What is the right age to start modelling lingerie? Your answer will depend on whether you think lingerie modelling is sexual by nature or simply functional and necessary to show off the garments in their full glory. Ashley Graham, the Lana Bryant plus size model, revealed that she has been modelling underwear since the tender age of 14. Too young, right? Right.
While most designers, brands and modelling agencies have long promised not to use models under 16, (bear in mind, the sexual consent age in the UK) this wasn’t always the case and Graham, star of the bold Lane Bryant ‘I’m No Angel campaign revealed in an interview with Yahoo Style that,
‘My mom came with me; it was in Mexico,” she recalls. “My mom had to sign a petition that said they would airbrush my nipples out.”
Which brand was she modelling for? It isn’t clear but taken in context of the conversation, it was none other than her current boss – Lane Bryant. In the interview (which you can watch below), Ashley shares memories of her first modelling job.
The question you’re all asking (but know the answer to) is: why would her nipples have to be airbrushed out? To desexualise the image? In that case, why not simply use an older model? Do we, the paying clientele want to buy lingerie that looks good on a teenager? These are questions her mum must have asked and felt comfortable enough with the answers given to allow her daughter to continue. When I think of myself at 14, I was barely allowed to wear a skirt let alone model for a photographer in lingerie.
Anyway, thankfully things have changed and we don’t have to ask these questions anymore, and Ashley seems to have grown into a happy, confident and super sexy 27-year-old.
You can check out the rest of the fun interview by following this link.
Check out this news report on beauty and body image and what the Lane Bryant campaign means for the masses. Will this open up the doors of diversity in modelling further? Let’s hope so!
photo credit: Lane Bryant