Where it all began…
34 years ago I went to a casting for a photo shoot of Pernod. I really thought I wasn’t going to be the one they would choose, because there were so many beautiful girls I had to compete with. But they called me and I got the job . That was a great feeling.
After my MEAO I started modeling full time, but because I was literally always 3 cm too thick on my hips, it didn’t work a lot. Repeatedly I was told that I had to lose weight and because of that developed binge eating behaviour. The work only made me more and more insecure and after a few years, I decided to go to my studies and continue to do the modeling without having a size 0. After the my studies I started working at an advertising agency.
7 years later I completely changed course and I started to focus on working as amake-up artist. Since last year I have started modeling again because I was asked to model for a cosmetics brand. Fun part; They booked me just the way I am.. And now I can really enjoy working as a model. You meet a lot of inspiring people and visit special places. I enjoy working together with a brand and bringing out the best of both worlds. The income is nice and the work makes my world bigger. The combination of being a make-up artist and modeling is more pleasant, because I am totally independent. I also understand much better how it is for a model to be in the chair of a make up artist. As a model, being in front of the camera, the crew is busy with you all the time. But when I work as a makeup artist, it is great not to worry about my own appearance and I can just give all my positive energy to my model.
More and more commercial brands also dare to book older models fort heir campaigns. I think it is partly due to the aging population in our country that older models appeal more to the target group. And I see positive changes for the models in general. I see and feel more respect than before. It is more about the individual and a model is more often appreciated for being the person she is and not only the looks. Compared to the past, I think that the modeling agencies started guiding their models more instead of telling the mto loose weight and they didn’t care how they did it, as long as the measurements were ok.
Booking or not?
Although I feel much more relaxed than before, I still find it difficult that sometimes you only hear at the very last minute whether an assignment is confirmed or not. I like clarity and honesty and would like decisions tob e made earlier during the process instead of keeping all options open and book or cancel models at the last minute. In this business you feel more vulnerable, so I try not to take a rejection personally. Although I am 50 years old now, it can still be quite difficult sometimes. When an assignment is canceled, it can be a bummer, but on the positive side, I realize that I have more time for my son. And that a different job will be coming along soon. I rely on the law of duality. 😉
Because I’ve been in the situation, feeling very unhappy when I was on a set hearing the client whisper that I was ‘too fat’, I think it is important that these things no longer happen. It made me feel more insecure about my appearance and started binge eating because of it. I want to prevent that (young) models mentally and psychically suffer under the pressure of the industry. I do not let my happiness depend on my modeling job. Furhtermore, I enjoy wokring with other models and don’t see them as competition. I keep in mind not to take things personal when you’re not booked and especially listen carefully to my own needs.
If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it!
I am pleased that The Model’s Health Pledge strives for healthy and safe working conditions and that they provide insight and support to models. They also contribute to the education of clients, educating them on how to take good care of working with models. For example; Regulated breaks on set and healthy meals. So be yourself, you are good just the way you are. And if misconducts happen, don’t hesitate to contact The Model’s Health Pledge or your agency. They are there for you!
Interview: Merel Zoet