M1 men and women are from every stretch of land that you can think of. Though strong within our British talent, some of our most promising talents are spread across Europe and we’re shedding a little light on Dutch beauty Fleur Van Der Hoeven. A fixture on our curve board, Fleur’s been working hard to extend her career outside of the Netherlands and empowering young women to love their bodies. With a smile that beams on and off set, we’re talking to Fleur about confidence, her passions, and how the industry can work to provide a safer environment for models.
M1: For our readers, could you tell us about yourself?
FVDH: My name is Fleur! I’m 20 years old and I’m from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. I really started modelling two and a half years ago; before that I had done a few shoots and I enjoyed doing that! I’ve always loved fashion but I was struggling with my sizes. I thought “I’m going to show the world that you don’t need to be small to be beautiful!” So when I was in London, I arranged a casting with Models1, the vibe felt good and fortunately that worked out very well!
When I got started with modelling I would get messages from women who felt confident to see more women of all sizes and I think that’s a beautiful thing!
M1: What is one thing you know now that you wish you had known when you became a full-time model?
FVDH: To be honest I didn’t have many expectations about modelling, I kind of went into it and thought I would see what happens. I think that the idea of modelling is very glamorous, but that’s not really true haha. I actually never knew how big the team behind the scenes was, when you see a picture you only see the model but you don’t see that there is a whole crew behind it that picture looks great, it’s team work.
M1: Tell us a bit about your best moments in your career so far?
FVDH: The moments that I enjoy the most are the moments when I’m shooting outside in nature, I love that! It gives me so much energy! I feel very confident in lingerie & swimwear so I love doing that! My first job at Models1 was a sport campaign for Primark in Barcelona and I love to work out and do many kinds of sports, so when I am in sportswear its natural for me.
M1: You’re really active on social media, how integral is social to your career?
FVDH: I think social media is a lot of fun and nowadays clients check your social media a lot so I think it’s important to keep it up to date. I like that you can show a bit of your personality and give it your own twist. Although I think that there shouldn’t be too much attention to the number of followers, but that’s unfortunately how it is now.
M1: Modelling can be a hectic job, what do you do to decompress when you need a break from it?
FVDH: I love to do yoga and pilates, I take a class, do it myself outside or at home. My mom is a yoga teacher so I’ve been practicing meditation techniques for years and it makes me feel so relaxed and energetic afterwards! In the model apartment were I use to live, I would give yoga classes outside sometimes.
M1:Have you had any unconfident moments? How did you pick yourself up and keep yourself motivated?
FVDH: Yes I definitely have unconfident moments, when I feel insecure about myself I work out, after a good workout I feel more confident about my body! And another thing that makes you feel confident about yourself, maybe some people think it’s a little bit weird but when you look in the mirror tell yourself your beautiful, smart and good enough!
M1: What are some of your interests and passions outside of modelling?
FVDH: Outside of modelling I love photography! When I have time, I love to shoot other models or friends and play with the camera! I love to cook and dance – snowboarding is also one of my favorite sports! I can’t snowboard a lot because you have to be in the mountains with snow of course but dancing you can do that everywhere and yes I do it everywhere haha!
M1: What are some values/lessons you’ve learned growing up that you think help you as a model?
FVDH: I think it helps that I grew up in a small farming village where everyone has their feet on the ground – it’s kept me grounded as a human being in this industry. So stay close to yourself, of course you have to adjust in certain situations, but always stay true to your own standards and values. That is also how I learned to stand up for myself and I am still working on that.
M1: Do you ever find yourself needing a boost in motivation? If so, what gets you recharged and focused on your goals?
FVDH: Yes I do! I think everyone needs a boost sometimes! When I have a disappointment I try to think, alright how can I make this work for the next time. Than do something to take your mind off it, let it go and move on! I make my head clear by writing down my main goals and leave the side issues for what it is, focus on what is important and minimise that to realistic goals. Good things take time and do it step by step, when I think of that it gives space and than you can focus with new positive energy on your goals!
M1: What are some ways that the industry could change to create a safer and more relaxed environment for models?
FVDH: Don’t put labels on every size, call models just models, and plus size models are not really plus size I think it’s an average size for women. So I hope that one day it doesn’t matter any more which label you are in, and that every size is used in the industry so that they create a realistic body image. Luckily this is already changing bit by bit, and that makes me really happy!