Interview With Plus Model and Australian Native Mel Seehusen
Most aspiring models think that all you have to be is pretty and any agency will sign you and the jobs will just come pouring in. Well plus model and Australian native Mel Seehusen is strikingly beautiful and experienced the exact opposite. With the loving support of her family and persistence this beauty has transformed herself into one of plus modeling most successful models. Since moving to New York a year ago Mel has seen great success and we are sure to see much more of her in the future.[Maddy] How long have you been modeling? What made you decide to pursue a modeling career? [Mel] I have been modeling for almost 5 years.
When I was 19, a national magazine around Australia was holding a plus modeling competition for girls size 14+. My Aunt really wanted me to enter, so I reluctantly sent in some photos. Much to my surprise, I was selected as one of five finalists across the country. We did a series of photo shoots and media appearances, and although I didn’t win, it gave me a taste of what modeling was all about.
Shortly after the competition, I approached a plus-size model agency (there was only one in Sydney at the time). I was rejected from the same agency 3 times in a year before she finally agreed to meet me.
I went into the agency with no make-up on, hair in a ponytail and bobby pins, and a terrible outfit. I cringe now when I think about it. The agent wasn’t impressed and told me I didn’t ‘look’ like a model in the way I had presented myself, and I could never turn up to a go-see looking like that. So I was rejected a 4th time. That was the biggest lesson I learned, and as I walked out the doors of the agency I told her that I would be back in a year to see her. And that’s exactly what I did. I went in a year later with a great outfit, great haircut and actually had makeup on this time.
Finally, 2 years later and after 4 rejections, I got into the agency at the age of 21. Persistence definitely pays off.[Maddy] What advice did you receive when you first began modeling? [Mel] That rejection is part of the business and not to take it personally. To practice facial expressions and poses in front of the mirror to learn how your body looks best. To always be well groomed — ie. keep up to date with haircuts, waxing etc. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. No matter what happens, always stay true to yourself. [Maddy] Tell me about your first “go-see”. How did you prepare? Do you remember what you wore? Were you really nervous? [Mel] My first go-see was for a well known clothing chain in Australia. I had no idea what to expect. I wore black pants, high heels and a pink collared shirt. I was sitting in the waiting room with the other models and I was so nervous that I was shaking. I was called in and the client was lovely, but we had to strip and try on some outfits. That was another important lesson I learned – always wear matching lingerie to a casting! [Maddy] How long did it take you to land your first job? [Mel] It took me around 4 months to land my first job. It was a small catalogue job for a low-budget clothing chain in Australia. I was so nervous and didn’t really know what to do, so I asked the other models on set for some pointers and they really helped me out. [Maddy] Where have we seen you before? [Mel] Since living in the US, some of my clients have included:
Glamour Magazine, Macy’s, Liz Claiborne, Sigrid Olson, Urban Star, Ulla Popken (Germany), Adler (Germany), Boscovs, Weight Watchers, Igigi and Walmart (in-store poster)[Maddy] How do you keep your body fit? [Mel] I’m not really a gym person but I’m a huge fan of brisk walking (about 3-4 times a week for 40 minutes). I have also started belly dancing twice a week. I think it’s important to keep exercise fun, so you are more likely to stick with it. [Maddy] What has been your most memorable or enjoyable experience in modeling to date? [Mel] Two particular jobs stand out. The first was in Argentina last year. I was shooting for a German client in Buenos Aires. The city had a real buzz about it and we were taken to a really old railroad track that had some local markets lined up all alongside it. It was great fun talking to all the locals.
The second job was more recently in Miami. We were shooting on airboats at the Everglades. In one particular shot I was sitting on a jetty with my legs dangling above the water when a 2m alligator swam underneath me. That was pretty amazing (and I got my feet out of the water immediately)![Maddy] How do you feel you gained the self confidence you have today? [Mel] Confidence for me is something that has come with age. I was painfully shy growing up, and still am a little bit shy. I make sure I surround myself with people who are positive and who support what I do. I take constructive critisizm on board and learn from it. My parents brought me up telling me I could be anything I wanted to be, which I´m so grateful for and definately helped growing up. However, confidence is definately something I´ve had to work on. It´s important to focus on what you like about yourself, and to stop ananlysing the negatives. No matter what, believe in yourself and where you want to be, and don´t rely on validation from other people. If you are your own best friend, no one can stop you.