Topless Models: Protect Yourselves!

  • Claire Louise

Topless models can make an incredible amount of money, but sometimes they can feel incredibly exploited, too. Models who go topless can be highly successful and often aspiring models really want to emulate that; a fact that some shady characters unfortunately know only too well. It’s easier to get into topless modelling than other kinds of modelling, but you shouldn’t do it out of desperation – only because you actually want to.

The Photographer

Always make sure that the photographer you’ll be working with is reputable. The idea of working with topless girls can attract the wrong kind of photographer, but to a professional, it’s just part of their job. Make sure that you feel comfortable working with the photographer before agreeing to do the shoot. Privacy is key. When getting undressed and in between takes makes sure there are appropriate facilities provided. Just because it is a topless shoot doesn’t mean you should be expected to undress in front of a team of people. Take robe to wear when you are not needed.


Do Your Research and Stay Safe

Always ensure to tell somebody where you’ll be going and when, and although it’s a job and sometimes frowned upon to bring someone, don’t be afraid to ask if you can bring someone to wait for you on your first few shoots.

Do your research – check out their work, particularly of other topless female models, and discuss any expectations or fees beforehand. Report anyone you think is acting illegally, for the safety of yourself and other vulnerable women!

Take Control

Ensure that you’re in control. Unlike other types of models, those who bear all are selling themselves, essentially, and not a product or brand. That means that the newspaper or magazine may well be profiting off your figure and form. You should negotiate terms which allow you to get a fair fee for having your body in print. Only work for publications that you think give women a fair deal!


Be Thick Skinned

Learn to ignore those who are jealous. You may well encounter other women who are especially cruel or men who believe that because you have a particular career, they are entitled to your body because they’ve already seen it. This is NOT the case. Models give their consent to pose topless as glamour models, but that does not mean other people have the right to see whenever they choose, if you know what we’re saying. You still deserve respect, no matter your job.

Consult Your Family

Consider how your family, friends and work colleagues if you have another job will react. Of course they have no right to stop you (providing you’re over 18, of course!), but they may well have strong opinions about this job role. Even though these type of models are trying to make an honest living, there are still old-fashioned stereotypes which may have loved ones worried. If you know you’ll be up against this, explain clearly why you want to do this, and how it doesn’t change anything about you. Topless modelling can be empowering, as long as their choices are informed! Be aware though that certain careers may not allow it – it’s a shame, but if you’re a teacher for example, the school may not wish to keep you in your position if you work in glamour modelling.


Set Clear Boundaries.

Models who expose their breasts still have rights. If topless is your limit, don’t be tempted to let people manipulate you into going further than you’d planned. You just have to know exactly what to expect and ensure you’re kept safe. There’s nothing wrong with nude modelling, for example, but it has to be your own choice.

It’s Your Choice

Enjoy it! There’s no shame in earning money! As long as you’re not coerced and you fully understand where your shots will appear, why not be proud of your body and make cash at the same time?!

Gender Discrimination

Topless modelling doesn’t stop at women, male models expose their torso for underwear and swimwear photoshoots. However, it is viewed very differently to females removing their top as breasts are highly sexualised. Topless male models are seen in high street stores yet the outrage it would cause for a female model without a bra on would immediately be deemed inappropriate. Therefore, a guy being asked to expose their chest is a lot more accepted in the commercial industries.


The famous shot of Kate Moss modelling for Calvin Klein was controversial for the time yet as she embraces Mark Wahlberg her boobs are hidden; his chest is fully revealed. Campaigns such as #freethenipple have highlighted the fact that the female form is banned from social media accounts. Images are actually removed if a female shows their chest. There is a huge difference from an image captured through artistry rather than sexualisation. Some do not see the difference and models do need to be aware of this themselves when agreeing to the brief.

Male Models Can Say No

Just because society accepts topless male models it doesn’t mean that you have to take your shirt of because a photographer demands you to. It is 100% your decision whether your wish to go topless or not. Young male models are exploited all the time, which regularly goes under the radar because of their gender. However, teens that are sexually harassed at a shoot are unsure what to do. It is completely justified to speak out and say no. If the photoshoot is for an underwear or swimwear brand expect to go topless however, if it is for a clothing label there is no reason to.

If you’re ever unsure of something, trust your instincts! Remember; never do anything that you don’t want to do!

How to Stay Safe as a Topless Model

  • Research the photographer and brand for legitimacy.
  • Only work with reputable photographers.
  • Bring a friend or relative to the photoshoot for support.
  • Always tell a trusted individual where you are going.
  • Never undress on Skype or send topless images via social media.
  • Be fully aware of where the images will be published.

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