(An Exclusive Interview with Model Genevieve Effa)
UNPLUGGED: What jumpstarted this successful modeling career you have?
GENEVIEVE: Tyra Banks show “America’s Next Top Model” was the fire that got me started in this industry. I watched the show religiously. It made me think of what it meant to be beautiful and pretty to me so I started exploring opportunities to model. While in college, I started off doing print work for small vendors. Once I moved from Kentucky to Columbus, I realized this city was loaded with the fashion industry. When I realized that fact, I just jumped in head first and have not looked back. I started off thinking let me do this because I’m pretty and I can make this work, but modeling is about much more than being a pretty face. Modeling is art. Modeling is having the ability to bring a creative’s work to life. T happened to really work for me because I’m a creative mind as well. I enjoy drawing and painting so it’s cool becoming the art as opposed to creating the art.
UNPLUGGED: So what have you learned from this industry?
GENEVIEVE: (Laughing aloud) First, you do not have to work with everyone. The more successful you get
in this industry obviously a lot more attention you attract. However, just because people like what they see regarding you doesn’t mean you have to make yourself available to everyone who asks. In this industry, you do have to be picky and selective. Everyone does not have the same work ethic, reputation, or caliber of work. One way I learned this lesson was to really know my self-worth. What message would I send working with this photographer versus the next?
The second I’d follow up with “love yourself”. This industry can be brutal. It can tear you down and rip you apart, if you let it. As models, we spend a tremendous amount of time being styled and made-up for shoots and shows. On the flip side, we’re still people and there are plenty of days we are not wearing make-up and heels. Quite often, agencies want a blank slate. No make-up. They want to see you plain. So just make up your mind that you will love yourself and not depend on others to validate what you should validate within your own soul.
UNPLUGGED: How relevant do you think the “Me Too Movement” is in the fashion industry?
GENEVIEVE: Very relevant! However, lines need to be drawn in the sand. The “Me Too Movement” is not a get out jail free card. You can’t just say what you want to say in any career and not be held accountable for what you say and do. And when women don’t like the responses they get from their own actions, they want to cry discrimination or harassment. You have to pick your battles. Sometimes, we as women, do need to be quiet. We don’t need to be quiet because we’re women. We need to be quiet because we’re professionals. Professionals understand there is a time and place for everything. But I think in some cases, women use this movement as an excuse to not be professional and that’s a problem all by itself.
Plus situations like I just mentioned, can begin to de-validate such movements when there is need for women to speak up in a more timely manner about men who slow down or stall a women’s professional career because she won’t exchange sex for favors. Those days are over. If you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to do it.
UNPLUGGED: How does it feel working with Unplugged Magazine?
GENEVIEVE: (Doing a little dance while throwing her hands in the air) It feels awesome! Especially since I’ve been in Columbus, it’s just been a really great community in fashion. The networking here is on point. Working with Unplugged Magazine is really connecting me to a lot of people that I did not know do what they do. Relationships are key in any industry, but what Unplugged Magazine does with building relationships with everyone it works with really makes itself stand out among the rest!
UNPLUGGED: What’s next for you?
GENEVIEVE: Well, I have plans on relocating! New York is calling my name! I’ve been doing shoots out there and my agency is booking a lot of things out there for me too. Honestly, it would be easier to do the things I want to do if I were living there. So the move is more for practical purposes more than anything else! So we’ll see how it all works out! I’ll definitely keep Unplugged Magazine posted on my next moves!
To contact Genevieve Effa for any engagements or events, contact Unplugged Magazine for more information.