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Rebekah Maree: Story & Interview

I recently just completed my studies as a student at Otago University with double major Commerce and Design. Within my time at University I also acquired a scholarship and completed my degree with high grades. Education is super important to me, I love learning new things, knowledge is power. Whilst working in customer service, I’m also part-time modeling & signed to a modeling agency here in Dunedin, NZ ICAN models & talent – specializing in photographic, commercial, fashion, swimwear. Recently completed in Miss Universe New Zealand Dunedin and selected into the top 10 2014.

Describe yourself in three words. I am Adventurous, Passionate, and Goofy.

What languages do you speak? English.

How would you describe your personality? Wholesome, colorful, compassionate, daring, open-minded, impulsive, accepting, opinionated, indecisive, genuine, honest, a perfectionist, excitable, moralistic, positive, driven

How would you describe your style? It really depends on my mood, sometimes I like lazy – that’s always a good look! Ha. No in all seriousness I like to change it up a fair bit but most of the time I like to go for that sophisticated chic kinda look.

Can you sum up your style in three words? I am Classy, Feminine, and Chic.

What’s your most memorable shoot? And what kind of shoots would you like to work on in the future? Most Wanted Vintage 2012 – It was a shoot I won through a modeling contest online, we did a few shoots and I remember on the day of the second shoot we shot around North Dunedin it was freezing cold, I’m standing there in 6-inch heels (I could barely walk) my hair all piled up on top of my head with black lipstick and an outfit that was creatively awesome – I was so cold I was just about numb and while trying to concentrate we had cars driving past totting/honking or looking to see what was going on which was pretty distracting. The conditions of shoots can be challenging, but as our job, the model, we have to be able to work under conditions like that. In terms of the type of shoots I’d like to work on in the future – catalog work, fashion print, editorial, commercial modeling, runway.

How would you describe your professional interests? I’m a creative person, no doubt about it. I have a business & design degree completed with a scholarship but somewhere along the way changed my mind about what I want to pursue in life (in terms of the business side of things). My mom is an artist, which happens to run in the family with my sister being an awesomely talented painter and younger sister is training to be an actress as an A+ drama student so naturally, I’d fit within that artistic type as well. I’m passionate about the arts – graphic design, animation stuff, story-boarding, and the works, I’m also really passionate about modeling. I love being on stage nowadays & being a total center of attention. I love having the opportunity to become someone else for a few hours, to express something different, an emotion, it’s a fun and exciting way to play those parts while incorporating a piece of myself into it. I love the creative people you met and work with within each job – the designers, makeup artists, and photographers.

What do you think, is it important to attend a fashion modeling course? Most definitely – but it is not essential. Modeling courses, in my opinion, are extremely good to gain confidence though which is pretty important within the modeling industry, you’ve got to be thick-skinned and very confident with yourself, if you don’t feel confident then it’s going to portray this in photos, catwalk modeling. The modeling courses also give you an idea of what to expect, what clients expect from you and the classes demonstrate the necessary skills you will be required to use within photo-shoots and catwalk shows.

Do they really help newbies to get a foothold in the Fashion Industry? In the sense of confidence, but the rest is really up to the model. Completing a modeling course doesn’t mean to say you’re gonna get your foot into the fashion industry and be the next big supermodel in L.A, modeling courses help you sharpen up on your skillset and help prepare you. The more experience you gain the more likely you are to be the best you can be, the experience of doing a few modeling courses obviously really does benefit your performance. After having done various shoots over the years I recently did many catwalk classes with Annalise Dobbison – (Dunedin ICAN talent scout & artistic director for MUNZ) whilst being in the Miss Universe New Zealand Dunedin contest. At first, given I’m more of a photographic model the idea of catwalk scared the bejesus out of me, but I pushed myself to get out there and gave it a shot, Annalise helped me sharpen up on my catwalk modeling and on the night things ran smoothly and far better than I ever expected. After the experience catwalk is something I’d definitely want to get more involved in now.

Is there anything you want to change about yourself? Physically? No. I mean obviously, there are things I don’t like about myself which a lot of women can relate to in regards to their own self-image but at the end of the day, it’s those flaws that I think give us that uniqueness and makes us an individual, society influences the way we think about beauty and how we should look but if we all looked the same of this ideal perfect Hollywood image then everyone would look the same and that would make things a little boring don’t you think?

Personality-wise: Well nobody is perfect of course if it’s a trait that affects others and causes hurt then obviously its time to change, but if it’s a characteristic that just makes you an individual and people love you just the same then I really don’t see the point. Be yourself!

What kind of modeling are you interested in and why? Photographic, fashion, editorial, commercial, swimwear. People often have this idea that modeling is entirely how you look, funny thing is that it isn’t, it’s about acting in a way, recognizing the client’s needs, and then having the skills to be able to perform this to advertise a product/fashion line or even a person. You could be drop-dead gorgeous and still be an unsuitable model there’s really more to it than you think.

Do you have any other experience in the fashion industry (like writing photography etc.)? I’m really into fashion, being that I’m involved in the modeling industry this isn’t a surprise, I like to style myself & others. I’ve styled myself with most of my photo-shoots I’ve had. I’ve also taken a photography course; this is definitely something I’d like to explore in the future.

Describe the atmosphere when you’re on a shoot? On my first ever shoot I was pretty nervous, which i suppose is pretty normal after I gained more and more experience I became extremely laid back and relaxed, comfortable in my own skin, so most of the time the photographer and I will be all chatty, laugh a bit, you know? It’s about having fun too but obviously you’ve gotta be prepared to really bring it!

Do you have any limitations? Certainly, I do draw the line at nude artistic work, I don’t have a problem with it or any judgment whatsoever on other models who are brave enough to lose their clothes however personally, I don’t think I could do it. Based on my strict upbringing I’m used to being a little bit conservative at times with that kind of thing but still very open-minded.

Would you model any kind of clothing at all? I would model most clothing lines accept clothing that has been constructed in such a way that is cruel to animals – real animal fur, I wouldn’t wear. But that’s just my opinion.

What are your strengths? And what are your weaknesses? I’m extremely driven and ambitious, when I’m really passionate about something, I’ll work away at it and make goals for myself to reach, I definitely have my lazy days but at the end of the day, my goal is always on top of mind.

Weakness: I tend to fall in love with an idea and just jump into things without thinking about it realistically and objectively. It can work in my favor at times and other times I’ll fall flat on my face.

Describe the ideal work environment for you. Professionalism, open communication, respect, guidance if needed, a healthy relationship between all parties

What makes a stylish lady or man? Is there a difference? Because good style is so subjective it’s a difficult question to answer but I suppose its when you can tell some creative thought has gone into the outfit. Choosing clothes that actually suit your body type is a biggie. Think it all comes down to confidence and the way you wear the clothes. This makes a man or woman really stand out in my opinion.

Who are some of your favorite fashion photographers? Adrea Karlin, Raya, Richard Warren, Shaun Alexander, Aan Abela, Yanick Dery, Cyril Legal, Tarun Khiwal

What’s your favorite outfit from your own closet? I’m not sure I have one right now! Watch this space..

Do you have a favorite clothing item, and if so what is it and why? A gray wrap-around cardigan, nothing at all fancy just super warm and simple. Its a favorite of mine, I wear it so often that my workmate’s joke to me that I’m some cartoon character that wears the same outfit each day.

Who are some of your favorite models and designers? Emily Ratajkowski, Miranda Kerr, Alessandra Ambrosio, Milla Jovovich. Designers: Chanel, Gucci.

Where do you generally like to shop? Do you shop online? Love shopping online, you can totally just sit there in your PJ’s and shop online without moving a muscle except for your fingers on the mouse! It’s a dangerous thing…super easy to get carried away. Probably my favorite clothing sites would be ASOS, various Facebook boutique pages, forever 21.

What’s your beauty regime? I don’t use anything overly fancy on my skin or hair, I do drink loads of water which is super good for the skin! Eating healthy is such a biggie as well. Some things I always tend to use though – moisturizer with a bit of tanning lotion, I like a bit of color because I’m quite pale naturally, I try to keep it minimal makeup because I’m one of those types that If I overdo it and wear too much I’ll look worse than what I did, to begin with! Estee Lauder foundation is pretty amazing – I’d rather spend a bit and wear decent stuff than put stuff on my face that’s gonna make it react and break out. I wear eyeliner, mascara, the general stuff most girls wear and just keep it natural looking during the day, at night I tend to dress it up a little bit.

What’s your take on size zero? That’s an interesting topic because some girls are naturally tiny – even size 0 and all. Females who are naturally this thin shouldn’t be discriminated against having this body type, however, if a model is dieting dangerously just to appeal to the demands of society then I think that’s really bad. Being healthy is the most important thing, and of course, being fit within your individual body type is a good thing too. Its when models develop this unhealthy perception of beauty and feel that they have to be a size 0 model in order to be successful & get work, that’s when it becomes such a dangerous thing to the models themselves and obviously the young girls they are influencing.

Excluding all complicated beauty & fitness mantra, what do you think to be the easiest way to look pretty and glamourous? I know this sounds kinda corny, but a smile is the most attractive thing you can wear – a smile is the first thing we notice on someone! It doesn’t take too much effort too – only a few facial muscles to move and voila!

Do you have a diet mantra? Tell me about the diet you follow on a daily basis? In all honesty, I don’t diet. I do, however, exercise around 3-4 times a week, I love food – as does most of us, I am into a lot of healthy food as well, just mixing up a balance of healthy and unhealthy food is what I generally do. If I eat too many takeaways or fatty foods I tend to get breakouts – so I normally keep a good balance.

Is there anything you avoid eating? I don’t think there is anything I avoid – I do avoid huge portions of bad food regularly though.

What’s your favorite healthy treat(s)? Fruit & crackers & smoothies

How do you stay fit? How much you workout? What types of exercises you do? I’m signed up with my local gym – they offer a range of different classes from dance to weights – I usually do a bit of everything but mostly weights.

What according to you is the easiest way to be in shape? Exercise – I’m a constant gym bunny, so I’m always at the gym when I can, it’s not really about getting thinner or anything like that, it’s being toned and fit within my individual body type like I think everyone can be.

What’s your biggest indulgence? Most women would say something like chocolate, but as I’m not a chocolate fan I’d have to say something like Turkish food or Indian…oh maybe actually seafood…too many choices! Goodness!

How do you enjoy your time off, away from work? What keeps you happy? I love going on adventures, experiencing new things I haven’t before with friends or loved ones!

What magazines & weblogs you like reading? I’m the type of your current event of person – I do a lot of internet reading online, I like to be kept up to date on whats going on in the world, I think it’s important.

How you communicate with other netizens, especially your followers? Are you patient? polite? friendly? How often you reply to them? My mum always taught me to be polite and to say “please” & “thank you” I think she did a pretty good job with that. I love hearing from people overseas and from all walks of life, makes my day. I reply if someone emails me – of course, I expect a level of respect from anyone, but all of them have been super lovely and most of the time is just asking how your day is going.

How you access the Internet? What device do you use? What according to you is a more comfortable, quick, and easy device for accessing the Internet? I just use my iPhone went I’m out to access the internet, it’s so portable and easy to work on the go, when I’m at home I’ll use the computer but I prefer using my phone.

Where netizens can find the latest news feed about you? I’ve got a personal page based on my modeling –

Facebook is brilliant for networking and seeking out new opportunities that come up from time to time.

Is there anything else you’d like to add? …Is there anything more you want me to add? 🙂

Your ultimate message for netizens? Use the internet to your advantage – find your passion and mold that into something where you can network online (as well as being active outside the internet) to search for opportunities and contacts, social networking is the way to go, so get out there or rather get on that computer and get yourself known! 🙂

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