Samantha Womack: ‘my sexy lads mags shoots were degrading’

Eastenders’ actress Samantha Womack regrets posing in her underwear for glamour shoots during her early career.


by Abi Hooper |
Published on

I’m very pro-women and I love women being sexy but some photos were quite degrading

The soap star said that although she is all for women being sexy, she sometimes felt she was being ‘objectified.’

‘The period with the whole ladette thing I felt I was being objectified,’ she told a UK newspaper.

‘I’m accepting of them but I wish I had understood at the time. I’m very pro-women and I love women being sexy but there were some photos I did which were quite degrading,’ she added.

‘There were a couple when the tone was wrong. It was explicit, and when you’re young you don’t understand the impact of those issues. You’re not a woman yet.’

Samantha back in 1995
Samantha back in 1995

I used to think my face was a bit like an alien’s

Now, as a 40 year-old mother of two, the actress said she feels more ‘in control’ of her image.

‘I’m more confident about being in control now,’ she said. ‘Sometimes I might seem like a ball-breaker on a shoot but, fundamentally, I’m in control of my image.’

Turning 40 has helped the actress – who used to think she looked like an ‘alien’ - to have more confidence in her looks.

She said: ‘I used to think my face was a bit like an alien’s — I used to say to Scott Maslen [who plays on-screen husband Jack Branning in EastEnders] it was pointy — a pointy chin, pointy cheeks, big head. Scott used to call me “alien”.’

With her husband Mark Womack and their two children Lily-Rose and Benjamin Thomas, as well as Mark's son Michael

Now I’ve grown to love my own face

She confessed she ‘hated her feet’ for her ‘entire life’ too, and wouldn’t even wear open-toe sandals in her 20s and 30s.

‘But now I’m much more comfortable in my skin. I’m less hard on myself,’ said the actress.

‘Like most young women I was so busy hating things about myself I wouldn’t let up. Now I’ve grown to love my own face. What have I got to prove? It doesn’t matter.’

Although she exercises every day to keep her shape according to the newspaper, Samantha would not have plastic surgery to look younger: ‘I’d never say never and there are women who have work done and for them it works.

‘But if you’re trying to look younger that’s dodgy territory psychologically — if you’re trying to reverse the clock and look like you’re 20 when you’re 40.’

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us