Alexa Chung on Taking Off Clothes as Teen Model: I Knew It Was Wrong

Alexa Chung talked to The Times about her traumatic experiences as a teenage model. Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

The ugly side of modeling? Before she became a trend-setting TV personality and hipsterdom's reigning queen, Alexa Chung was a struggling teenage model who had to contend with "creepy" men asking her to take her clothes off.

Speaking to The Times, Chung recalled the traumatic experiences she had in the early days of her career. "I never really asked my mum or my dad's advice during that time and it actually felt like I didn't want to tell them too much about the reality of what was going on — when I was taking the train to London and being asked to do certain things," she shared.

What kinds of things? "I already knew it was wrong. So, you know, if there was a casting where some creepy man there had gone on to his flat in Ilford and you know, 'Take your clothes off…' and if I'd have done it, I won't tell my mum because I know that that's wrong," said Chung, who's now a spokesmodel for L'Oreal. "In hindsight," she continued, "I look back and think, 'Did you really need an 18-year-old girl to strip in your front room?' "

Those memories still haunt her. "I get flashbacks now. Loads of flashbacks," she told The Times. "I'll be reminded of something because I've sort of blocked it out and I don't really think of those days. Like, recently, I was like, 'Oh my God. That's so not on.' "

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