World Cup Fan’s Viral Model Career Over Before It Started

Despiegelaere at left during the Group H football match between Belgium and Russia on June 22.
Despiegelaere at left during the Group H football match between Belgium and Russia on June 22. –MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

Sounds like every girl’s dream right? Girl goes to major international sporting event. Girl gets photographed. Girl’s photos go viral and land her a major modeling contract.

That was the Cinderella story for 17-year-old Axelle Despiegelaere who was scouted by L’Oreal after being photographed at a FIFA World Cup game between Belgium and Russia on June 22. The teenager announced that she signed with the beauty brand on her official Facebook page earlier this week, says Buzzfeed, and soon after appeared in a promotional video for L’Oréal Professionnel BELGILUX.

Things were going just great — and rather swiftly, to be honest — until another photo of Despiegelaere holding a rifle over a dead animal was posted on her Facebook with the caption, “Hunting is not a matter of life or death. It’s much more important than that… this was about 1 year ago… ready to hunt americans today haha.’’


To be fair, Belgium and the United States were playing against each other that day — but L’Oreal didn’t see the humor. The company told The Independent that their contract with Despiegelaere had been “completed’’ and that she is not a spokesperson for the brand — at least, not anymore. L’Oreal also declined to comment on whether the termination was result of the hunting photo, but noted their company “no longer tests on animals, anywhere in the world, and does not delegate this task to others.’’

L’Oreal provided further comment to Buzzfeed, stating:

Axelle de Spiegelaere is not one of L’Oréal Professionnel’s spokespeople.

L’Oréal Professionnel Belgium collaborated with her on an ad hoc basis to produce a video for social media use in Belgium.

This has now been produced.

But honestly, someone should really alert this relatively persistent L’Oreal account in Belgium, because this seems to say otherwise:

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