AceShowbiz - Model and singer Karen Elson regrets posing for racy photos early in her career. The 42-year-old feels terribly "sad" the snaps exist and questions why they were ever taken in the first place.
"I just wanted to please everybody," she said at The Bazaar at Work Summit event in London on Tuesday, November 23. "I was 16 and I wanted to make it as a model and I thought, 'OK, they want me to be naked, I guess I follow their lead.' "
"I look at these pictures and I feel sad, I think, 'Gosh, how was that allowed to happen...?' Why, throughout my career, was it that most of the time I've done nudes no one asked me if I was comfortable with [it]?"
Speaking with Harper's Bazaar editor-in-chief Lydia Slater at the get-together, Karen said if she could give her younger self any advice, it would be to stop trying to fit in.
"I spent too many years trying to fit in, trying to be something somebody else wanted me to be... I used to overthink everything and feel so insecure. I doubted myself all the time, and I wish I had a mentor back then who could've said, 'Just do you.' "
Elson, who is mum to teenagers Scarlett Teresa and Henry Lee from her marriage to rocker Jack White, admitted she is much more comfortable today - something she puts down to motherhood.
"I'm 42 years old and I feel much happier in my skin than when I was 18, and it's because when I was younger I was so insecure," she explained. "I was in this business growing up essentially, where people every other day were saying 'you're fat' or 'you're ugly,' 'you're this, you're that.' Every element of my being was critiqued for a photograph and, as I've got older [sic], and especially having children, I'm much more at peace with myself and my body."