“When I was starting out I was scared,” said junior Valentina He. “I wanted to give up because I didn’t really think that [modeling] was going to work out for me”
Despite her fears, He did not quit and has been modeling for almost two years. She has gotten over her nervousness and, after being invited to walk for the New York Fashion Week (NYFW), she was in shock. For her first professional runway walk, He walked for A’metier.
“I was really nervous, but it was one of my favorite [shows]. It was an amazing experience for my first time. Everybody has good energy, good vibes, and hypes you up. You have support from all the models and the designers and everybodys helps each other and everybody is nice to each other.”
However, the modeling industry has not always been kind to He. The spotlight messed with her mental health, as it does to many, and surfaced some unpleasant insecurities.
“Sometimes I get insecure about if I’m too skinny for somethings and I’ll feel like I need to eat more,” said He. “… it can mess with your mental health sometimes and it can make you insecure but you have to just keep your head up and keep going.”
Due to the competitive nature of the modeling industry, He was worried that she would not meet the qualifications for New York Fashion Week, a notoriously prestigious event.
“I was really nervous because I was like ‘I’m not going to get it,’ said He. “But, I was trying to think positive and [told myself] ‘Okay, if I get it, I get it; if not, that’s just how the modeling industry is.’”
Luckily, she did qualify for NYFW and traveled to New York for the event. The process of getting there was very stressful because she could not forget anything from Los Angeles that she needed while she was in New York. It was because of this that she thought LAFW was easier.
“It has always been my dream and I want it to be my career. Of course, I have [backups] but I want to continue modeling.”