Good posture, self-awareness…the keys to being a great model might be more healthy than you think!
WHEN WE think of the word ‘supermodel’, the image of a glamazon-type woman usually takes center stage: long legs, flawless features… runway-ready at a moment’s notice. That kind of physique entails drastic dieting, obsessive exercise and dangerous habits – right?
Wrong. Sarah DeAnna - an international supermodel who has graced the pages of such editorial big guns as Vogue and Elle – is not only on a mission to dispel these myths, but teach women (and men) everywhere to feel like a supermodel from the inside out. Her new book, Supermodel YOU, fills you in on the surprisingly healthy secrets of the most successful models around – everything from developing a positive self-image to listening to what makes your body feel its best. In a culture so obsessed with image and the media, Sarah’s witty, down-to-earth guide is exactly the type of honest and empowering book more of us need on our shelves.
We sat down with Sarah to chat about Supermodel YOU, the best advice she’s ever received, and how we too can glow like a supermodel. Hint: it is all about attitude.
THE CHALKBOARD MAG: What inspired you to write ‘Supermodel YOU’?
SARAH DEANNA: I was (and continually am) inspired by the thousands of beautiful women, girls, and even men who I’ve met over the years that lack the self-confidence and self-esteem to recognize their own beauty, self-worth and amazingness. I so wish they could see themselves for the beautiful individuals they truly are. The dedication for Supermodel YOU reads, “For every woman or girl who has ever dreamed about being a supermodel, or who just wants to have the body, beauty, and attitude of a supermodel. This book is for YOU!” Oh – and that should have included men, too! Even if the book is more geared toward the female reader, I am speaking across age and gender. I am inspired to inspire the 85% of the population who have a negative self-esteem, which often manifests in their relationship with their physical body.
TCM: What are some of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to supermodels?
SD: I wrote an entire chapter on this called, “Aliens from Planet Model” where I debunk the typical model myths. Stereotypes die hard, and while some of these stereotypes do and probably always will exist to some extent, they are not the norm today. Very few successful working models today have an eating disorder or some other unhealthy behavior. You are far more likely to have a model dealing with a kale chip addiction than a drug addiction. Not all models are super tall and drop dead gorgeous, either. Diane Von Furstenberg, one of America’s biggest fashion designers, was quoted as saying, “Most of the successful catwalk models are not very beautiful when you see them in real life. They are often quite odd-looking.” In the fashion industry, it’s not enough to just be beautiful, you need to be different. You need to be YOU-nique. And only you can do that by being authentically YOU. So much of a model’s career is based on how they present themselves, carry themselves, how they photograph and so on. It’s more about what a model gives and who they really are than what they actually look like.
TCM: In your book, you describe the ‘Five Keys to Supermodel YOU.’ Can you tell us a little about the Five Keys and why they are so vital in the quest to ‘channel your inner supermodel?’
SD: The Five Keys to Supermodel YOU are really the Five Keys necessary to live a healthy, happy and balanced life. They are: Self-Awareness, Beauty Sleep, De-Stressing, ‘Modercizing,’ and Intuitive Eating. Balancing all the keys are essential, as balance is essential to everything in life.
The premier key is Self-Awareness. Models are some of the most self-aware people when it comes to their bodies and what affects their bodies. You have to be when your job is very much based on your body and your looks. This awareness then transpires into the other keys and aspects of their lives. You don’t have to be a model to master self-awareness, but you CAN apply the same kind of model-esque self-awareness to whatever you do in life. This will help you master the other keys, and will inevitably have you looking and feeling like a supermodel inside and out. Only with self-awareness will you be able to master the other four keys to achieve a balanced life.
TCM: Here at The Chalkboard, we’re all about small changes that make big differences. What are some of those small changes from your point of view?
SD: One of the first things a model learns is body posture, so I always start with that. Good posture automatically makes you feel better and look better. Good posture improves your circulation and makes you appear more confident. It’s the easiest thing to correct, but it’s also an easy habit to develop. I suggest giving yourself “triggers” to remind you to check in with your posture. For example, every time you walk into a room or get a text message or hear a certain song (the more triggers the better!), you check in with your alignment until good posture becomes the norm for you.
TCM: What’s your favorite healthy treat?
SD: Can I only pick one? I am obsessed with raw chocolate, kombucha, kale chips and pretty much anything healthy. Health is truly my passion. I didn’t always think this way, but when you change your attitude about food, you eventually change your body and your life. That’s part of Modeltude: model attitude. Kombucha is my soda pop. Natural protein bars, my candy bars. It’s an awesome way to live your life, and so much healthier and better for you. If you have an unhealthy relationship with a food, I strongly encourage you to – what I call – modelize that food choice by upgrading it to something healthier rather than cutting it out altogether. It’s much easier this way, and a lot more realistic to maintain in the long run.
TCM: Your favorite way to unwind?
SD: Beauty Sleep and ModerCize! I love a good night’s sleep and always feel best after I’ve slept a full 8 hours. And moving my body is also a great way to unwind. I love a good yoga or spin class, and love playing beach volleyball or taking a hike when the weather is warm. Any time I can move my body, I do. All movement is exercise – I call it Modercize in the book. Modercizing is simply moving your body when your body wants to move.
When I’m really stressed and need to seriously unwind, I will get a massage or spend hours at the Korean spa (one of my favorites!). Relaxing music, candles and taking a bath are also something I love do to unwind. I like to romance myself – and we all deserve a bit of romance in our day!
TCM: Your natural beauty must-have?
SD: It’s funny – everything can go back to the Five Keys. Beauty Sleep, Key Two, is essential for looking and feeling your best. There is nothing better than a good nights rest. Also, making sure you de-stress (Key Three) is paramount. Stress is beauty’s nemesis. It causes breakouts, premature aging, grey hair, and wrinkles.
I am also a firm believer that you are what you eat, which is why I swear by Key Four, Intuitive Eating. So many foods are essential to a beautiful body and face. Don’t even get me started on skipping meals or drastically cutting calories: not eating is the WORST thing you can do. And never skimp on FAT! Fat is essential for beautiful, youthful skin.
Aside from the the aforementioned keys, I love all natural raw organic skin care products like Dr. Alkaitis. Most of my beauty must haves actually come out of my kitchen: honey, salt, sugar, lemon, apple cider vinegar, oatmeal, almonds, yogurt, and so on.
TCM: Best advice you’ve ever received?
SD: It’s never about YOU, it’s always about THEM. Don’t take anything personally: it’s not about you! This has helped me in every aspect of my life from dealing with my childhood problems and mean kids at school to dealing with the crazy fashion people and even boys. Depersonalize anything negative and personalize everything positive!
TCM: Personal mantra?
SD: “YOU create your own reality!” Even though I hate knowing this sometimes, like when things aren’t going my way, knowing that I do have control over my emotional state and my reactions helps me know that I can change my reality and whatever comes my way by changing my thoughts about the situation at hand. That’s extremely empowering. I believe this is why we all are here: at the core, we are here to create. We are all creators of something and of ourselves. With Supermodel YOU, that’s the wisdom I wish to impart. Everyone desires to look and feel good, and everyone should! You are the creator of YOU, so why not create the Supermodel version of YOU – which all boils down to the you that YOU want and love.