Was Coco Rocha Forced to be Nude? Elle Scandal.

Do models have any say in the relentless gears of the fashion industry, when one day you’re in and the next day you’re out?

Just how much should they give away to prying eyes, selling those high-priced items, when its the models who are the true objects of desire? Do these items appear more attractive to consumers because a model is scantily clad? Hmmm just how much to expose? Is it a matter of principles or a matter of price?

In our society we are overexposed to nudity and suggestive images of sex are rife. The industry as a whole is unquestionably singing the ‘naked’ theme tune because we know it’s a formula that works. Sex sells- FACT.  So when one highly successful 23-year-old model decides to make a stand on her morals it seems the industry is going to pause and raise an eyebrow.  Please enter the timid Coco Rocha.

As a high fashion model I have long had a policy of no nudity or partial nudity in my photoshoots. For my recent Elle Brazil cover shoot I wore a body suit under a sheer dress, but recently discovered that the body suit was Photoshopped out to give the impression that I am showing much more skin than I actually was or am comfortable with. This was specifically against my expressed verbal and written direction. I’m extremely disappointed that my wishes and contract were ignored. I strongly believe every model has a right to set rules for how she is portrayed and for me these rules were clearly circumvented’

- Coco Rocha


When any model joins a model agency we are all handed lengthy contracts. Which inspired me to dig up my mine and there it is in black and white.

Do you shoot lingerie/swimwear?

Will you do partial nudity?

Will you do nudity?

Artistic nudity and/or full nudity?

Will you shoot fur?

Whatever our personal preference it’s all placed in a computer database as reference for potential clients to know what we will and wont do. Being a model for 15 years I have not heard of any model signing these contracts under any form of duress.

Models clearly decide the perimeters that they wish to work in; we do have a choice and can exercise our right to use it. Just because we live in a panty flashing society doesn’t mean we should drop our morals to the floor where our knickers are.

Can the outraged Coco Rocha sue? She certainly can, as her contract clearly stipulates ‘no nudity’ and ‘no airbrushing.’

So let’s have a look at this cover that’s causing all the fuss and tell me what you think…


Coco Rocha- Elle Brazil Cover May 2012
Coco Rocha- Elle Brazil Cover May 2012

9 thoughts on “Was Coco Rocha Forced to be Nude? Elle Scandal.

  1. I don’t think this model would have a chance in court, maybe she should find a new job if she is to raise her eyebrows at such a modification (that in any case doesn’t reveal anything), but yes I agree that she has every right to excercise her choice in a industry that is more akin to nudity then ever before. Look no further than Treats! Magazine, which is basically high end porn, but yet still sold as a fashion magazine. Elle is hardly this but I just can’t see anything revealing in this cover, I don’t even see it as partial nudity. Anyway good on her for having a go. Maybe she didn’t get paid enough for the job.

    1. The sad reality is that if an unknown girl objected to being undressed via Photoshop and spoke out publicly against the client, she would have no chance in court and her carrier would be in tatters!

      Coco Rocha is a top cover model and a member of the advisory board of Model Alliance, an organization that finds ways to improve working conditions for models. If her policy against no nudity or partial nudity was part of her written contract, then she can sue for breach of contract and potentially collect monetary damages. It’s possible that she could have even asked a court to stop distribution of the magazine. In fact, all this publicity raises her profile!

      I personally believe that this cover is very tasteful and she has over reacted! Perhaps this is all one big publicity stunt to raise the profile of the magazine!!!!

      1. Miss Coco is I don’t know, beyond amzanig as a model. She is the truth of fashion model. I love the fact that she likes what she does for a living. So many working models should not be modeling. Coco Rocha! I can’t wait to see your line. I wish I were one of the selected few that get the chance to see it in September at Lincoln Center. But hey, maybe some time soon; with my modeling and my trying to start my American high fashion magazine, I will get an invitation to see one of your fashion week shows in the near future.

  2. The problem is that most models are extremely unlikely to seek legal redress due to their systemic disempowerment in the industry. As independent contractors, they are vulnerable to blacklisting, and many models are so young when they begin their careers that they lack understanding of their right to say “no” to certain kinds of work. Rocha, as a top model, is an exception. “She won’t be dropped by her agency or shunned by potential employers for writing about the incident or hiring a lawyer,” Scafidi says. “But the fact that a major magazine would ignore even Coco’s efforts to have some control over her own image gives a sense of how little authority models really have.”

  3. I think the problem is or isn’t (depening on one’s view) that it’s simply now expected that the model would take her gear off and it definatley seems like most top models do, they would have a hard time working with photographers like Terry Richardson or grabbing a Tom Ford campaign if they didn’t. The model needs to ask herself what she is selling: fashion, art or herself. Nudity and Fashion now seem one in the same thing, it’s now just easier to sell it as art as it is as fashion. A naked body is a naked body is a naked body, no matter how you sell it. Good old Coco Rocha is obviously just smarter than most and also realises that a contract is a contract is a contract, a good role model for the younger ones. Problem is a pretty face is expected to be just that in a sex sells industry.

  4. In 2011 Rocha also starred in a Photoshop-free campaign for Canadian fashion retailer Jacob stating on her blog at the time that she hoped the shoot would “balance the scales a little by pulling so far back from what has been the current trend of total digital model manipulation”. Seems that Elle Brazil missed that post too…

    1. The only thing that irked me was that they had those same scarves with the ptkceos at Banana Republic last season. I was expecting to see something a bit more interesting than last-season BR for their show.

    1. i know this is horrible, but im not the bgegist fan of coco…BUT these photos are really pretty, so maybe i like her a bit more after i saw these photos you posted. :)xoxo, rose

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