BY KIMBERLY KARIATI
COMMERCIAL model Lucia “Lucy Bardie” Mazhou says she envisages the modelling industry being a safe haven for female models through her Models Against Abuse Movement.
Lucy Bardie told NewsDay Life & Style that the movement, which helps those that are abused and exploited find their feet again, was founded as a result of the abuse she suffered at the beginning of her modelling career.
“Models Against Abuse Movement project was a result of my personal experiences and of those around me. Ever since I began my journey as a model, I have faced various challenges and at one point I almost got sexually abused after falling prey to sexual predators who pretended to be genuine people looking for models to work with,” she said.
“I did not know who to turn to and this is the case with most models. I have come across many scenarios where models are told that there is a job available, but they need to first send their nudes. Some up-and-coming models fall prey to this as they have no one to look up to and ask about these things.”
A video vixen, Lucy Bardie said her agency provided guidance on how to tackle issues of abuse.
“As Models Against Abuse Movement, we are there for models who need help in exposing their abusers or those who just need advice on how to protect themselves from potential abusers,” she said.
“Almost getting sexually exploited is very traumatic, I almost gave up on my career. I only managed to go on because of the help from a friend. This movement has helped me heal and get peace. I have mentored two female models and managed to help them follow the right path.”
Lucy Bardie described her biggest success as being able to empower other female models.
“Empowering other models gives me immense pleasure knowing that there are girls out there who look up to me as a role model.
The industry is cold and there is a need for someone who holds your hand and assures you that it is all going to be okay,” she said.
“I try by all means to be that person for up-and-coming models who I feel are more vulnerable.
In the coming years, I visualise an industry without abuse and exploitation, a place where women can showcase their talents without fear of the unknown and sexual predators who try to take advantage of them.”
She said she saw modelling as a career where parents should fully support their children without fear of stigma or stereotypes.
“The modelling industry should be a place where people realise the difference between influencers and professional models, where one is not judged on the basis of just being a model,” she said.
Lucy Bardie has worked with artistes such as rapper Desmond “Stunner” Chideme on the Nash TV Vibe, hip-hop artistes Kayslie and Beav City, and Trevor Dongo on a project to be released soon.
She has also worked with Charlees Store, Candy Beauty and Imani Africanique.
Follow Kimberly on Twitter @lizellekimkari