Lindsey Pelas, 31, receives a lot of love from her 8.6 million Instagram followers, but she also receives constant harassment for her sexy shots.
The blonde bombshell said she’s heard sexist comments about her good looks, both in person and online, since she was young.
“At 18 years old, I worked at Hooters in Louisana and I didn’t know the can of worms that would open,” she told The Sun.
“People would take photos of me and I would be berated on the internet, way before Instagram. Talking about my body type, making up personal relationships.”
“I would just be repeatedly abused. I was told I needed plastic surgery, that I’d had plastic surgery. I was told every contradiction under the sun just to abuse me.”
Unfortunately, the sexist and demeaning abuse hasn’t stopped. Instead, the world of social media has made it ever-present.
“Some people will message me every single day psycho stuff,” Pelas said. She claimed that she receives “threats, cruel haters, abuse, scary people, people praying for my demise.”
She shared that many of the comments aren’t coming from jealous women but that most of the “mean” and “obnoxious” messages come from men.
“The majority of the abusive content on the internet is from men,” she said. “Women really do not actively seek to harm me as much.”
After years of abuse, the model had enough and finally exposed one of her most ruthless critics to the world.
Pelas recalled one particularly abusive man who worked for a well-known company and “kept sending me disturbing messages.”
“One day I’d had enough. I looked up his LinkedIn and posted those messages to his workplace,” she said.
“Because I truly feared that he worked with women and I couldn’t imagine someone who was so obsessed with violence toward women working with and controlling the paychecks of women.”
That’s when she took matters into her own hands.
“I went ahead and told his boss… they responded publicly and said they would look into it. He had to have been fired,” she insisted.
Unfortunately, Pelas is not alone in her experience. A Pew Research study found that 61% of women say online harassment is a major problem, compared to only 48% of men.
Pelas is not standing for the abuse and wants to make sure that other women are kept safe, as well. She said she refuses to put up with the double standard that allows industries to profit off of beautiful women while condemning the women themselves for showcasing their beauty.
“A significant amount of industry has benefited from the beauty of women. Beer, football, cars, luxury anything, and even male celebrity,” she explained.
“They’ve used the body and beauty of women in music videos, in movies, and in magazines. It’s only a problem if women are paid directly for their own beauty.”
“They’re offended when a woman makes the money and doesn’t have to pay a man through it. It’s such an obsolete idea.”
Pelas has capitalized on her beauty not just in the modeling world, but to expand her brand supporting herself with exclusive NSFW content, videos and a podcast.
“Women have to do what they can to make some cash, and hopefully they use their voice while they make some cash,” she said.
“In my opinion, women deserve money first. Women need to equalize the financial playing field first so that we have an ecosystem to support each other so we’re paid for our talents beyond our beauty.”
While Pelas is working to expand her brand beyond her beauty, she has no problem taking advantage of the system the way it is.
“But if this is the area we’re pigeonholed into, get the cash, ladies.”