Tom Sandoval may be mixing up innovative cocktails at Tom Tom now, but the Vanderpump Rules star was once making a living off his looks as a male model.
In the early days of the Bravo reality show, when he was working as a model, “I dealt with so much f—g harassment and so much creepiness,” Sandoval told Danny Pellegrino on his podcast Everything Iconic.
He continued, calling out a double standard he noticed throughout his time modelling, “In my experience, 15 f—ing years of experience, in every major market — Chicago, L.A., New York, Miami — at 10 agencies across the U.S., with [female models], they were always paid more, treated far better. If they were young, they had a parent with them. They make more, they’re treated better, they’re put way more on a pedestal. And I don’t disagree with that.”
There was also a noticeable difference in the way male models were treated when it came to nudity, he added.
“The girl would get a dressing room and a robe if she was in a bathing suit and lingerie. And a guy would have to change naked next to the clothing rack. This was standard for a shoot," he explained. "Even runway shows… the guys were like, ‘You need to change next to a clothing rack.’ The stylists is like, watching you change buck naked. ‘Let me adjust that underwear.'”
Those who asked for more privacy, he continued, were ridiculed: “Guys had no problem being like, pulling rank. If I wanted to go change in the bathroom they would scoff and laugh."
When asked if there were "fondling situations" when it came to models and some of the photographers, Sandoval answered in the affirmative.
“But the girls were always [taken care of]," he explained. "‘Cause think about it, if you’re a male photographer and it gets out that a girl felt uncomfortable or a girl felt a certain way, it’s a huge deal. But if a guy, it’s like, ‘Deal with it. You’re a male model. This is what it is. This is what it takes.’ It was just like a normal f—g thing.”
Despite all the negatives, Sandoval doesn't regret getting involved in the industry early on, saying of his time modeling, “It was cool, it was great. It’s a young kids game, for sure.”
Vanderpump Rules airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.
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