Being a model might come with the perks of getting to wear fabulous designer clothes, pose for top fashion photographers, and being celebrated as beautiful all around the world – but, it isn’t always glamorous. Models work on tough schedules, usually face pressure to maintain a certain image, and have to work very hard to make sure they can survive in this competitive field.
Lisa Marie Marlier, who has posed for Men’s Health and fashion photographers all over the world, has learned quite a bit of what it takes to find success in this industry over the years. From dealing with the hustle and bustle and what it takes to keep your career going, she’s certainly developed her bag of tricks and advice for those interested in going into the modeling world. She recently shed some light on a series of questions many of us have always wanted to know about the modeling industry.
1.I’ve noticed you’ve had photos with no make-up, are you familiar with the no make-up movement? If so, how do you think it’s changing the public’s idea of beauty?
I am familiar with the no makeup movement. When I don’t have castings or work I usually go au natural…I like to give my skin a break but also partly out of sheer laziness. I think it’s great that women want to empower each other to feel beautiful in their own skin; however, I think the movement should be about feeling your best with or without makeup and not focusing on one or the other as “the right way” to feel beautiful. If a woman wants to do full hair and makeup everyday and that makes her feel confident and beautiful that’s great- and if a woman wants to wake up, throw her hair in a messy bun and go makeup free and that also makes her feel confident and beautiful, that’s also great!
2.Have you ever felt pressure from agencies to maintain a certain image?
Of course. It’s part of the business. I have been told I am too fat, too skinny, too flat chested, too tan, too white, too tall, too blonde, too smiley, too sexy- the list goes on. You just have to take what everyone says with a grain of salt, and just do what makes you feel healthy and beautiful when you look into the mirror each morning.
3.What’s the toughest thing about being a model?
How unstable and random it can be. I sometimes go months without being paid for jobs, so even though I always know I have money coming in, it’s hard to deal with the uncertainty of when that might happen. Scheduling your life is hard too because you generally don’t know your casting or work schedule until the night or a couple of days before.
4.What knowledge have you gained from other models that has helped your career?
I learned early on it’s not about booking a job, it’s about rebooking it. Getting repeat clients that want to use you regularly is more valuable than booking one big job only one time.
5.Do you treat this as a craft?
I enjoy switching up my workout. I always have to do an ab routine, but with that I enjoy weights, spinning, yoga, pilates, hiking, and sometimes just an elliptical. A lot of my weight maintenance has to do with my eating habits. Everyone is different and it’s about knowing your body.
7.How do you think the era of the “it girl” has changed the modeling industry?
It’s completely taken over. There is no longer a standard of what it means to be a “model”. You can be 5’6″ or you can be 6’5″ and be anywhere from super skinny to fit to curvy to plus size. There is now the phenomenon of “instafamous” and clients are picking up on that. They would rather have a girl/guy with thousands of Instagram followers to represent their brand than an agency signed professional model. I may not agree with it but I understand the marketing and business standpoint of it.
8.Do you see your role as a model in the fashion industry as more of an expressive one or a representational one?
Representational. I would like my role as a model to be a role model. There are so many bigger, more important things going on in the world than fashion and modeling. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and the life that it has given me, but I try to use my public platform as a way to help others.
9.Do you feel like diversity is still a problem in the industry with runways still lacking plus size models, and high-fashion campaigns still lacking representation of women of different racial backgrounds and ethnicities?
No, I think a lot of brands have jumped on board to the “anyone and everyone is beautiful” movement. Yes, there are still brands that have stuck with the cookie cutter idea of what a model should look like for their company, but I feel like there are more campaigns nowadays promoting different ideas of what beauty is in the fashion industry.
10.Do you feel photoshop has created a skewed perception of the ideal body image?
Yes and no. Photoshop has created unrealistic body “goals”, but with that being said, EVERYTHING is photoshopped these days and everybody now knows that Photoshop is being used. A great quote I saw was “You Can Never Look Like Them [models] Because They Don’t Look Like Them, Either” and it’s true. I think social media has helped a lot with this skewed mindset because we see these famous people posting normal pictures of themselves and everyone can see that they don’t actually look as flawless as they do in magazines.
11.How do you feel about the public perception of the modeling world that the industry is rampant with eating disorders and drug usage? We both know this is an ugly stereotype, but what do you think we in the fashion industry and those in the modeling world can do to combat this ugly stigma?
Unfortunately, stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason; they tend to have some truth behind them. I’m lucky that I, nor any of my close modeling friends in the industry, have ever had issues with either one of those things. Eating disorders and drug use are still prevalent in the fashion world and probably always will be, but thankfully with this new wave of a healthy body being more important than just a skinny body, there seems to be a lot less of that model stigma.