Russian supermodels are at a record high -- but some hopeful young models in the former Soviet Union were being pushed into underage sex and escort work, Sky News reported Tuesday.
Young women from struggling families were inspired by the likes of successful Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova but often found a very different reality.
Blonde, blue-eyed Masha Arsen left her small town to embark on a life as a model in Moscow when she was 15 but quickly returned when she was pushed to work as an escort.
"One of the girls I lived with was 13, and on the eve of her 14th birthday she earned a lot of money by having sex with an oligarch," she told Sky News. "She bought loads of new expensive things. In this agency, girls of this age are of a higher value."
Model scout Alexey Vasiliev, who was credited with discovering supermodels Vodianova and "Quantum of Solace" Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, allowed Sky News to join him as he looked for potential new models.
Beauties in their early 20s were passed off as too old by Vasiliev, who only stopped very young, very thin girls.
"I'm looking for something new, when I see it I know straight away -- I understand beauty -- I have very good eyesight to spot someone in the street," he said.