Belfast Telegraph

Paulina Porizkova: Fashion industry was hard

Paulina Porizkova claims many young models mistook "sexual harassment [for] compliments" during the 70s and 80s.

The outspoken former model is one of a number of big names appearing in a new documentary called About Face. The film will air at the Sundance Film Festival next year and includes interviews with some of the biggest names in the fashion industry during the 70s and 80s, among them Porizkova, Jerry Hall, Isabella Rossellini and Christie Brinkley.

The film aims to unearth what it was really like to model during that era. WWD has obtained an excerpt, in which Porizkova admits it was hard.

"What people called sexual harassment, we called compliments," she says. "When a 16-year-old girl is flattered by a man pulling out his penis, that's noteworthy."

The documentary also touches on subjects such as body image.

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders came up with the idea of making it after he photographed a number of former supermodels for magazine Vanity Fair. He enjoyed hearing their stories about their careers so much he felt a strong film could be made out of them.

Also featured are China Machado, Carol Alt, Karen Bjornson and Beverly Johnson.

Each model discusses the impact their job had on their lives, with Rossellini admitting she learnt it is "essential not to depend on fathers and husbands".

Porizkova, 46, is famed for appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and received a $6 million contract with Estée Lauder cosmetics in 1988.

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