Influencer Intro: Abie Shippee
When I suddenly decided to move to New York City when I was 17 (I was seriously determined) I met some really wacky people. The cool thing about NYC is that everyone is seriously so different. Unlike Boston, people have no shame in wearing the weirdest, the coolest, the sexiest, or the most unusual clothing. The city is a place that people go to follow their dreams and find who they are.
Luckily, I managed to meet someone who I immediately fell in love with. If I could marry Abie, I would. Her rocker off-duty style is literally the perfect mix between Gigi & Kendall: her hair is never greasy yet always looks like she stepped out of a Bumble & Bumble beach ad. She's strong, independent, and determined to succeed. When I met her, she was modeling, and dealing with similar body image issues to me. Since I moved out of NYC, Abie has decided to work her magic on the other side of the camera: scouting models for a popular Midwest modeling agency.
Welcome to Influencer Intro, Abie. And thank you for being one of the coolest chicks I know.
A: How do you describe the modeling industry in 2017?
The industry in 2017 has become everything fashion promised us it would never become. Its faces became the epitome of everything that had ever trended. The industry in 2017 was uninspired, overtaken by celebrities and trust fund babies. And then it went one step further and allowed obvious non-model types to Instagram themselves to fashion fame - taking all of the power away from models who stand at line at castings and do things the old-fashioned way. Models lost their clients over lack of a following while others filtered their way into the mix.
A: What makes you interested in social media and mental health?
I find myself genuinely embarrassed when I post a photo that doesn't get much love. I spend time scrolling through my own page looking for things that look disconnected from whatever I feel like my "theme" may be. I have too many friends editing their bodies to pull their stomachs in, tighten their thighs and pull their butts out. I have witnessed friends spending money to acquire followers. This is all completely fake, and no one cares yet we all care so much. The other day I read a quote - "There is nothing worse than other people's Instagrams." I agree with that - So what are we Instagramming for? Everyone else hates every post you make and half the reasons we post is to piss off our ex or make old friends jealous. Ridiculous.
A: What advice would you give to young adults interested in starting a business?
It will not fall into your lap. You aren't going to just be a success one day at anything. You have to TRY things, you have to DO things. You will not gain INTEREST in anything without first getting INVOLVED. Most people I know think interest comes first and involvement comes second. That's a lie. You have to get involved in things to see if you have any interest. When you find it, jump in 100%. Jump in while you're young. You have more time to screw up than you do later in life. Do it now and go big.
A: What interests you about my program, Media Impact and Navigation for Teens, and why do you think schools should talk to kids about their bodies?
When I was 13 I was modeling. I didn't know that I was skinny. I mean I had zero awareness as to what my or other girls bodies looked like. I stared modeling and saw that I looked great, but didn't think much else. I think girls are seeing so many social media posts of girls almost naked they are realizing their pre-pubescent bodies have natural abs and plump butts and are feeling its OK to post half-naked pictures as well.
A: How can teens avoid getting caught up with what they see on Instagram?
You have to be a real and genuine person in life. You just have to. You have got to be a good person. I have done a lot of work on myself trying to figure out what "being a good person" is. I think I still mess up sometimes, but that's okay. Being able to recognize that is probably part of it. You have to take time to work on yourself. You have flaws, pick out what you think they are. How do you think your friends would describe you? How do you want them to describe you? I spend much of my time finding the good characteristics my friends have and trying to emulate them. I want to be more like the good people I know. Don't edit your pictures, EVER. You are beautiful without the Snapchat filters that make you look prettier or put makeup on for you. You are better than the app that tightens your body, you are better than it all. The only you way you will win, is not to try. Enjoy your real moments and DO. NOT. EDIT.
A: What's the first step to being a model in 2017?
If you want to be a model, take five photos of yourself with no makeup on and your hair natural. Put on black skinny jeans, high heels and a white t-shirt and take photos of yourself in good, natural lighting. Then Google the top 10 modeling agencies near you and start submitting. If you can be a model, you will be. If not, its just not for you. You don't need to be a model to be beautiful. In fact, you will get further in life being a hot, beautiful girl.