Carving Out My Own Path
I’m a 20 year old model, casting director, and creative producer based in New York City. Upon graduating high school, I started working at a non-profit, called Oxfam, and also assisted my friends with their creative projects on the side. I realized that I felt more connected to the fashion industry than the non-profit world, so I continued assisting and also began modeling with a health-conscious, inclusive agency called We Speak NY. After about a year of assisting, I got hired to produce and cast for a creative agency in New York. Shortly after leaving that position, I began free-lancing full time. I plan on starting my own company in the near future.
Things that Make Me “Me”
I love my ambition and determination. I have an entrepreneurial spirit, and it’s helped me become successful in a very competitive industry at such a young age.
Making Room for Self-Acceptance
I’ve always recognized that I have both internal and external flaws, and I haven’t always handled them in the healthiest ways. As a result of my depression and anxiety, I’ve had mild body dysmorphia since I was 13 years old. I’m still learning to accept that my body is constantly changing, and it’s normal to deal with fluctuations in my weight and shape.
The fashion industry pushes an ideal that it’s imperative to lose or maintain your weight or else you’ll be out of work. Thankfully, there are new avenues opening up for models like me, who are considered more “in between”.
Loving yourself means accepting everything that makes you who you are. Authenticity is being unapologetic about your beliefs and staying true to them.
A major change for me was when I sacrificed my college education to enter the workforce. I wanted to study sociology at UCSB, and instead of spending $60k+ per year and moving to a new state, I decided to take a job opportunity in a similar field. I now know that college is not a necessity for most people, unless you’re studying to become a lawyer, doctor, scientist, or someone of that nature. I’m so relieved that I didn’t spend four years of my time and money on a degree that I would have most likely never used.
My Self-Care and Skin-Care Routines
I take naps every day. They’re one of the few ways that I can reset my mind and body and get myself back on track. Meditating, working out, journaling, yoga, and other similar activities help as well, but there’s nothing quite like resting. My skin care routine is relatively simple. I like clean, natural beauty, so I use products that deliver just that.
I don’t use cleansers, but I use a St. Ives exfoliant on my face at least 3 times a week.
I moisturize my face straight out of the shower with La Solution De Chanel and use La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo on any imperfections that I catch. I’ve used Aveeno to moisturize my body since I was a baby, and it’s never failed me!
make-up : Yasuo Yoshikawa
Photo : Mikako Koyama
Still life photo : Mikako koyama