Firstly, viagra approved discount let me begin this with a big Merry Christmas and thank you to everyone who has been supporting, drugs sharing and contributing to LAPP; I couldn’t have gotten this far without you!
I was scouted and signed at the age of 14 in London on a walk home from school and since then my life has been a whirl wind of travelling, photoshoots and mistakes that I hope you guys can learn from; modelling isn’t just a job, it’s an entire lifestyle that you can’t go into half heartedly but you can prepare yourself by reading over my top tips! I made the mistakes so you don’t have to. These tips can really be applied to any creative industry so hope you all find these helpful in some way.
Practice your walk
Now this may seem like a very obvious one but let me tell you, it is so important to prevent from the embarrassing moments that I have had due to my weak ass ankles. Go to Camden and get some real life stripper shoes for £20 and practice your ass off, go to TK Maxx and get ankle weights too because when the runway comes like a marathon, the last thing you want is your chicken legs to give way at the last hurdle.
Remember education is important
Please do not think that modelling is the perfect job to escape education; you are tested every single day of your career as a model and being naive to the fact that you will always need some kind of education can lead to a number of issues throughout your career. From the 15 year old from Texas who blurted out in a room full of silent models “I love talking to you Leomie, you sound posh and white, I thought all black people had American or Jamaican accents” to simply being asked what you study and be able to have in depth conversations about politics and literature with top editors long after the meeting was meant to be over, being educated is a major key that you shouldn’t take for granted. One thing I am happy about is the fact I stayed in school until I was 18 because you learn how to conduct yourself with your peers and also when to shutup, a skill that the 15 year old from Texas hadn’t picked up on yet!
Take control of your social media presence
As much as some people do not enjoy using social media, it is such an important tool in cementing your brand and showing people who you really are as a person as opposed to who you are constantly made to be via photoshoots and runway. One of my biggest tips is to show your interests through social media; if you are an artist show your doodles and illustrations. If you sing, you better run to your bathroom for those good acoustics- it is important to show people your passions. Most models have great social media presence but the ones who stand out and also make more money for their outside interests are the ones who show it on social media. Prime examples of this are my friends Charlie Barker and Sang Woo; Sang has worked with major players in the fashion world because of his art including hosting his own solo exhibitions which I don’t think would’ve been possible without his artistic Instagram that gained him a lot of attention and exposure. Modelling is great but making money from your other interests and setting yourself a part from the sea of models out there is better- don’t play yourself.
Remember that what you put online is there forever
This one is an annoying one and continues on from the last- whatever you put out there cannot be retracted. Gone are the days of “you had to be there to see it” now there’s a live stream, a screenshot, a drone, recording every single thing you do. Not saying you shouldn’t be yourself- I strive to represent a model who does what she likes BUT… You also have to be aware that you are under a microscope now and you want every move you make to be a genuine reflection of you, not just a silly fleeting moment you didn’t think anyone would care about because the internet cares about every bad thing you do, A LOT!
Modelling isn’t all glitz and glamour
People always see the end result of a modelling job… the magazine cover, the runway picture, the street style, the hair and makeup. What you don’t see is a girl who left home at 15 to move to a country where she didn’t speak the language or the fact that this fashion show was her fourth today and her hair is ruined and skin is breaking out due to the makeup. When you see the campaign you don’t know that this model shot for 12 hours in freezing conditions in a bikini to get the one shot you like and scroll past on Instagram. In most of these cases, you as a model are expected to just deal with it, there’s no one to complain to and complaining isn’t going to make you into a super model- trust me, I’ve seen what happens to those who really don’t roll with the punches.
Americas Next Top Model is so fake
I remember pulling up to my first ever model apartment in New York when I was 17 years old trying for my first fashion week. I had visualised a beautiful, modern home, a mansion if you will, where the girls had pyjama parties and cooked together and we all ran to our colourful bedrooms and shouted “this is mine!” When leaping onto the double beds.
Well first of all it was old as shit and the TV didn’t work, the TV even had a back and VCR below. I was staying with 12 girls with 8 being Russian so you know, basically just three other girls who would even acknowledge I even entered the house. We didn’t have pyjama parties but we did have mice and cockroaches! And the sleeping arrangements were less ANTM and more HMP with bunk beds in a small ass room and a bathtub that was browner than my concealer stick. There was no Tyra Mail but we would receive our schedules for the next day late at night and I guess the challenge was to not get a call from your booker the next day changing your schedule while you were out because we had no internet on our phones either to map the new address.
Don’t let the industry gas you
If you happen to become one of the popping girls that season, you will be told everyday how beautiful you are and how successful you’re going to be. What they don’t tell you is that all it takes is for someone new to walk through the door or someone powerful to stop taking interest in you and your “endlessly successful career” can become just another fart in the fashion world. As much as peoples compliments and promises can excite even the most humble of models, don’t let it distract you from the fact that there are thousands of girls just like you. The difference between you and them will be who wants it bad enough that they continue fighting like they’re hungry. I always go to set with the mindset of being a new model despite working in the industry for nearly ten years because you never know what can happen tomorrow or who someone will be. So be nice to your dressers, don’t be a diva just because you see other older models acting up- people probably don’t like them either and can’t wait for their fart to pass.
Don’t let the industry break you
If you really can’t handle rejection or seek closure after every situation that doesn’t work out in your favour… literally learn to deal with it or get lost. Modelling isn’t about being the prettiest, the skinniest, the most.. Modelesque. It’s a mix of things from having the right booker, turning up at your castings at the right time, luck and consistency. Sometimes the only explanation for you not getting the job is simply “they liked someone else”- not that she was prettier or sweeter than you. Sometimes there’s no explanation at all; I’ve known girls to get pulled out of line up before a show has even started simply because the designer doesn’t like the look anymore- it’s not easy and this job definitely isn’t for everyone. You have to take criticism on the chin and learn to decipher what is constructive and what you should brush off and move on from.
If you want an easy and fast way to make money- this shit isn’t for you.
So many girls tell me they want to be rich and famous models and want to earn money from taking pictures all day- I just spat out my tea. Money and modelling is about as complex as quantum physics because it’s never as simple as do a photoshoot and get paid. Firstly, you start your career in debt because nothing, not even the magazine you are in, comes for free. Some of the best dressed models you see on streetstyle blogs are in debt because their agency made them buy a whole new wardrobe and look for castings. The it girl who is in every editorial is probably broke because they aren’t commercial enough to work with brands that actually pay. Oh yes, editorials do not pay- if Kim Kardashian wasn’t paid for her #breaktheinternet cover, why would they pay some any girl from South London?! Let me not even talk about how long it takes to actually see the money when you do actually do a money job- I have jobs from 2014 that haven’t and probably will not pay me.
Remember modelling isn’t a job, its a whole life
It took me forever to get used to the fact that I would miss a lot of key things as a teenager, those little trips with friends, a family members birthday, cut my holiday short, all in the name of fashion. I used to miss summers in London with my friends to be sitting in a model apartment in New York eating tinned tomato soup because I still couldn’t cook that well and thinking “this is shit, I’m not even working”. But all those days of dedication will pay off in the long run. I’ve been through so much throughout my career from being the poppin’ break through black girl walking for Marc by Marc, Loewe and shooting with Nick Knight, to being broke and not working for months with £50 in my account whilst my friends just got student loan for the first time; it’s all about perseverance and perspective.
I always knew I was’nt meant to work a 9-5 and I always knew that remaining humble throughout everything would get me further than just being pretty. Being nice to that casting directors assistant when I was 17 means I now have great relationships with head casting directors now- you never know where you or anyone else will be in the future. Staying in a shitty models apartment meant I learned to appreciate when I did have my own space and also helped me learn that no matter where you come from, be it a small town in Russia or a big city like London, you can over come all obstacles.
Modelling isn’t easy and definitely isn’t always fun but it is a life that I wouldn’t change for anything because it has taught me so much, through both my successes and my mistakes. I finally feel like I am on my true journey to success, from working with artists I used to Stan over like Kanye to walking for Victoria’s Secret but I will always keep my head down and work like a new face model because one thing that any and everyone can appreciate is someone who remained the same and remained humble regardless of how crazy their surroundings have been.
Written by Leomie Anderson