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Yasmin Benoit: Story & Interview

I’m an alternative model from Berkshire in the UK who is currently signed to The Twisted Agency. I’m also a full-time college student studying Psychology, Sociology, and English Literature & Language.

How would you describe your personality? I’m going to do my best to keep this as realistic and balanced as it can be as a self-report. I’m analytical, I’m generally anxious – particularly when I’m in the position to be criticized – I’m questioning, open-minded, considerate, and tolerant. I’m passive, too passive for confrontation, and I’m usually quite quiet and reserved. I do have a more humorous and talkative side, but it only reveals itself to a particular selection of people, usually on rarer, more intimate occasions. I’m aware that there’s a sense of awkwardness about me, and I’ve thought for a long time that ‘weird’ is a good way to describe me, as it can be interpreted in many ways that feel suited. It could be said that I’m an acquired taste, but due to the lack of tasters, I’m lacking in evidence to support the notion that I have a particularly appealing personality.

How would you describe your professional interests? In terms of modeling, my primary interest is creating a portfolio I find interesting and expressive.

Why do you want to work as a model? Why are you interested in this Career? At this point in time, I see modeling as being more of a hobby than a career path. I began modeling when I was sixteen because I found my inactivity frustrating. Since ceasing karate when I was fourteen, I hadn’t involved myself in anything other than school. To me, modeling was something completely different from anything I had done before. It is sometimes psychologically challenging, but it continues to be both personal and gratifying for me, something I can do primarily for myself, in my free time, with little in the way of pressure. With alternative modeling, in particular, it seems that the models have more in the way of control than in fashion modeling – whether it is with their schedules, the themes of their photoshoots, the photographer they work with or the clothes that they wear – and I find that appealing and convenient. I like the DIY element of alternative modeling and the degree of self-expression the models are allowed. To me, the photoshoot process is creative, cooperative, and constructive and that’s the reason I’ve chosen to model.

What languages do you speak? I can only speak English.

What’s your background in modeling? I don’t have much of a background in modeling. As I stated earlier, I began modeling when I was sixteen. Prior to that, I had no experience in the area.

How would you describe your style? Consider anything and everything from color to historical eras and more. In general, my style could be described simply as ‘alternative’ – I know it has vague distinctions, it’s not difficult to work out what someone means when they use the term in this context. My clothes are generally dark with black being the color that dominates my wardrobe, but the style of the clothes varies somewhat. There are times when my style is more ‘Victorian gothic’ – as some call it – with corsets and long dresses. There are times where my clothes end up resembling those of Spike from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ with the all-black combination of jeans, a belt, a tucked in a fitted top, and a long trench coat. There are also times where my style is loosely inspired by the female wrestlers, like Ashley Massaro, Angel Williams (Angelina Love), and Velvet Sky, which can come across as more ‘risqué’ to some. I tend to wear a lot of black because I prefer wearing more neutral colors that aren’t very bold. It’s not that I dislike other colors, or that I dislike outfits that are colorful, I just prefer not to cover my body with them. The only other colors I wear aside from black are darker shades of grey and deep, bloody red, and that’s generally in smaller amounts.

What makes a stylish woman or man? Is there a difference? That’s quite a difficult question for me to answer because what is ‘stylish’ depends on the viewer’s conception. It could be said that ‘style is in the eye of the beholder.’ I try not to concern myself with what other people wear, and I don’t think that a person’s gender identity should make a difference when it comes to how ‘stylish’ they are; clothes may be designed with a target audience in mind, but they can be worn by everyone, and if that person feels comfortable in it, that’s what’s important.

What are your strengths? And what are your weaknesses? Some of the time, I think the two can be interchangeable, but from a general perspective, I’d say that my strengths are in my inquisitive mind and analytical abilities, and I would say that my weakness is anxiety and a lack of confidence in most things.

How would you describe working with the photographer? That depends entirely on what the photographer is like, as you’d expect, it varies from person to person. All I can really say there is that it’s usually cooperative, communicative, and hopefully constructive.

Why would you think you’re fit for being a model? Anyone can be a model, as long as someone wants to take include them in a photograph. Models are generally associated with being extraordinarily attractive by their culture’s standards, but it’s not necessary for all types of modeling. Anyone who is willing to model, and put time and effort into their modeling, is fit to be a model. I’m willing to do that, and people are willing to take my photograph, and that’s why I’m fit for being a model.

Do you do your own hair and make-up? Yes, I do, which is why my hair is always the same in photoshoots and my make-up is always simple!

Where do you generally shop? I get most of my clothes online, generally on websites like eBay and Amazon, but also from various music merchandise stores.

Do you have any limitations? Would you model any kind of clothing at all? I would be very hesitant to model something I don’t feel comfortable in, more mentally rather than physically. If I feel too exposed or self-conscious in something, I definitely wouldn’t model in it.

Describe the ideal work environment for you. It would have to be a relaxed and comfortable environment where everyone knows what they are doing with achievable and discussed artistic intentions in mind. A nearby supply of fresh-mint Tic-Tacs would also be a nice touch, as I really like those, haha!

Is there anything else you’d like to add? I’ve recently made a Facebook Fan-Page, ( press ‘like’ for updates related to my modeling! And thanks for the interview, Shardul, I’m very appreciative of the opportunity.

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