Bela Padilla‘s controversial cover of FHM Philippines has become a hot topic this week and even reached international news. The cover photo, which was immediately recalled by FHM, showed Bela clad in a sexy fuschia bikini along with other dark-skinned models with a caption “stepping out of the shadows”.

The concept of the cover for some people find it offensive and racist in nature. The caption and the body language of the models were are all submissive says Facebook user Ruth Elias.

In her interview with BBC NewsMishal Husain, Bela explained that the cover has no intention of discriminating any race. Here is an excerpt of that interview:

Mishal: “When you saw that picture of you and the black model behind you and ‘stepping out of the shadows,’ it didn’t ring any alarm bells to you?

Bela: “Honestly, I saw the picture before I saw the layout page with the caption. So I was as shocked as everyone when I saw the caption.

“But if the people get to read the article there, then you would understand why FHM chose that caption.”

Mishal: “Did you think when you, first of all, saw this, you were surrounded by black models, was there nothing in that thing that makes you think or gave you clues on how would this might end up?”

Bela: “You have to understand that we took the shot because it’s my coming of age here in the Philippines.

“I’m an actress here and we’re trying to change my image from the younger bracket to an older one.

Watch the full interview of Bela Padilla with BBC here.