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Lily Aldridge is getting real about the “other side” of the modeling industry.
On Monday, the former Victoria’s Secret model, 34, opened up about the times she was “canceled” from a job, starting with her teenage years, in a 10-minute YouTube video.
“I wanted to share the other side of modeling.” Aldridge began. “The parts that people don’t talk about because it’s embarrassing. Nobody wants to be like, ‘I was canceled from the show.'”
She continued: “In this era of sharing all the good and not sharing the bad, I thought I would share my stories with you. And let you know that there’s something beautiful around the corner.”
To protect the privacy and “feelings” of the companies, Aldridge didn’t share any specific names of brands or publications, but she did share exactly what went down when she was released from a photo shoot, runway show and magazine editorial throughout her tenure.
The first time she was let go from a shoot was when she was a young up-and-coming model working for a big European designer. “We get to set, and the photographer…I don’t know what I did, but he just didn’t like me,” the mom-of-two said. “He’s just complaining about me the whole time and saying my skin was bad. And, granted, I did have bad skin when I was a teenager — actually really bad. I had to go on different medications.”
But she assured viewers that her skin that day “really wasn’t that bad.” Nevertheless, the stylist told Aldridge to call her agency, who broke the news she was “canceled” from the shoot — while she was still on set.
“I’m in the changing room…Oh my God, I’m going to cry,” she explains. “The makeup artist was like crying because he felt so bad for me.”
So what’s a model to do with a free day? She went to Disneyland, ate churros and “it was all better.”
Another time she was “canceled” was before a major runway show in Milan, in what would have been her first big catwalk appearance. After flying out first class, and being put up in a 5-star hotel, she was told she was “too short for the look” and taken out of the show.
“I was in another country! And all of my friends were there. I sat in my hotel room and balled, balled, balled my eyes out,” the 5-foot, 9-inch model explained, who has since went on to walk in numerous runways for major brands. “I went downstairs and had drinks with my friends and used so many curse words.”
For her final story, Aldridge revealed the time she realized a magazine photoshopped her out of an editorial. “I was erased, literally gone, from the photo,” she explained, saying that she was modeling next to a big A-list celebrity in the pic. “I don’t think I’ve really told anybody that, because no one knew I was there and there were a few [magazine] stories happening at one time.”
The silver lining for Aldridge was the relationship she built with “the people who ended up canceling me,” and that her lost gigs were actually just tiny bumps in her long road of modeling.
“Any time you have a moment where you get canceled or you’re fired and at first it stings and you’re like, ‘Do I suck? Am I the worst? What am I doing? Why am I doing this? Maybe I should quit.’ I’m so thankful I didn’t and I always believed in myself and loved what I do.”
She closed by giving fans advice: “Don’t let anybody narrate your story. You get to write your story. Keep going, keep hustling, keep dreaming big.”
These days, Aldridge is still racking up the campaigns, including a collection with Levi’s, making headlines by walking the Brandon Maxwell runway while 5-months pregnant in 2018 and most recently, launching her own fragrance line, Lily Aldridge Parfums.