LA-based model Kyra Nickel was at a park in Italy when she was scouted by a photographer. She then booked her first job, doing a look book for a denim company.
When she first started modeling, she felt as if she was more experienced in terms of what things were like in the world. You know, they don’t teach you in school how to defend yourself against sexual harassment or anything like that.
Kyra has had her fair share of uncomfortable experiences as a model and as a woman, but that didn’t necessarily mean she knew what to do about them.
When the #MeToo movement first started, she wanted to tell her story, too, about an instance when she felt very uncomfortable with what was going on during a shoot. She didn’t want to be perceived as someone difficult to work with because she knew that would mean she wouldn’t get hired. Your reputation and your look is your job in this industry. The last thing you want is to have something or someone screw that up.
“My feelings were justified. I wasn’t just being crazy or overreacting,” Kyra recalls. “It’s still a situation that no one should have to be put in to.”
Kyra believes that there’s a lot in the modeling industry that needs to change. First and foremost, she wants people (who are in the industry or not) to stop comparing themselves to others, especially on Instagram.
“You’re only seeing the good things,” she says.
There are plenty of models who struggle with eating disorders and mental illnesses, but everyone wants to keep that hidden.
There is this illusion that modeling is a glamorous thing, but in reality, there’s so much more going on under the surface.