Happy International Women’s Day everyone! What a perfect day to talk about one of my role models and to tell you how you can honour yours!

Having worked with her on several shoots over the past few years and spoken with her about various topics that are close to my heart, I would have to say that Velvet d’Amour is my role model.

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She sees the beauty in everything and everyone without any pretence or falseness. She knows how to capture people looking their most divine, but that’s only because she takes the time to get to know people, to learn their story and to make them feel comfortable and confident. She is passionate about the issues that matter and is so eloquent and rational about putting her point across. She champions everyone and everything and does her absolute best to use her platform to promote and educate and inspire and display diversity in it’s every form.

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She paved the way for plus size models with her amazing sassy catwalk walk for Jean-Paul Gaultier and tireless pursuit of a career as a larger plus woman. She is unashamedly big, bold and beautiful and so so genuine. She knows how to work it in front of the camera which helps her be perfect behind it, directing men and women into positions and poses that will create mind blowing images. She ascertains their stories, she asks the strangest questions to learn about them so that she might capture their essence, tell further stories with her work and above all, make that person feel comfortable and confident. She has an incredible memory and will remember the most curious things about people. She will ask hard hitting questions in soft ways, help you fight your body demons but also deosn’t let you face them when she presents you with photos that she has taken of you. She is someone you can confide in, rely on and turn to when you need advice or want to share something. She supports everyone, gives people a voice and a platform where possible – she just has the most beautiful soul.

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I would love to be more like Velvet. To see the good and beauty in everyone. To work tirelessly at making the world a better place. To champion people. To be more eloquent, more passionate. The world would be a better place if we had more Velvet d’Amours.

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I have told you about one of my role models, now I want you to think of yours and nominate them for Panache’s ‘Modelled By Role Models’ 2016 campaign.

Who inspires you?

Who makes your world a better place?

Who makes you want to be the best version of yourself?

Today’s mainstream role models are typically admired for their physical attributes rather than their personal achievements. Within an industry so focused on image, we felt a need to help alter this perception by asking the question – ‘What if we champion the next generation of role models?’ Statistics show that 81% of women believe that having role models can help raise aspirations, which can only be a positive thing.

Do you know an ordinary woman who does extraordinary things, or a celebrity whose work inspires you and those around you?

Nominate them for Modelled by Role Models 2016 – the winners will join inspirational women like British Paralympian Hannah Cockcroft MBE and Founder of the 53 Foundation, Amy Hughes.

Maybe your role model is your Mum, your best friend, your favourite singer. Whoever they are, nominate them here and make them one of Panache’s next role models!

*spon*

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