Thursday 27 October 2016

Models Holly Carpenter and Thalia Heffernan slam 'objectifying' topless bikini photoshoot

Thalia Heffernan
Thalia Heffernan

Former Miss Ireland Holly Carpenter has slammed a risque topless photoshoot involving Miss Bikini Ireland contestants.

The pictures see the girls protecting their modesty while holding their bikini tops in the air in the middle of Dublin's Harcourt Street.

Organisers of Miss Bikini Ireland claim the shoot was organised as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

"I think there's a lot of really good campaigns for breast cancer awareness out there and I don't see how this is going to do anything," Holly (inset) told the Herald.

"I don't think the girls should have been put in that position.

"Obviously they were asked, or told, to take off their tops and I think when you start modelling you don't realise that you can no say to things.

"They're probably just trying to get a feel for what the industry is like, but I just think people are laughing at them now and I feel bad for the girls.

"People might say I'm a hypocrite because I did the bikini thing once when I was in the running for Miss Ireland, but at least we had our bikini tops on," she added.

Miss Bikini Ireland 2015 hopefuls on Harcourt Street who show support for
Miss Bikini Ireland 2015 hopefuls on Harcourt Street who show support for "Free the Tats" Breast Cancer Awareness Day by removing their bras!,

Fellow model Thalia Heffernan said those involved "should be ashamed of themselves".

"The only awareness this is spreading is that objectification is still very much a huge thing in this country and anyone who was involved in the making of this should be ashamed of themselves for using these images to get publicity," she said.

"I feel so sorry for these girls, I don't think people realise how wrong this is.

"If it was for breast cancer awareness they should have used a survivor with a story, shot in an appropriate manner," she added.

However, Jade Entwistle, who was involved in the shoot, said it was all for a good cause.

"This is disgusting - twisting a good cause for breast cancer awareness, hence why we are showing that you should check and look after your breasts. We were spreading the message in an extreme way," she said.

Greg Ryan, CEO of the Miss Bikini Ireland Model Search, said all of the girls involved "wanted" to take their tops off.

"We were doing something that was good and people are putting a negative twist on it," he said.

"It's not aligned with any charity, it's more to raise awareness than anything else.

"A photographer contacted me to see if the girls would be interested in doing the shoot to raise awareness for breast cancer and every one of them wanted to do it.

"If we offended people then I apologise for that - it came from a good place," he added.

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