Even though the fashion industry has celebrated you and put you on their biggest covers, you still haven't been in an advertising campaign for one of the big high fashion brands. Normally if you shoot an ItalianVogue cover with Steven Meisel, high fashion clients are lining up to work with you.
Well, you'd be surprised how many offers I actually do get in fashion campaigns, but I unfortunately have to say no because my career is moving at such a rapid pace. I want to hit all the top things. I want Italian Vogue with Steven Meisel, but I can't do all of the other things because I also want to shoot a movie. You think you can do it all. I'm traveling everywhere and I'm trying to do everything and I can't. But I feel like the fashion world has welcomed me and nobody is scared of me.
But the campaigns you are in are definitely more on the commercial side.
I think that sometimes I take more commercial brands because I want it to be affordable. Not because I'm trying to plan it out, but because I used to be in a situation where I couldn't afford the really amazing expensive clothes and I want to show people that there are fashionable clothes out there for affordable prices. And now I'm in a position where I have a voice to lead people in the right direction.
Is your voice also the reason why you have stayed away from being photographed naked? Being shot nude by great fashion photographers is very common among famous models like Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and Lara Stone.
For me those photos are art. Your body is art, your body is beautiful, and to be photographed in that way is amazing and it's received in a very positive way. But with social media and the Internet and not so great blogs and the attention like that, I don't think that my pictures would be received in the way that I'd want them to be received. That's why I've stayed away from them. I really appreciate those photos and I think those women are beautiful, but I think social media and the Internet has prevented me from putting myself out there like that.
How does a 21-year-old deal with the fact that a good part of the world refers to her as a bombshell?
It's where I've started and it's what I've accomplished, so I'm happy about it. But the more my career grows, I think that people will see that I have a lot more to offer and a lot more to give, but I want to do it right and that's why it's taking me time. I'm patient about it. Now it's out of my hands—it has kind of been rolling on its own—but at the beginning I was micromanaging every little step. For example, I felt that my agency before wasn't helping me in the direction I wanted to go, so I approached IMG myself. I always had in my mind where I should be at a certain stage.
Read more of The Talks with Kate Upton.
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