Interview: Paloma Faith Talks Sex And Feminism

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  • Paloma Faith is the new face of Agent Provocateur…

    Ahh the lingerie industry – a collective of essential smalls shops or a bra-slinging battleground for a HUGE feminist debate? Former Agent Provocateur shop girl turned singing sensation Paloma Faith has come full circle and is now the (stunning) face of the iconic underwear brand. Here, she tells Marie Claire why it’s so important to feel sexy…

    ‘Just because you’re a feminist, doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy sex, or have to act like somebody who doesn’t when you’re in public. Doing something like this [being the face of Agent Provocateur] I’m sure will bring up questions about that. Some people will inevitably get confused and say “oh, she’s a feminist but now she’s sexy and naked?”‘

    ‘I think new feminism is about women claiming back their sexuality and making it their own, as opposed to satisfying the male gaze. In every shot of this campaign I’m wearing my ‘feminist’ necklace. Every shot it was about me feeling empowered as a sexual being, as opposed to being a victim.’

    ‘It was really important to me that the pictures didn’t look vulnerable, or porn influenced. The porn industry has ruined the image of female sexuality, whereas this is being shot by women, for women.’

    ‘I remember dressing up in my mum’s underwear and heels (all too big for me) as a 14 year-old and I was pretending to be sexy. My mum sat me down and said: “I’m concerned”. She spoke so openly about how women should have expectations of what they deserve, sexually, just like men are always encouraged to have those expectations of what they deserve sexually.’

    ‘I always feel body-confident, but it is hard not to be influenced by the media. It’s really important to me to remain curvy, because all the people I adore and like to look at are all curvy. Marilyn Monroe, Jane Mansfield and Daisy Lowe are my pin-ups. I do work out more than normal to get into shape for shoots, but I’d never stop eating. I try to tone up, but always keep my curves.’

    ‘All my best underwear is AP. This is for show. But I’ve got all the boring tummy tuck-ey, t-shirt bra-ey stuff too – you have to in this industry because people are so critical.’

    ‘What makes me happiest is love that is reciprocal, which I have now. When you’re in love with someone who celebrates you, and vice-versa, it’s rare and freeing and gives you all the confidence.’

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