO were not taken seriously because of that prior career," she said. This is something many retiring models may face and it is a learnt lesson that Ireland tries to share with others.

"What I share with entrepreneurs is that when you have the gift of anonymity you can build your brand from the ground up however you want," she said.

Through all these experiences, which she has documented in a new book, "Fashion Jungle," Ireland said she used her faith to keep her strong.

"That relationship with the Lord gives me the strength to walk away from something when it isn't right. I don't live in fear and I don't make decisions based on fear and desperation."

Ireland is not the only model to shed light on the dangers of the modelling industry. Earlier this year former Victoria's Secret model Bridget Malcolm opened up about a shoot for a "high profile" magazine during which the photographer forced her to pose nude.

Initially, Malcolm said, she was assured there would be no nudity involved in the shoot; however, the unidentified photographer insisted she pose nude "for editing purposes" until she gave in.

"Models do not get a training course on how to protect themselves, or who to be careful around in the industry," she wrote in a blogpost. "Most of the time they have to learn this for themselves, and often with devastating consequences."

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There is a dark side to the modeling industry. We may not see it but there is danger lurking beneath the glam, fashion and beauty and former model Kathy Ireland is speaking up about it.
model industry, kathy ireland, models, secrets
Thursday, 05 December 2019 04:18 PM
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