Model Student


Lauren Day, Staff Writer


You see them in magazines, you see them on runways, you see them in ads. But, do you really see them?  Tall, gorgeous, elegant, always subject to people’s envy or anger and only seen as a perfect body or a pretty face. Models. Without experiencing their personalities, knowing their interests, or even understanding their back story, people judge models because of what they do, not because of who they are.

Junior at Seattle Prep and part time model, Ellen Porter shares her insight on the stigma of models and corrects these incorrect assumptions. “I think a lot of people think models are shallow, vain, uneducated, obsessed with themselves. There’s a lot of stigma around their weight, that a lot of models have eating disorders and that they’re just kinda airheads. But the truth is that modeling is a competitive industry and you have to be really smart to succeed. Each casting you go into is like an interview, so you’re basically just interviewing for new jobs. You meet a ton of new people, and you learn that it’s important to be respectful to everyone because you never know who knows who and what opportunities you can gain from certain people. Seattle is so small that a lot of clients will check in with me and ask about other models to see what they’re like. It’s competitive, and like I said, you have to be strategic and smart in order to make it.”

Working with such a stigma over her head, Porter often refrains from broadcasting the details of her modeling career. “Um ya I usually don’t tell people [I model], but it sometimes varies. I mean, a lot of people think it’s very cool and they’re not so rude about it to my face, but you always have to be careful because knowing I’m a model can really skew someone’s view of me if I tell them “oh, I’m a model” you know? They just think of that stereotype I described, and they judge me in a second. But generally, people are very nice about it and ask more questions, which is fun.”

This flash judgement has lead models to create tight knit communities where they can count on each other for support. When asked about her favorite parts of the job, Porter gleefully exclaims: “The community! She explains that the modeling community, especially at her agency, TCM, it extremely supportive. “A mom founded TCM and her daughter is my manager, so everyone is super tight and it’s basically like being a part of a family run business. They really care about you! For example, if you do a job internationally, they have their phones on at all hours of the night and you can call them any time with any question, no matter how stupid it is, and they will pick up and they’ll help you.

With dreams to walk a runway and many opportunities awaiting her, Porter is not thinking about stopping modeling anytime soon. To put it in her own words, “there are so many upsides to modeling! I’ve made a lot of great friends and I always feel so supported by my agency. I don’t really make that much money, but I love doing this because I feel like I’m doing something with my life now, so it’s cool that I can just do this and maybe it’ll help me out later. It could also create good opportunities for me later in life if I wanted to work in the fashion industry professionally, or even on the business side of things. I also love to travel, and modeling is great for that because if you book with an international client they will fly you out, and you can travel all around the world which is super dope!” With offers to shoot with bigger brands and model in Milan, Porter is sure to be someone to keep on the lookout!

Modeling is hard work that is often over-looked. Because some models, like Porter, are in pursuit of their dreams, it is important to understand each and every model’s love for their work and to respect them for their commitment to their craft.