We talked to different people with different voices and backgrounds, to give an insight of what is going on in the city. We call it Voices of NOÉ.
Romy de Vries, is a 30 year young model that has started her career since she was 14 years old. When asked about the modeling industry Romy explains that the industry is beautiful but chaotic at the same time, there are no standard regulations and as a model you have to carve out your own path. For Romy the unhealthy side of the modeling industry is something that she would like to make a change in. Due to the lack of regulations it is very hard for a model to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The industry is one that is made for adults while there are many children that partake in it, and to know your way around the industry Romy thinks it is important to first be properly educated in order for that person to not get lost in the chaos.
Romy talks about how she struggled in the beginning of her career by trying to please everyone and not think about herself. She wanted to be a “good model” and by being that you have to be flexible and possibly lose your own identity on the way. After a while you get confused about who you are when you say yes to everything and take on a different role every single day.
During Romy’s modeling career she took about four breaks to come back to herself and also study in the meantime. Modeling isn’t something that is very glamorous to Romy, you have to work very hard to maintain that dream of the glamorous life of a model.
Romy enjoyed working with Dutch models like herself, she felt a sense of belonging when speaking the same language. To Romy there was no competition or rivalry between the Dutch models compared to what she felt when she was surrounded by models from other nationalities.
“I know what I want now, and I know what I don’t want.”
When starting in the industry Romy thought she was a very grounded girl, but after a while she did develop an eating disorder. To Romy it was at that time very logical that in order to look a certain way you have to eat a certain way, and that isn’t a very healthy road to walk on. During that time Romy fluctuated a lot in her weight, one moment she desired to look skinny due to the pressure of the industry and the other days she didn’t want to be unhealthy anymore. After her eating disorder Romy does feel like she came out stronger than before. Romy did have a couple of burn out moments which she always handled by taking a break, and after those breaks, she felt like she came back stronger. Modeling is a rollercoaster in which you have to be strong, stand up for yourself and learn to say no.
The environment is something that Romy feels very pessimistic about, the reason being that the fashion industry is one of the top 3 polluting industries. She used to buy a lot of stuff, but now she challenged herself to only buy secondhand clothes for a year now.
Press play and listen to the rest.
Photo by Cleo Goossens
Interview by Raja Felgata