Hunting Conservation photo

Teenage soccer fan Axelle Despiegelaere of Belgium earned a modeling contract with L’Oreal Cosmetics after catching the attention of TV cameras during the World Cup. During the Cup, Depiegelaere announced on Facebook that she signed a modeling contract with L’Oreal. She lost it just as quickly after she posted a picture of herself with an oryx she shot on safari.

Depiegelare had added to the photo: “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.” “Hunting Americans” referred to that day’s Belgium-US soccer game, won by Belgium 2-1.

Reaction to the oryx post was swift and overwhelmingly negative, recalling the recent flaps over Texan Kendall Jones and pro hunter Melissa Bachman after they posted pictures of themselves with African trophies. L’Oreal let Despiegelare go, claiming she did not have a contract, but had been hired only to produce a promotional makeover video.

“Axelle de Spiegelaere is not one o L’Oreal Professionnel’s spokespeople L’Oreal 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.”

L’Oreal’s spokespeople said they were aware of the photo but declined to say it was the reason Despiegelaere’s contract was cancelled.