Being a model is like being a chameleon in that you have to express many different looks and emotions depending on the product you are modelling. At one moment you have to wear something outrageous, the next something very conservative – there are even those times when you have to wear something that you would never choose to wear yourself... But no matter what you are modeling, you have to own it.
It’s hard to define ‘owning it’; it is embodying what you are doing or wearing. Authenticity is the result - when you own it, it will look completely natural on you. However, this is easier said that done – especially in pressured situations, like on the runway or in front of the camera.
Everyone should know what I’m talking about. How many times do you look into your closet and spend a few minutes debating on what to wear, changing and unchanging clothes, turning around in the mirror... the trial and error process of putting an outfit together that either results in you walking out of the house feeling really sexy and confident, or feeling a bit self conscious.
I’ve worn some crazy outfits in my career, but like I said, it’s not about what I want to wear, it’s about what the designer wants me to wear. As a model, you are being employed to do a job and that job is to show off a product. You have to take yourself out of it and assume a different character, one that appears completely natural in the product – one that owns the look.
Ultimately, all attention should be focused on the product, not you as model. If you’re not owning it, it shows up like a beacon to everyone looking at you and they are then therefore more focused on the awkwardness of the model rather than the product.
This is what our girls learnt this week - as a model, you have to embody many different styles and looks, whether you feel comfortable or not, and remain natural in whatever situation you might be in.
In Cheyenne’s master class our girls were given a style test. Each contestant had five minutes to pull together an outfit on a very limited brief based around one item of clothes. They didn’t have a choice – they had to make it work and own a look in order to pass the test. Owning a style is so important in this industry.
THEN our girls had to become different characters in a circus, complete with wearing circus attire, and shoot a commercial for MaxFactor. Something our girls found out very quickly is that the camera catches your every movement, it doesn’t wait for you to ‘own it’, you have to arrive ready.
There was a moment that stood out to me in this week’s episode. Brittany had a tough time with the challenge and kept looking down – a sure sign that she wasn’t comfortable, or owning her role. Holding your head up and making eye contact is hugely important. It conveys a sense of strength; you look like you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t.
The reason people look down, avoiding eye contact is because they're insecure, and they want to hide. But you only get once chance at the job, there’s no time to be uncertain, you’ve just got to bring it! I'm glad I was able to address this with one of my team members so they were able to learn from this and move forward.
For this very reason, I had to put Brittany up for elimination. Yes, not owning something can be that detrimental to a models performance... Luckily, Cheyenne kept her because we all see her potential, and she's young and willing to learn. But going forward Brit, you gotta start owning it!!!
This competition is not for everyone. It's hard. It makes you dig deep as a person and confront all of your insecurities. But I hope our girls are learnt this week that if you are going to succeed, you have to ‘own it’ every step of the way.
Until next week, marie claire Australia!
Love and light,