‘I have been approached to do porn but I just say no’

Samantha ‘Sammy’ Braddy, glamour model turned make-up artist talks to school friend Polly Trenow about plastic surgery, porn and the impact of glamour modelling on young women.

How did you get into glamour modelling?

I was a student studying fashion and I was spotted in a nightclub in London. I wouldn’t go topless with the first agency…I didn’t really want to. But my second agent said I could become a page three model.

I told my parents that I wouldn’t. I’m quite shy and I was just scared. I didn’t want to shame my family… but Mum said, “you can if you want to”, so I’ve been doing it since. My Nan’s got all my pictures! I went to her kitchen the other day and she’s got my calendar up, I thought, “right…this is weird!”

I was quite flattered at first and thought I might not have the chance again. But it is nice to see yourself in a magazine! The best bit is going to interesting places for shoots and working with the other girls. You have trips abroad and share a villa with five girls of a similar age, it’s like a holiday!

How long have you been doing it?

I did modelling for three years then on took other work – you have a lot of spare time and I was getting bored. I have never known what I wanted to do but I studied to do hair and makeup and do that now.

What reaction have you had to your career choice?

My parents are really proud. My close friends don’t pay any attention to it. I have some gay friends who think it’s hilarious to introduce me as a model, but I think they do it for attention – it’s a nightmare! I have never had anyone say anything bad to me…they probably say it behind my back!

You say you were shy, have you found aspects of this career liberating?

Definitely. It’s like the Gok Wan thing [the TV show] – How to Look Good Naked – it does give you confidence.

Parts of modelling can make you feel worse. The first agency told me to change my hair and to get my teeth whitened – I never did! I was also told to lose weight which definitely feeds on your insecurities. But then there are other times when you think ‘I look really good there!’

Being told to change is really horrible. I cried when they said it and then I went on Weight Watchers and the gym…they were probably right! With glamour [modelling] they don’t want you to be stick thin – it’s all about the boobs so if you lose weight your boobs go! You need to stay in the middle.

You got told this when you did Page Three?

Yes, but I worked for The Star not The Sun! There is a rivalry between the Sun and the Star, you’re not allowed to do them both. Though it’s more to do with the papers than us [models]. We don’t care!

How do you manage that?

It’s not a problem for me. At one stage I was probably partying and eating too much pizza. But with fashion models it’s completely different. When you’re [doing a shoot] with Nuts there is loads of food, but if you do a fashion event they eat half a cracker!

Do you ever get recognised?

Sometimes. I’ve been on the train and someone has opened up the paper I’m in which is a bit embarrassing but I change my hair every five minutes. Sometimes in Sainsburys blokes shout stuff at me, like “wayyyy get your tits out!” but that’s probably something you need to accept.

You think comments like that are part of the job?

It’s annoying, but yeah, what do I expect?

You could say that even if you choose to be a glamour model that you don’t have to accept men shouting at you?

Yes, that’s true, but I just think they’re idiots and they probably do that stuff to any women. And it is very rare.

What’s the difference between porn and glamour modelling?

Porn and modelling are different. I would never get anything ‘below the belt’ out. That is my line. I couldn’t strip. I think it is different because you’re connected [with a client]. I’m too picky, I wouldn’t want to dance for some of the men!

In porn you are having sex. For magazine photos you’re not even allowed to touch yourself sexily because it does then break into porn. A girl I know did a shoot for FHM with sex toys. She was young and got told off by her agent because they thought it was crossing the line – but no one had told her. This is why I only work with specific agents, lesser agents may want you to go into porny things but I just say no.

But where is the line? There are arty pictures of nude women and they’re alright! I think the line is really blurred now.

And porn and glamour modelling are for people’s sexual pleasure…

Yeah (sarcastically) – that’s nice!

Aren’t you creating a sexually exciting image for other people’s pleasure?

I don’t really think about it like that. I just think they look nice! I don’t think about what people do with them. It’s quite distant from guys, you go to a studio, do a photoshoot you might do an interview and that’s it.

On Twitter people do say stuff like ‘oh I’ve just had a wank over Sammy Braddy’…and I’m like ‘errr…thanks?!’ I was with a boyfriend once and his friend googled me and there was a picture of me and a penis spraying cum over me. That was not good!

Why isn’t there ‘Zoo’ magazine for women?

I think men are more visual than women…guys look funny when they’re naked… erections are too aggressive and [the men] just make me laugh trying to be sexy. I like drawing the female form, I’m not so interested in drawing a naked guy, women’s bodies are beautiful. Gay guys have magazines, so maybe guys are more visual.

I read some of your interviews – they’re all quite boob orientated…

Yeah – but the magazines don’t do anything else do they? I mean I’ve done the bum thing too, don’t put me in a bracket! [The magazines] do change what you say. Sometimes they ask me questions and I answer sarcastically and they’ll put it as straight.

I don’t take it too seriously. Guys are normally surprised that I’m actually quite funny or not stupid – but it’s the same for a lot of the girls. I find other outlets for intellectual stimulation, [modelling is] such a small part of my life. I’m starting draw and I would like to have exhibitions. My dad was in a band, so he’s been helping me learn [the guitar].

Do you know about the campaign to put plain covers over magazines like Zoo and Nuts in newsagents?

Yeah, that’s been going on for a while. If they had covers when I had started I wouldn’t have done it. It makes it seem sleazy and horrible and I wouldn’t want to be labelled. I don’t think it is [sleazy], though that’s probably because I’m part of it!

What do you think of the impact on glamour photography on young women?

I don’t have a view on it, it didn’t bother me growing up and seeing those magazines. I don’t find it offensive but it does offend other people. Maybe teenagers are affected, but younger girls are far more interested in the pink girly magazines on the bottom shelves.

When I worked in a bar there were lots of magazines and all the guys would talk about it, I used to think that was cool. Now I am one of those girls and it’s really not that exciting!

What do you think about the ‘celebrification’ of glamour models like Jordan and Jodie Marsh?

They’ve done really well but I don’t know if that will happen again. It wouldn’t surprise me if there weren’t any glamour models soon…all the girls are doing it for free.

I mean what did Jordan actually get so famous for? Having loads of boobs jobs! There was a part of me that hoped for that [success] so I could go on to something else afterwards, but it’s really hard. I think Jordan has given it her everything, but I don’t think she’s happy.

Have you ever had plastic surgery?

No. I considered having a nose job but if I have children they’ll have the same nose feel they’re not good enough. Plastic surgery also scares me. I’m not against it if it makes you happy, but I think people are starting to look the same! When Nicole Roberts had her nose and teeth done she ended up looking like Cheryl Cole, it’s just a slippery slope. I know girls who had their boobs done and it made them happier. But it would be nice if we were just content wouldn’t it?

Are ‘lads mags’ responsible women’s lack of contentment about their bodies?

Yes, but there are lots of different reasons for feeling bad. It’s everywhere: music videos, women’s magazines – they have whole sections on diets, that’s a negative thing. Or where magazines say [which celebrities] have cellulite. Though actually it’s quite nice to see someone with cellulite because we all have it!

What have you learned from your years in the industry?

It’s a really small network – there are only a few people at the top. I know how it works now and have the contacts. There isn’t a lot of wisdom to go with it.

When I talk to girls who want to get into [glamour modelling] I’m cautious. There are lot of people that just want to get something from you, agencies that aren’t real agencies, who want money from you or [for you] to work for free.

A lot of girls are young when they start – I was young and I ended up in situations where I wasn’t comfortable. You have to trust your instincts. I’ve had a couple photographers put me in awkward situations…they were getting close and the angle wasn’t right. But no one had given me any advice. You should never be with a photographer on your own unless you know them really well. I complained to my agency and I was only given to people I knew.

Will you carry on modelling?

I just did a shoot recently but it might be a one-off. I needed to know that I still could, but I’m quite a lazy model. I’m a home girl and I’m more likely to focus on hair and makeup. Cupcakes [Sam’s hair and makeup company] is going really well, I work with my best friend. It’s mostly weddings at the moment but I’d like to do makeup for the magazines that I was in.

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