There are few jobs that cause as much fascination and foster so many misconceptions as ‘fashion model’.
As Cameron Russell’s important and hugely popular TED Talk demonstrates, there has also never been a more important time to take the job seriously and use it to promote positive self-images for young people.
Jess Greaves has worked as a model for several years with the British agency MiLK Management under their ‘Curve’ category and is a strong advocate for body positivity, using her work and her Instagram to promote healthy body images. She uses hersocial media presence to help dispel myths surrounding the private lives of models- we can immediately see that she is a three dimensional person who works hard and has a life beyond the styled fashion shoots of her work. And she takes a mean photo!
Today, she shares with us the ins and outs of working as a model and some tips for starting out and dealing with work that comes and goes- helpful for any freelancer.
How did you get started?
I started at the ripe old age of 8 months. My mum who’d been modelling herself for many years put me up for a Pampers commercial, and I got it. I worked from there throughout my childhood on various fashion campaigns and commercials and then fell into the ‘curve’ industry when I was 17.
Do you have a daily routine? Can you describe it for us?
Absolutely not! The one thing that this job doesn’t have is any type of routine. One day I wake up at home, the next I wake up on the other side of the world. Everything is so last minute but I guess that’s the most fascinating part of the whole thing.
What keeps you going every day?
The possibility of being able to create something new. I also do photography as a hobby, so whether it’s in front or behind the camera, there’s always something new to make.
What are the main challenges that you face in your work?
The inconsistency of it. Sometimes you could go for months without working, so balancing life during that time can get tough. It can also take a toll on your mental health, as you constantly question your ability to do your job in the quiet months! You’ve just gotta keep productive and create new ways for jobs to come to you.
What three pieces of advice would you give anyone wanting to do similar work?
1. Rejection is normal, keep going!
2. Make sure you speak up when you feel you’re not being treated fairly. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you need to do something (nudity etc.) just because superiors are telling you to.
3. Savings are never a bad thing.
What would you like to work on next?
Again, maybe when the modelling dies out I’ll fall into photography. I’m blessed to have a leg up in that I know lots of wonderful models and have picked up several skills from being on sets.
Make sure to follow Jess on her Instagram @jessicajgreaves to see more of her amazing work and behind the scenes shots. Thank you so much Jess!