Model Students

Model Students

Hockadaisies balance school with modeling

Sporting saddle oxfords by day and wearing 8-inch heels by night, senior Mary Margaret Hancock, junior Olivia Whittaker and sophomore Evan Miller all jug­gle double lives as both a stu­dents and professional models. 

Evan Miller modeling for the camera. Photo provided by Evan Miller
Evan Miller. Photo provided by Evan Miller

Time Management

Teenage modeling has its glamorous moments, but it isn’t always easy. Hancock, Whittak­er and Evan Miller must learn to balance their time between school and modeling.

“Modeling is a huge time commitment. Sometimes I’m running from JCPenney to school and changing clothes in my car, wiping off makeup, keeping up with homework and missing class. But it’s worth it,” Hancock said.

Many photoshoots take place after school and last for hours, but the result is rewarding.

“There’s a lot of standing and waiting around when you’re on the job, but it’s fun,” Miller said.

Miller’s agent, Jay O’Dell, be­lieves that there has to be a bal­ance. “This is a business and if you commit, you must be avail­able or it will not work,” O’Dell said. “You must take advantage of everything that comes your way.”

Self-Confidence

Mary Margaret Hancock. Photo courtesy of Ann He
Mary Margaret Hancock. Photo courtesy of Ann He

Although there are many stereotypes about body image that surround the industry, these girls choose to focus on the benefits that modeling brings.

Whittaker has been work­ing with Christopher Porter, her agent at The Clutts Agency, for over a year now. His belief that modeling “makes girls more confident and empow­ered” has helped Whittaker to step outside her comfort zone

“I’m usually a closed-in person and I’m not super confident, but modeling has helped me do things I’m afraid to do,” Whittaker said.

The perception of perfec­tion displayed on television and in movies can have a nega­tive effect on teenage girls.

However, Miller focuses on the “positive outlook and sense of self confidence” that modeling teaches. With full support from her parents, Miller hopes to take modeling to a global stage and impact the people around her.

“I want to inspire people in the way that others have in­spired me,” Miller said. “I hope that people, young girls, look at me and say ‘Well she did it, she followed her dreams and suc­ceeded, so I can do it too.’”

Similarly, Hancock focuses on the positives by surrounding herself with professional people and agencies that allow her to be happy with her body image.

“My agency never tells me to lose weight or take inches off my waist,” Hancock said. “A lot of people think that modeling is about having a certain body or putting people down, but I think it teaches girls how to walk into a room with confidence. It really teaches you to have a presence.”

Background of Each Model

Olivia Whittaker. Photo courtesy of Clutts Agency
Olivia Whittaker. Photo courtesy of Clutts Agency

Over the summer, Miller worked with famous fashion designer Phillip Lim, known for his label 3.1 Phillip Lim, to mod­el for a Target exhibit that was featured during New York City’s Fashion Week in September.

“I thought it was pretty cool because he was actually at the photoshoot,” Miller said.

Some of her photos are in Target stores. She was also fea­tured on “Good Morning Texas,” on Oct. 1, where she did her first live modeling show wearing clothing from Neiman Marcus.

However, the first few months of her modeling ca­reer were not as successful. Page Parkes Management, the agency Miller works with now, rejected her when she went to them in early 2012.

“I was just devastated be­cause I felt this agency was a really good fit for me. My mom encouraged me to not give up, so I worked on my walk, I worked on my posing, I worked on everything to make sure that it was all together for when I went in again,” she said. When she met with the agency in June 2012, she got signed.

“That just goes to show that you have to put in hard work for what you really want,” Miller said.

Like Miller, Whittaker began modeling in June 2012 and is currently signed to The Clutts Agency in Dallas. She modeled for Cantu and JCPen­ney Mizani, which are both haircare companies. Whittaker also did a show at Klyde War­ren Park in spring of 2013.

Hancock started modeling at the age of 14 with Wallflower Management in Dallas. Since then, she picked up two other agencies: Silent Management in Paris and The Lions in New York City. She has been featured in D Magazine as well as in advertise­ments for Mockingbird Station, Neiman Marcus, JCPenney and more. Now, she believes she has found her niche in modeling, even considering taking a gap year next year after high school to pursue a career in New York.

“It’s very rare that you find something you really like to do, and that’s how it is with this, so I don’t see why I should do any­thing else,” she said.

A Different Perspective

However, not all girls see the glitz and glam behind this industry. Lily Simon ‘11 mod­eled for one year but chose to quit after her junior year.

“I wanted to move on with my life. I knew I never wanted a career in fashion,” Simon said. “I saw how young lives can be wasted through modeling; so many girls sit around waiting for jobs and don’t go to col­lege because they think they’ll make it otherwise.”

She did not enjoy modeling in the same way that Hancock, Whittacker and Miller do. “I spent hours walking up and down rail-less stairs that were suspended a few meters into the air in six inch heels,” Simon said. “I had fun, but the novelty wears off.”

Simon chose to quit mod­eling and enjoy her senior year at Hockaday. Currently, she is pursuing environmen­tal policy and economics at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif. At the moment, she is in Amsterdam studying envi­ronmental science with a year abroad program. “I wouldn’t have been able to do this if I was still trying to model,” Simon said. “I see beauti­ful people around me every sin­gle day and they don’t have to be models for it to be recognized.”

Although modeling does not suit every girl, Tammy Theis, Hancock’s agent, believes that many girls blossom and become confident from this job.

“We named the agency Wallflower because so many models are classic wallflow­ers in high school: tall, gawky and sometimes they don’t feel all that pretty—late bloomers typically,” Theis said. “It’s great to see them look at their first pictures and realize that they really are beautiful.”

– Inaara Padani