Interview: Model Bella Glanville (London, UK)
Can you tell us a little about you?
When I was younger, I was bullied for my looks and had incredibly low self-esteem. However, I decided to redefine the word ‘hate’ by taking the ‘e’ from the end and putting it at the beginning, turning it into ‘e-hat’. When someone handed me ‘hate’ after that, I saw it as an ‘e-hat’ with a label on it but it was my choice whether to wear that hat or not. At the age of 13, I started up my foundation, Lovekidz because I wanted to empower other young people to love themselves and take control of their lives. With my foundation, I have got to deliver two TED talks in America! I am now 19 years old and as well as my motivational speaking, have been modeling for five years in Europe and Australia. I have worked with companies such as Stella Mccartney, Topshop, Vogue and Nike.
If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
I strongly believe that everything that isn’t growing is dying, which is why I always strive to push myself further outside my comfort zone and am driven to become the best version of myself. With that in mind, my answer to that question is that I am always looking to grow. Everyone knows something that you don’t know, and a lesson can be learned from every experience. I think that everything happens for a reason and I use that belief to personally develop more and more every day, expanding my knowledge and strategies for life.
How did you start modeling?
The day I was scouted to be a model was actually the day that I delivered my first workshop on self-love! I love the irony in that.
What do you think of the work as a model?
As a feminist, it is empowering to be a part of the only industry in the world where the women get paid more than the men. It is also an incredible opportunity to travel and meet the most amazing people who each have these amazing, creative minds. However, I am aware that the standards created by the media can be very fake, which I discuss in my first TED talk. That being said, I love that the industry is changing. These days, it is an advantage to have something quirky about you as a model, and the media is embracing all shapes and sizes.
What is your beauty regimen?
I have been giving this advice for years and not once has it failed anyone: do not touch your face! It is as simple as that. I never let other people touch my face either (except make up artists, of course). I have never had a problem with my skin because of this. It is best to leave the pH of your skin alone, rather than upset it with facemasks and exfoliating creams. As for hair, I definitely recommend applying argan/morrocan oil when it dampens after every shower, and using heat protection spray if you are going to use straighteners or tongs. Another hair secret is Nexus shampoo. I don’t know if angels made it or if it came from heaven itself, but it is magical. I could go to sleep with wet hair after using it and wake up with glossy, styled hair.
What are your personal qualities which distinguish you from others?
Well, my friends often refer to me as the ‘walking encyclopedia of inspirational quotes’. Personally, I think that I stand out from the fact that I fully embrace the person that I am. I believe that if you live your life based on others’ judgments then you are living their life and not your own. I use this to hold my posture in my crazy tall height and I embrace this in work. In fact, I cast for the Stella Mccartney show in sweatpants, a hoodie, sneakers and greasy hair. This wasn’t out of choice, as I had just done an exam in this attire, but I decided to attend the casting anyway and embrace who I was in that moment. I truly believe that this made me stand out and is the reason that I got the job!
What are your plans for the future?
In the long term, I plan on being a Clinical Psychologist. I would love to start up my own private practice and help people from all kinds of backgrounds. It is the best way to expand what I am doing now on a wider scale and I am so passionate about Psychology! As for my modeling career, my biggest goal is to walk on the Victoria’s Secret runway. I am a finalist in Miss Universe GB this year, and I find both these catwalks to be so empowering. I love the fact that the girls are able to smile and have fun! More importantly to me, Victoria’s Secret and Miss Universe give women a loud voice to spread the message that they want.
What are some of your favorite experiences so far?
My favourite job has definitely been Stella Mccartney. They needed models that could sing to come to Paris and lead all the other models in a surprise tribute performance to George Michael at the end of the show. Not only was Paris amazing, but I also happened to be directly in front of the paparazzi, which bode well for me when the show appeared all over the news! That weekend was definitely my moment of fame. Stella, herself, is so lovely and really looked after the models. She gave us all vegan food (which was great for me!) and was so caring towards us all. Another interesting job for me was my campaign for Wella. They completely dyed my hair pink! Someone stopped me in the street to tell me that I looked like a flamingo. I agreed with them.
Do you have any advice for those who want to start modeling?
Every agency has its own look. If one doesn’t want to sign you, it doesn’t say anything about how beautiful you are. It simply means that you don’t suit their look. Clients will go to particular agencies if there is a particular look that they want. Go for as many as you can, because you want to join the one that has a booker who is the most excited for you. The more excited they are to sign you, the harder they will work for you! I would also suggest that you phone them up, ask to speak to the ‘new face team’, introduce yourself and say that you are interested in joining their agency. This leaves much more of an impression than simply turning up during walk-in times. Be your lovely, bubbly self!
What do you think of the magazine?
My favourite thing about Modellenland is that you can read the stories of so many wonderful women! I find that one can learn life lessons best through someone else’s story.
Harry Hayes photography
Stella Mccartney Paris Fashion Week
Prasoon Jaiswal photography
Imani Clovis Photography
Brian White Photography
Lewis Hayward photography
Jeans For Refugees Campaign
Katherine Boyle photography
Dan Short Photography