How to Get Away with Murder Star Negotiates More Clothes for GQ Mexico Photo Shoot

In a shocking turn of events, ISSUE SELLS WELL!

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It’s great to see young actresses speak up when they’re made to feel uncomfortable while promoting their projects. Karla Souza, who plays Laurel on the hit show How to Get Away with Murder recently did a photo shoot for the above issue of GQ Mexico. Gorgeous cover, right? Well, according to her, they originally wanted her to have a lot less on.

At first, the idea was for her to wear a bra and panties on the cover, which she put the kibosh on according to E! Online:

They wanted me in a bra and panties but I was like, ‘I don’t want to do the bra and panties on a bed thing.’ I wanted sophisticated, fancy, nice and beautiful and sexy but not that. After a year, they were like, ‘OK!’ Luckily, they said yes to bathing suits and things I felt more comfortable in.

They had done a lot of the fully naked kind of covers in Mexico. A lot of my fellow actresses had done that so that was the magazine’s thing. They said that’s what sells but then they told me my issue sold.

It’s kind of ridiculous that it took a year for them to come around on negotiating with her. Then again, HTGAWM became a big hit in that year, and its star, Viola Davis, made history winning an Emmy. So, you know, things (and negotiating power) change.

Now, obviously, this wasn’t about not wanting to show skin at all. After all, the inside photos of her have her looking amazing in a bikini as well as some other skin-bearing options. But as she says, she wanted to look sexy, but also sophisticated. And when you think about it – bikini says “beautiful woman in a bikini” in an image. A bra and panties are meant to suggest “I just took my clothes off and want to have sex with you.” And as beautiful or sexy as an actress might want to appear on a magazine cover, she’s not necessarily there to suggest that.

Meanwhile, Souza is also thrilled that GQ Mexico eased up on the Photoshop:

At the beginning of my career, I did a magazine cover where they gave me boobs that I don’t have, a butt that I don’t have and a waist that I don’t have. I was appalled. It took me three years to ever be in a bikini again. I didn’t want people to do that to my body again…So GQ did nothing—literally nothing. It was great.

A talented, beautiful actress selling magazines by posing in clothing in which she feels comfortable while her body remains unaltered by digital technology? Shocker of shockers! Or maybe that’s just, you know, the way we should do things.

(via Jezebel)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.