1. Who is Lucy Bennett?
I'm 21 years old and originally from the north east of England. I currently live in Sydney and work as a curve model with Bella Management. When I left school, I studied with a theatre company in Stratford-upon-Avon, so I also have a soft spot for anything creative (whether I'm good at it or not!)
2. How did you get into the modelling industry and was this always a dream of yours?
I grew up watching America's Next Top Model and saw Tyra Banks' have much success despite her weight fluctuation, this inspired me. I wasn't very confident with how I looked as a teenager, people at school would make comments about my monobrow and my weight, not to mention my braces and also having to occasionally wear leg splints to correct my gumpy walking! Around this time Crystal Renn was killing it as size 16-18 model and I started to take an interest in 'plus size' modelling. Crystal's confidence was infectious, as I started to look at myself differently. I wasn't 100% comfortable with my body but I started to see my bushy eyebrows, kinda square face and big eyes as features that could lead me into 'plus size' modelling. So I started approaching agencies in my hometown of Newcastle. I was upset, but not surprised to be knocked back several times. I then approached many photographers and students and started building a portfolio. I presented my portfolio to London agencies and was rejected again; they suggested I continue to build my portfolio and finish school before coming back. I took their advice on board, built up my folio and eventually signed with an agency in Newcastle. Just before I turned 18, the curve division at Models 1 (my dream London agency) was really starting to take off, so I sent in some digitals - I had a meeting the same week and was signed on the spot, I couldn't believe it!
3. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate, being with agencies in both Australia and Europe, how do you manage it all?
It's really important to be with agencies who understand you and support your choices. Models 1
is my 'mother' agency and they too correspond with my other European agencies, which makes work easier. When it comes to my Australian agent Bella
, they encourage me to spend as long as I need in London and are here for me when I'm in Australia. I think a sign of a good agency is one that considers your long-term happiness and success rather than immediate gratification. I am lucky to have this support from Models 1 and Bella, they allow me to manage it all.
4. We know that the fashion industry can be a harsh culture for body image, have you had any negative experiences and if so how do you stay optimistic and true to yourself?
In general, thankfully the fashion industry is becoming more and more diverse, but there is still a long way to go. For example, I've worked with photographers on set who are surprised by my ability to recreate certain poses from mood boards, as if to say curve models can't possibly do that! I've also had many castings and sometimes jobs where I've had to stuff myself into small sizes even though the client has requested me and has my exact measurements. In order to stay true to yourself I think you just have to let it go. I just go through anything with a smile on my face and laugh it off afterwards. If I took every little knock personally and let things get to me, it would be an impossible industry to survive in!
5. We love your Instagram @lucybennettmodel because you are real and honest with your followers which is so refreshing to see! You have mentioned you used to live a life based on calorie counting and deprivation, what was the turning point that made you feel comfortable and confident in your own skin?
Thank you! I try to share as much as possible and that was my main motivation behind starting my blog (anothercurvyblog.wordpress.com) to break down the 'glamorous' facade of a model's life. Throughout my teens I really didn't understand what a healthy lifestyle was. I followed different fad diets throughout school and eventually ended up strictly calorie counting. I would never eat anything that wasn't 'fat-free' or 'low fat' and I loved calorie-free sweeteners/sauces/drinks, because I thought that these were healthy choices. I had no idea that those things were actually just packed with artificial rubbish and were far from being good for me. When I was 18 and living away from home for the first time, I put on weight and felt really uncomfortable again. At the time, a friend of mine was training as a personal trainer and he completely changed my relationship with food and exercise. He taught me all about nutrition and clean eating and he encouraged me to eat as much as I wanted, so long as they were healthier options. We also trained at least twice a week and I couldn't believe how healthy I felt. Within weeks my friends all noticed such a change in me. Don't get me wrong, I still love junk food and pig out every now and then (who doesn't!) but when I'm stressed, I don't turn to junk food for comfort. I remember one night at drama college, it had been such a long day and I was in a really bad mood, I told Malcolm (my PT) that I was going to buy pizza and eat it ALL. So instead he came food shopping with me and picked out ingredients to make a really easy healthy and tasty meal. I'm so grateful to have had that support and soon my insecurities became less about how I looked and more about how I felt, since then I never looked back. Day by day, I'm gradually accepting my body for the way it is; there's no point comparing myself to other people because we're not all supposed to look the same, we are all unique. As long as I look after my body in a healthy way, then I know I can be confident in my own skin.
6. Let's talk fashion...You always look amazing in your outfits and know what works well for your body type. What advice do you give to women on dressing for their shape?
I think the key is just to feel comfortable. If you feel good in an outfit then your confidence will radiate and everyone else will notice how amazing you look too! I don't believe there's anything you 'can't' wear no matter what your shape or size. My stomach is the least toned part of my body and where I tend to carry extra weight, but that doesn't stop me rocking a crop top from time to time. If you love it - own it!
7. You recently wore our Saroka Elle Pants, describe how you felt in three words?
Sophisticated, stylish and comfortable!
SHOP LUCY'S LOOK
8. Finish this sentence: "Don't let anyone...."
Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something. If you ever want anything badly enough then don't listen to anyone who tries to put you off, stick at it and prove them wrong!