"Many times women believe you have to be one or the other but in my eyes (and experience) being strong and being extreme IS beautiful AND sexy; and every woman out here can ABSOLUTELY be both."
Model Citizen App is the platform where we recognise fashion models, photographers, designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, creative directors, bloggers, stylists, and labels around the world. Every day, we feature an individual on Model Citizen Interviews. People get to know each of them - their hopes, challenges, aspirations and inspirations in life.
Tell us about yourself: Why do you want to work as a model? Why are you interested in modelling as a career?
I am both a model and a cyclist in NYC. I started modeling at a time when I had extremely low self esteem, but both the modeling and cycling helped me to grow strong physically, mentally and emotionally. My goal as a model is to build a platform for other women to go out be athletic. Cycling is tons of fun but going out into the streets of NYC holds a a great risk of crashing (which causes many women to turn away from the sport). I want to abolish the stigma between being beautiful/ sexy and being fit/ athletic. Many times women believe you have to be one or the other but in my eyes (and experience) being strong and being extreme IS beautiful AND sexy; and every woman out here can ABSOLUTELY be both.
How important is modelling education: Have you attended modelling courses? What related courses or studies have you taken?
Study is extremely important to be a model. I took a class called The Working Model sponsored by the CEO of Queens Fashion Week, Delali Hagilah, where we were taught model etiquette and runway walking. I've also read several books and articles concerning posing, hand placement, and facial expressions. It's important to practice in front of your mirror, so that when you're in front of the camera your creative flow is automatic. Think about it; why would a director want to cast someone who stumbles on set and doesn't know what to do? Your percentage of good/ usable photos at a shoot should be at a 95% yield (or more).
What do you think makes someone “fit” to be a model?
A person who is "fit" to be a model is someone with excellent discipline and attitude. You need to be disciplined enough to stay in shape and keep your measurements consistent, eat healthy, and get enough rest. Your body is your vessel for work; if you don't properly take care of your vessel you won't achieve great work. However your attitude is also important; a great model has a positive attitude when she attends a casting (whether s/he makes the cut or not), understands that the way s/he carries him/ herself publicly represents not only him/ her but the agency they work for. More importantly a great model understands that every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow, therefore s/he must be able to be easily coachable.
What are your goals as a model? How do you see yourself progressing in this field?
As a model I wish to break the barrier for all women who are afraid to athletically challenge themselves because they're afraid in any way, shape or form. By being both a model and a cyclist I want to inspire other females to do the same, and not be afraid to "kick ass". We can all dig deep, fight our biggest fears, overcome our scariest challenges, and be beautiful in the process.
Do you have any knowledge of the advertising industry?
Advertisements are in place to sell a certain type of body type, style, or trend. It's constantly changing based on what the public accepts as "cool." However as we watch television, movies, and read advertisements we regurgitate exactly what they feed us. Every model should see the documentary "Merchants of Cool" it's a real eye opener.
How do you communicate with people? Are you patient? Are you friendly? How open are you to clients’ requirements?
I always try to be as friendly, polite, and upbeat as possible. A model isn't only his/ her looks it's his/ her attitude as well; chances are if your personality sucks you won't get hired again.
Do you eat nutritiously? How often do you exercise or go to the gym?
I ride my bike almost everyday, but I train seriously at least once a week. I also eat lots of fruit, vegetables, and protein; in addition I don't eat after 8pm.
What is your dream role as a model?
My dream role as a model is to be an inspiration to young women everywhere. To get young women to be more active, and to think positively about themselves as well as their aspirations and goals. I want to be that female that other girls look at and say "She's badass, if she can do it then I can too."
Do you have any limitations? How do you define your boundaries when choosing to accept a modelling request?
The only thing I won't do is tasteless pornographic modeling. I'm okay with nudes or implied as long as they're done tastefully and with someone that makes me feel comfortable. Before accepting a modeling job I ask about the project I'm being offered, where the photos will be posted, etc. if it sounds sketchy I politely decline.
State your availability: Would you travel? Work full-time, part time? Any hours?
I work part time but I would love to model full time, and I would definitely travel if I'm asked (as long as I can bring my bike too).
What is your most memorable experience so far?
My most memorable experience would have to be having the opportunity to interview celebrities on camera during NYFW 2010. I was offered a job last minute, skipped class, and had a blast. In addition, I recently had the honor of being featured on the IG page @pretty_girls_on_bike and @pedalizm . It's a small step toward my dream of inspiring others, and being featured with other gorgeous female cyclists.
Photographer: Dave Silverberg (@therolleiguy)
Model: Natalie Heredia
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