Ever since starting off A Model Recommends I have been at constant war with myself over just how honest to be regarding personal matters. Predominantly matters concerning my real age. The fashion world is a fickle old business, especially for models – you are warned about your ‘shelf life’ and the fact that ‘the end’ is pretty much always nigh. So it didn’t make a huge amount of sense for me to publicly announce my real age all over the shop for everyone to see – I know that many of my clients and potential clients come and have a read every now and again to see what I’m up to! I also know that the age people often think that I am is much, much lower than my actual biological age – the year before last I did a job in Milan where the client strictly would not use a girl over the age of twenty-one, for example. No questions were asked.
I’m not telling you all this to boast about ‘how young I look’ or ‘what a great model I am’ but to demonstrate how ridiculous the whole ‘age’ issue is. Celebrities, models, actresses all have to habitually lie in order to stay ahead of the game, even though most look younger than their real age anyway! It’s amazing how you can be perceived so differently once someone is aware of your real age, especially if it’s much older than they initially thought – on the plus side, I think that you get treated with a little more respect, a little more grace; on the flip side, it may just lose you that catalogue job or editorial shoot.
Surely all that matters is the age that you look, when you’re being cast for a job? When I’m asked how old I am at a casting, I always feel like answering “how old do you want me to be?” because most of the time I just pluck an age out of the air and come right out with it!
Anyway, I’m not having a gripe at all – anything but, actually. I feel really quite lucky – and treasured, if that’s the right word! – to still be a good working model after almost ten years in the industry. Still booking nice jobs, still working with great photographers and still having a whale of a time! And I’m not the only one – you’d be very surprised to know the real ages of many familiar faces in the modelling world; girls who regularly front beauty campaigns and so on who look twenty but have three kids and a mortgage!
Two photos below; one taken almost ten years ago, and the second taken this year. I have to say that I am far, far happier and more comfortable with my appearance now than I ever was ten years ago and that the years in between have given me a confidence that makes me a far better model. Take that, ageists!
So Happy Birthday to Me – some (probably most!) of you will know how old I am today, (clue: kind of a landmark birthday) but for the rest of you who want to know, I ask you this:
HOW OLD DO YOU WANT ME TO BE?!