Shuttered: Belgian soccer fan loses model gig after hunting photo sparks outcry
The Belgian teen who landed a modeling contract after being photographed at the World Cup has reportedly lost the deal after controversial pictures and content sparked outrage on a social media site.
Axelle Despiegelaere took the soccer-watching world by storm when the media captured the 17-year-old in Red Devil gear, rooting for her home team during the Belgium-Russia World Cup match on June 22. The photos quickly went viral, and turned camera-ready Despiegelaere into a worldwide sensation, even securing her a contract with cosmetics giant L’Oreal.
But UK’s Independent reported the world’s biggest beauty company has severed ties with Despiegelaere, saying the Belgian teen was not a spokesperson for the brand and her contract has been "completed."
"L’Oreal Professionnel Belgium collaborated with her on an ad hoc basis to produce a video for social media use in Belgium. The contract has now been completed," a spokesperson told the Independent in a statement.
This comes amidst an outcry from fans after Despiegelaere had posted a controversial photo on her Facebook page on July 1 ahead of the Belgium-United States World Cup game. The teen is brandishing a hunting rifle next to an apparently dead animal.
According to Business Insider, the caption read, "Hunting is not a matter of life or death. It’s much more important than that .. this was about 1 year ago … ready to hunt Americans today haha."
— Aly Weisman (@AlyWeisman) July 10, 2014
The post — as well as one celebrating Despiegelaere’s contract with L’Oreal — was removed from the teen’s timeline.
L’Oreal’s spokesperson told the Independent that the company was aware of Despiegelaere’s social media photograph, but would not comment as to whether that was the reason why her contract was terminated.
The company also stressed that L’Oreal "no longer tests on animals, anywhere in the world, and does not delegate this task to others."
It’s the second "beauty and the beast" controversy in recent weeks. Kendall Jones, a 19-year-old Texas Tech cheerleader, came under fire for posting photos of her big-game hunting kills. Facebook ultimately removed her photos.