Hillary Clinton Says Unwelcome ‘Suggestive’ Pictures Inspired Her Switch to Pantsuits

“I just couldn’t deal with it so I started wearing pants,” the former Secretary of State said

Hillary Clinton
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Hillary Clinton revealed the story behind the iconic pantsuits that she began wearing in the 1990s: unwelcome suggestive pictures and a Brazilian lingerie ad that followed.

The fashion choice was sparked by a visit to Brazil in 1995, in which photographs of Clinton were taken that ended up being used in lingerie advertisements following the visit, the former Secretary of State revealed in an interview with CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell Sunday.

“I was sitting on a couch and the press was let in. There were a bunch of them shooting up,” she said. “All of a sudden the White House gets alerted to these billboards that show me sitting down with, I thought, my legs together, but the way it’s shot, it’s sort of suggestive.”

After headlines — including “First lady of lingerie” and “Hillary Clinton Is ‘Star’ of Brazilian Lingerie Ad” — and her repeated experience of press photographing her from below, Clinton decided it was easier to switch to pants — beginning her decades-long pantsuit trend.

“And then I also began to have the experience of having photographers all the time — I’d be on a stage, I’d be climbing stairs and they’d be below me,” she continued. “I just couldn’t deal with it so I started wearing pants.”

In the same interview, daughter Chelsea Clinton, who joins her mother to highlight gutsy women in Apple TV+’s “Gutsy,” noted that she didn’t know about the reasoning behind her mother’s style switch up.

“You know, I didn’t know that story,” Chelsea said, “It’s by far, in a way, the greatest revelation I’ve had.”

The docuseries, which premieres Sept. 9, features “gutsy” women including Megan Thee Stallion, Dr. Jane Goodall, Mariska Hargitay, Kim Kardashian, Goldie Hawn, Kate Hudson, Amber Ruffin, Amy Schumer, Gloria Steinem and more.

When asked about the gutsiest thing she has ever done, Clinton had two answers: staying in her marriage in her private life and running for president in her public life.

“It was not easy and it was something that only I could decide,” she said about staying in her marriage. “It was really hard and, as you know, everyone had an opinion about it. People who I’d never met had very strong opinions about it. And it took a lot of, honestly, prayer and thoughtfulness and talking to people I totally trusted to really think through, because it was all being done in public, Norah, so it made it even more painful and difficult. But I have no regrets.”