The closure of lads’ mags has hit the glamour model industry hard. Loaded, Nuts, FHM and Zoo have all ceased to exist over the past couple of years, as young men increasingly turn to their phones and social media.
As a result, glamour models have had to diversify their work - some now have thousands of fans enjoying their sexy selfies on Snapchat (for a premium price), and others have turned to Amazon to keep them in the lifestyle to which they are accustomed.
Glamour models - from well-known lad mag names, right down to webcam newbies - are increasingly making their Amazon wish lists public so their fans can buy them presents.
Sophie*, a published glamour model in her 20s, told The Independent: “I'll usually receive two or three items a week. My list ranged from £2,500 (for shoes) down to about £20.
“Most things come from the lower end of the list, but I have had some really expensive gifts arrive out of the blue.”
The models share links to their wish lists on their social media accounts - lots of whom have hundreds of thousands of followers - and anyone can then peruse the items and choose one to buy and send to the model.
But what’s in it for the men?
“I think it turns men on. There's a fetish called financial domination and this is like a passive version of that,” Sophie explains.
“Anyone expecting anything more than a heartfelt 'thank you' will be disappointed. I'm genuinely grateful for what I receive, but it isn't a payment for any service. I won't sleep with you because you sent me something from Amazon, put it that way.
“The strangest part of it is when guys send me something expensive and don't identify themselves. They don't want thanks, they just want to make a stranger happy.”
Whilst that’s a kind gesture, not everyone thinks the concept is fair.
One mother explained on Mumsnet how she had a shock upon discovering her 17-year-old son had saved up and spent £170 on boots for a model who’d included them on her wish list.
She wasn’t pleased, adding that the model “just seems to manipulate young horny boys into buying gifts or sending for nothing.”
One woman responded trying to explain the concept: “It's a 'you may have thousands and thousands of men admiring you, but I'm the one that got you something nice, that makes me different' thing. And in return they get a thank you and to feel special for a minute or two. It's really sad.”
So although some people argue it’s immoral, Sophie believes anyone would do it if they could get away with it: “It's not something I'm guilty about or ashamed of,” she says, adding that “glamour models have been doing this for years, but it picked up after the lad mags closed down.”
*Not her real name
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