Kate Upton told Elle about her first Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Issue cover, “After my first Sports Illustrated cover, I felt terrible about myself for a solid month. Every single guy I met was either married or about to be married, and I felt like I was their bachelor present or something.”
Before the chorus of trollers chant, “But she was in a men’s magazine, in a bikini, she should have known!” Consider this, she is a model, that is her profession. They hired her for a job: to be photographed. They pay her money for that job and in exchange her celebrity (and beauty) gets them more readers and more money. That is a business transaction and by no means gives married men permission to mistreat, condescend or make sexual innuendo at a person. Not only is that gross, it’s unprofessional. That kind of behavior would not be tolerated in any other profession short of exotic dancing and even that has decency rules.
Kate continued, “I’m not a toy, I’m a human. I’m not here to be used. I am a grown woman, and you need to figure your shit out,” and said that even in professional settings she is treated like a “dumb blonde.”
“People deal with models like they are children. They think they can pull one over on you. It’s actually funny. I’m always like, ‘I’m about to pull something on you, and you’re so focused on thinking I’m dumb you’re not even going to know.’”
She’s right, it is funny. It’s funny that in a society constructed around the praise and sexualization of a certain kind of beauty that we routinely degrade, judge and behave cruelly to those who take advantage of that system. What’s funnier is that it’s the people in that very system who are employing her that are choosing to undermine her. It just goes to show why the system exists in the first place, some people don’t respect women and just want to see them in tight clothing. Those same people place very little thought in imagining how the people who make a living off of objectification and beauty must feel.
It’s just plain condescending to presume that Kate Upton has no clue as to why she is there, at the Sports Illustrated photo shoot, or why she is famous: which is because she is beautiful and probably good to work with. Just because a woman decides to capitalize on her looks doesn’t mean she doesn’t think or have a complex understanding of what that means.
I think this is the kind of thing most people have two minds about. I love fashion, I love fashion designs, I love seeing beautifully styled, impeccable models, I love the artistry and if someone said to me, “Hey, you want to make a living off of wearing clothes that you admire but could never even see up close otherwise,” I’d have to consider it. I’d also have to consider what the fashion industry does which is create a considerable amount of class and body oppression.
Kate Upton gave another depressing anecdote,”I was at a photo shoot and I was wearing a cross necklace that my mom bought me, and somebody made a joke like, ‘Why are you wearing a cross? Like you would be religious.’ And then they took it away. I was really affected by that.”
Huh? People are just rude, ‘nough said.
See pics from the photo shoot below and get the full story over at Elle.