Ruth Crilly was always a model I was aware of. With her trademark teeth and her ridiculously luscious blonde hair, I’d seen and admired her on billboards and in magazines for a long time. I’d even watched her early foray into modelling on the Channel 4 series This Model life (which, if you’re in the UK you can see watch on 4OD). So you can imagine my surprise when, at a cover shoot for Wedding Magazine last year, I walked in to see Ruth getting made up! I’m not going to lie, I was slightly intimidated to meet her but I need not have been. She’s a truly LOVELY person as well (gaah don’t you just hate that!?) Ruth had started her beauty blog, A Model Recommends, the year before so we spent most of the day gossiping about modeling, blogging and beauty products! I’ve been a fan of her blog ever since and have lost literally hours watching her video blogs (and erm…spent rather a lot of money on her product recommendations).
So this week I thought I’d revisit that chat so share with you all today. Ruth is not only inspiring for wannabe models out there, but for anyone who wants to start a blog. Brains and beauty? Yeah not jealous at all …
Hey Ruth! So, tell us about yourself. Who are you and what do is it that you do?
Hello! I’m Ruth Crilly and I am an international fashion model and a writer. Though I should really put the writer part first as that’s now my main career. Doesn’t sound as exciting though, does it? I got signed to a model agency when I was in my second year at law school (2001) and then modelled full-time for almost ten years until I set up www.amodelrecommends.com in 2010. Now I juggle the two jobs, but they work very well together. In fact, I couldn’t really maintain A Model Recommends without being a model, so both jobs are necessary!
How did you first get into modelling?
I dropped a polaroid of myself into a Topshop “Model Comp” box in Birmingham when I was on my lunch break (extended lunch break, which was usual when I was at uni, and used to last from approximately 11.30am until 4pm). I didn’t get contacted for about six months by which time I had forgotten all about it, but when I was asked by Models1 to come and see them I jumped at the chance. I wasn’t particularly “feeling” my law degree and the promise of a more glamorous lifestyle (see below for a bit of myth-busting on that one!) was too much to turn down.
I can imagine being a model is one of the hardest and most competitive fields to get into. Do you have any advice for anyone who’d like to become a model?
Yes: be realistic at all times. Think forward to when your career will end and have something planned out – most girls will NOT make it to superstardom, unfortunately, and the shelf-life for models is getting shorter and shorter. This sounds really pessimistic, but it’s SO true, and there’s nothing more soul-destroying than being left waiting for the phone to ring! Make sure you have some qualifications behind you – I left uni, but I carried on with my education and did a humanities diploma, then a literature degree, now I’m doing a Masters degree. If academia isn’t your thing, try some practical qualifications that are relevant to your modelling career – nutrition, beauty or fitness perhaps.
What are the biggest preconceptions about the fashion/modelling industry?
That models are stupid. It drives me absolutely BONKERS. Whenever I hear that tagline “beauty AND brains!” it makes me want to poke my eyes out with a fork – it is one of the most condescending and pointless statements. That it’s such a surprise for a woman to be both attractive AND clever? Whoo – don’t get me started, I’ll be here all day!