Alexandra Smith has been a model for seven years and she passed through it all: insecurities, troubling photo shoots, and victories. Her life in the industry has been both a struggle and a reward. Her mixed background? A blessing, no doubt.
Smith was born in Mexico City in a mixed couple. Her mother is from Mexico, while her father is from the United Kingdom, where she ended up moving at 18. Her big breakthrough happened two years later, when she participated in a beauty competition. Smith won and signed a contract with a modeling agency.
“It was a great time before I always loved performing and being in front of the camera,” Smith said.
For one year, she enjoyed modeling, until insecurities hit her. She felt she was too small and that every other model was taller and thinner than her. So she started wearing huge, chunky boots to auditions.
“When you are young and you are starting out in an industry that is so strict on the way you look, You start getting all these insecurities,” said Smith.
One time, the audition was successful but the shoot wasn’t. Smith got her makeup done, her hair tight, and she wore the designer’s clothes. She started posing for the camera, but the designer stopped the photographer after a few takes. He whispered to the photographer and the crew, implying Smith was too fat for his clothes.
“Everything that a young girl doesn’t want to feel, I felt all of that,” said the Mexicana model.
She called her mother crying and in that moment, distraught at the phone, she decided that no one would ever make her feel like that again. Never. Smith stopped wearing high heels to castings: if they wanted her, that would want her the way she is. The irony? A few months later, she saw the designer’s campaign and yes, he had used one of her pictures. She smiled but she remembered her fellow models.
Smith knows models who get weighted once a week by their agency and who are threatened with unemployment.
“I want the industry to be a safer and more inclusive space for girls, boys,” said the young model.
While her mixed background was an advantage to Smith, many other models aren’t as lucky. The fashion industry is still close minded, although things are changing. Still, Smith’s goal is to open the eyes to the industry and to show people what it means to be human. It’s not about an unrealistic image of beauty, being human is beauty itself.
And she won’t stop fighting. Like Smith’s father has always told her, “Alex, never give up.” Never.