“What people called sexual harassment, we called compliments”: Paulina Porizkova reveals warped perception of flattery as a teen model
Paulina Porizkova talks candidly about the industry in the new film About Face
A new film exploring beauty and ageing will show at Sundance Film festival, lifting the lid on a set of top models” personal highs and lows.
The brainchild of Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, About Face has followed a set of the most agenda-setting, famous and era-defining models of the seventies and Eighties.
But while the women, including Isabella Rossellini and Jerry Hall, still encapsulate glamour and extraordinary looks, the film exposes some ugly truths of the industry.
According to WWD, the documentary sees 46-year-old Paulina Porizkova recalling: “What people called sexual harassment, we called compliments,” noting models” warped attitudes towards body image and value in the Seventies and Eighties.
“When a 16-year-old girl is flattered by a man pulling out his penis, that’s noteworthy,” she said.
Starring a who”s who from the top catwalks of the time, Isabella Rossellini, Jerry Hall, Marisa Berenson, Carol Alt, Karen Bjornson, Christie Brinkley, Pat Cleveland, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Bethann Hardison, Beverly Johnson, China Machado, Paulina Porizkova, and Lisa Taylor all add their two pennies to the impressive line up.
The fashion site says the documentarycame about after Mr Greenfield-Sanders photographed the group of women for a Vanity Fair article.
The women”s rich stories – career moments and personal tales from the vanguard of society”s obsession withyouth – were too good an opportunity for the fashion photographer to miss.
WWD says that Ms Rosellini, 59, the face of Lancome for 14 years, made the wry but telling observation that modelling taught her that it is “essential not to depend on fathers and husbands.”
Still-stunning Carmen Dell”Orefice lost her life savings to Bernie Madoff, while other models went on to marry rock and sports stars.
Times have changed: Ms Porizkova, still stunning at 46, said that in the Seventies and Eighties, it was considered flattering to be flashed at
Perhaps most eye-opening though, is the comment we hear from Ms Porizkova, the Czech model who shot to fame after gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated in the early Eighties
The documentary promises to be a candid look into that very different era of fashion and beauty – and one that tallies with the recent publication of a damning memoir from the end of the same period.
Carr Otis” new book, Beauty Interrupted, suggests that the industry was rife with sexual harassment and drug use.
She described being repeatedly forced upon for sex by her own manager and a lifestyle fuelled by cocaine – partly as a means of controlling weight.