Speaking to Metro to mark the release of her new BBC Three documentary, Zara McDermott: Uncovering Rape Culture, the former Love Island star explained how some people think that posting revealing photos on social media or wearing particular outfits puts women at a greater risk of being sexually assaulted.
“People sometimes say that about me, ‘Your Instagram is full of pictures of you on holiday or pictures of you in a tight dress and wearing nice clothes that don’t always cover you in every kind of way’,” she said.
“But then I always rebut that and say well, just because a woman dresses a certain kind of way doesn’t mean she’s asking to be assaulted.
“I think that’s a very clear message to be across. Women can be empowered and men can be empowered in any way they want and go on any show they want to go on, but that doesn’t mean anyone deserves to be assaulted.”
The 24-year-old went on to discuss her own experiences when it comes to what she wears.
“If I want to dress up in a pretty dress when I’m on a beach or a nice bikini, I can so do that.
“They are so far apart in my mind that there’s no correlation in that.”
McDermott’s new documentary follows one in 2019 about revenge porn, in which the reality star opened up about how an ex-partner leaked explicit photos of her while she was on Love Island.
“What I went through with my revenge porn experience, especially after Love Island, completely just clouded what happened because, for me, I wasn’t as emotionally affected by that so I don’t want to sit here and say this was the worst thing that happened to me because I got over it,” she said before going on to explain how she intends to use her platform.
“I’m in a really privileged position where I can really communicate with my audience,” she said.
“It’s incredible this connection I have with my viewers. That’s the beauty of having an audience that are there and ready to listen and watch my films as I can just listen to what they want and they go and [make that film].”