Levelling Up: Interview with Fitness Entrepreneur and Model, Natasha Minter
When fitness entrepreneur and model, Natasha Minter was told to lose weight by a modelling agency, she in turn challenged the status quo. Natasha shares her heartbreak from her early modelling days as well as her exciting road to confidence and female empowerment.
What led you to get into modelling?
I was scouted in Topshop on Oxford Street, 3 and a half years ago in London. A random scout came up to me and expressed his desire to work together. He asked who my agent was. Taken aback, I thought, leave me alone weird man. So I took his card and didn't think much of it as I was living in Nottingham back then. It’s funny because I always imagined my sister would become a model, not me. I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn't have a personal relationship with God at the time but I remember asking something out there, what this all meant and having this feeling that it was different to all the other times I had been scouted.
What were some of the issues you faced when working as a model?
At the beginning of my career, one agency I walked into told me to lose weight. They said, maybe you could lose 2 inches off your hips and we may consider you for our development books. I was shocked. At the time I was super healthy and very careful with what I ate but I did not really train that much. When we left the meeting, my scout mentioned how his girlfriend had lost a lot of weight - sort of normalising the situation. I didn’t feel I needed to lose any weight, I was fine the way I was. My family has a history of anorexia and bulimia, so I was always fearful it may be something I would suffer from. After that situation, I ended up signing with a completely different agency the day after and found a different scout.
“Why is no one helping the models feel better about themselves?”
So what is Model Me?
Model Me, is a platform to empower as well as educate creatives and models.
It’s all about being a better role model of yourself. We have hosted 18 events and workshops on topics such as sustainability, beauty, fitness and business building.
What inspired you to start ModelMe?
The idea was really born out of a frustration in the industry. During the first 12 months of modelling, I thought, why is no one helping the models feel better about themselves? Models starting out in the industry have no idea what they are doing and you just get thrown into this world. I came up with the idea on New Years’ Eve, which would have been two and a half years ago. 4 days later, I went to Milan and starved myself for 6 weeks because my agency heavily criticised my appearance. I battled with self esteem issues as well as an unhealthy relationship with food and fitness. After coming out the other side of that situation, that triggered me to create Model Me.
“We’re in 2019 now. It’s cool to be a model who likes to train and not be ridiculed for having a six pack anymore.”
What is one thing you wish can change within the modelling industry?
I feel there needs to be more support and encouragement for models. It’s more of a professional thing. If someone had told me, maybe they’re not going to think you are the right size, then maybe I would have been more prepared for the criticism. It’s not just models who need support but creatives also. Every creative has a struggle.
How does your faith help you on a day to day basis?
In addition to reading the Bible daily, I love to watch a good sermon, I would say Mike Todd speaks volumes to me. I love what he is doing in his church and how passionate he is about the idea of community. There was also a time when I was quite frustrated with my life. I decided to write down inspirational scriptures on a sheet of A1 paper. Dotted around my room, the posters serve as a constant reminder of the opportunities God has provided for me, the heartbreaking situations my faith has healed me of and now knowing my self worth.For me, faith is about finding peace in the midst of chaos, and knowing that without God, there is no peace. I love it when I let go of trying to control every aspect of my life and really just trust God with everything - things just roll so seamlessly.
Words by Rochelle King
Photography by Yasmin Rona