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Q&A On The Modelling World

  1. How do you think modelling and fashion photography styles have changed from when your mum was modelling, to now?

The modelling world has expanded and opened up from the small elite world; which seemed almost impossible to be part of. A world that seemed to be sacred and untouchable. Only the few were able to give an opinion and those who weren’t part of it didn’t seem to matter. I think social media and bloggers have given the majority an opportunity to not only give their say but allowed more freedom to express and listen to others who have given their inspiration: to inspire and be inspired. Fashion photography is an art form that captures expression in a single photograph, it is almost innate to judge and learn and we are all constantly looking to others to follow and find what we believe in, in every part of fashion, from the way we dress to the way we live.

My mum has always believed that she is at the forefront of fashion (eye-roll), as styles seem to repeat and reinvent themselves. A coat she wore in 1990 would have been the ‘must-have’ piece for Spring 2015. Everything seems to come back around. Photography and fashion photography now show us that there is not only one body type, one face, or one way to dress that is ‘fashion’ or the ‘right kind’ of fashion. Most of us were brought up watching Disney films and having Barbie dolls and we saw the modelling world mimic this: that the slim girl was beautiful and others who didn’t fit this profile were almost thought to be non-descript, or not have a place in the modelling world. We know this is not the case but this is how it seemed to be when my mum was modelling. She told me she never felt beautiful and was always pointing out a flaw instead of celebrating her beauty. Reality TV and influencers of all kind have now shown that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. The plus-size models and clothing lines were almost unheard of. Fashion is part of the lifestyle we lead which allows us freedom to express ourselves and in a world where we all seem to strive to be different, our main objectives have always stayed the same: to have the freedom to just be ourselves and accepted into society.

2. As a model, have you ever been made to feel uncomfortable in front of the camera or on the set of a photoshoot? If so, why?

I think having had the full support of my mum growing up and learning so much of her experiences in the modelling world, I knew of a lot of the good and bad things that I was to face when I started modelling. The worst thing that can happen is when you are a young model, with others so much older than yourself and you’re not quite at the point where you feel you can say how you feel so you may stay quiet and hold it all in. I definitely grew with confidence as I got older but I think modelling taught me a lot about feeling insecure but I quickly learnt to take it on the chin, so to speak, and remember that it was just a job. Don’t get me wrong though, I have made some amazing friends and met some incredible creative people along my modelling journey but I think we always hold onto the bad experiences more than the good.

There have been a few times where I felt uncomfortable in front of the camera on a shoot, especially when I first began modelling, mainly from the words of others having made me feel not quite ‘modelling material’ or pretty enough. Growing up I suffered with problem skin and would occasionally come out in terrible acne. I once had a makeup artist say terrible things about my skin. I think having had such harsh things said about me at a young age has given me a great passion to support others who have been through the same thing, not just in the fashion industry but in everyday life. Flaws are what make us who we are and I think they almost humble us because we can always relate to others who have been through similar situations.

3. As a target consumer for high culture magazines such as Vogue and LOVE, how would you respond to a feature within one of these magazines which used an underage model (12-15) who was posed in an extremely provocative and exploitative way? (i.e. fully naked)

Not all of us are lucky enough to have the strong support from family members or perhaps some families may not have had experience in such an influential industry. It is completely unacceptable to expose or exploit anyone, no matter their age, but especially younger ones aged 12-15 in this way. I would like to think that those who have the control and authority to be in charge of such an influential and highly regarded culture magazine such as Vogue and LOVE would never allow this kind of indecent exploitation. These major magazine have such strong influence, and especially on the younger generations, who look to role models for their motivation to become and be like when they grow up. We must teach each other how to be kind and to accept everyone. After all we live in a world full of beautiful and diverse individuals and should always remember that beauty is not just skin deep.

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