#THISISME: Meet Curve Model Sophie Hughes
We aim to give our models and talent a platform to share their stories. Within the industry there is an underrepresentation of models and talent who feature within our THIS IS US divisions, through our new blog series #THISISME we hope to continue to widen this pool and showcase more diverse stories...
In our latest interview, we caught up with our very own SR curve model, Sophie Hughes. Having worked with brands including Perky Pear, Vodaphone and Marks & Spencer, Sophie reminisces on her modelling career so far and shares her top tips on finding your confidence to model.
Sophie is a big campaigner for body positivity and confidence, as well as sharing the realities of social media. With over 35 thousand followers on Instagram alone (@sophwithlove), she’s made it her mission to use social platforms to spread a positive message.
MEET OUR BEAUTIFUL CURVE MODEL SOPHIE...
SR: When did your journey into modelling begin?
SOPHIE: I'm a Manchester girl and I was visiting London for the weekend with my mum, I got scouted in London, I was 15 and thrust into the industry full throttle. It was crazy because I'd never even considered modelling but I was on a test shoot the same week to see if I could pose and then it was all systems go in building up my portfolio. For the first 18 months, I didn't book much work but I was patient, I attended all the castings, I built up my experience, I said yes to everything and then all of a sudden things started to pop and within a 3 month period I had shot a nationwide Superdrug campaign, and 2 TV commercials for Vodafone and Pepsi.
SR: How did you hear about SR?
SOPHIE: I heard about SR through social media, I am a full-time curve model but I also do a lot of content creation around body positivity in the social media space and I absolutely loved the way SR do their social media marketing. It felt fresh, current and really appealed to me. I listened to a podcast episode to get a feel for what the agency was about and whether I might be a good fit and dropped the girls an email asking if they fancied representing a pink-haired curve model with a 7-inch stomach scar! Now here we are and I'm so excited to be on board.
SR: You mentioned your scar, could you tell us a little more and how has this impacted your modelling career?
SOPHIE: A big reason that my career has taken off in the last couple of years is my 7-inch scar from donating part of my liver to my baby nephew when he was just 6 months old. He's doing really well, he's now 7, healthy, and so cheeky! At the time of donation, I was a size 6, I really didn't have a healthy relationship with my body and so when I jumped 4 dress sizes post-surgery my body confidence was at an all-time low. I was living in Sydney at the time and I got scouted again for modelling at age 28, this time to be a curve model. I went on to shoot with all the biggest names in Aus, including a Bras n Things global campaign. It was so exciting to see my scar being featured in all its glory and for other women with scars to feel represented.
SR: Have you noticed any changes within the modelling industry since you started?
SOPHIE: I started modelling in 2005 and to be quite honest the culture was toxic, there were zero emphases on the model's health or mental health. Everything was about getting my measurements to be lower "you'll need to lose an inch off those hips if you want to walk the runway". It was the era of heroin chic and Kate Moss was my hero. She was the industry's hero. We still have work to do as an industry but we have come SUCH a long way and I'm so proud of that. In terms of the job itself, I remember back in the day you would go and collect the magazine you were in and do a "cut out" for your book/portfolio. It was so old school, now everything is digital and everything has moved online, I rarely attend castings - everything is self-tapes and things move much quicker.
SR: Let’s talk body positivity! Why do you think this is such an important message to share with your followers/the world?
SOPHIE: For a long time I was crippled with self-doubt, I hated the young woman I saw in the mirror and I was so cruel to her. It consumed my every thought. I never really believed I would move through that and heal but now that I have, now that I look in the mirror and celebrate my body, I feel it's important to share that mission and help other women. I want women to know that there is hope, that there are more important things in life than the size of your jeans and that being healthy and at peace with yourself is the real answer to finding happiness.
SR: What would you say to someone who is thinking of joining a model agency but feels like confidence is holding them back?
SOPHIE: You have to think of confidence like a circle, it feeds back into itself, you don't wake up confident, you make small steps in building your confidence that then allow you to take more small steps and the snowball is in motion. There's not a model on the planet who didn't have some nerves stepping on to set the first time, but she did it and she felt incredible! One thing I would say is to take steps to build confidence before you start in the industry because there is a lot of rejection and it's all based on how you look, so you need to have a thick skin and a strong work ethic to succeed. It's never personal, you're just not the right fit for that client and the next incredible job is right around the corner, keep shining, treat your modelling career like a business, and give it the respect it deserves and beautiful things will come your way.