With the dramatic increase in entrepreneurship and public visibility enabled by the internet and social media, the digital world has quickly become oversaturated with self-proclaimed gurus of many kinds. While the democratization of access to information as well as the increased ability to achieve economic liberation via the internet are positive phenomena overall, the preponderance of false experts leaves unsuspecting consumers at a disadvantage. Those with a desire to learn more about any number of industries find themselves in the difficult position of separating the signal from the noise.
Luckily, there are many authentic industry leaders that are great role models for enthusiasts to emulate. Laura Jacques is one of these individuals. We caught up with the model and psychology student to get her opinions on the state of the industry as well as social media.
I: Thank you for joining us today Laura. What do you believe is the primary differentiator that sets you apart from other models in the industry? Has this differentiator helped you achieve success?
LJ: I can’t answer this question because I don’t compare myself to other people. Everyone is their own, and in the modeling world, people tend to lose sight of their individuality. My unique selling point is simply that I’m not the next person and that in itself is as just as “unique” as it’ll get. I believe this approach resonates with other models, fashion industry consumers, and casting directors.
I: What are your upcoming projects or ventures that you’re anticipating and/or looking forward to?
LJ: I’m definitely anticipating a Vogue issue or modeling for Schiaparelli. Elsa Schiaparelli is one of, if not my favorite, designers that I’d love to get a chance to work for.
I: What is the most important thing someone can do if they want to get into fashion and modeling?
LJ: Social climbing, but in a good way – making sincere connections. It’s one thing to use people to get what you want, that’s immoral and wrong; I’m totally against that. However, if you’re genuinely making connections with people in your circle, that will expand to another circle and so on. Being true to yourself and, at the very least, being a decent human can create many more opportunities than one would think.
I: What is your opinion on social media and how it intersects with your industry and mental health?
LJ: Social media in general ruins how people view life and themselves. Without realizing it, people are constantly comparing their lives to the highlights of someone else’s life, thus leaving them to feel like they either aren’t doing enough or flat out pretending like they are – even if they aren’t. Recently though, posting more casual pictures over “high glam” photos has become more of a trend. Though it’s a bit healthier it doesn’t change the fact that someone will always look at someone else’s content and ask themselves, “why can’t I look or live like this?” It’s almost as if we shouldn’t have so much access to so many different people, it distorts our perception of our own reality. With that being said, the way that social media intersects with my industry, it’s way easier to connect with people than how it was before the time of the internet. This creates more opportunities, which is the silver lining.
I: What are the worst aspects of social media?
LJ: The double-edged sword of being seen. On the good side, people can become a “star” overnight. There are many success stories of models, influencers, and creators whose lives have dramatically changed for the better after posting one video and going viral. It allowed them to be seen by important people in the industry who otherwise would have never even known they existed, or at least not yet. Whereas on the bad side, the rat race of trying to constantly keep being seen as “relevant” is the hard part; considering the overconsumption of media people can and may simply move on to the next viral person. Of course, social media also comes with a lot of hate so to be in front of the spotlight on a regular basis will definitely require a strong sense of self-perseverance for your well-being.
I: What are some of your favorite brands that you consume – from fashion to beauty to jewelry and beyond?
LJ: I’m personally more into the beauty element of things, I love following my skincare routine and even just doing my own makeup. I use Raw African black soap to cleanse my skin and moisturize with Black Girl Sunscreen daily. I’m really light on makeup so I use Givenchy concealer 42 just to correct some spots and the majority of the rest are all Fenty Beauty products. Depends on where or what I’m doing but a staple of mine is definitely the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb lipgloss and the Fenty Beauty Bronze Shimmer powder. As for jewelry, I’ve had the same necklace a friend from high school custom-made for me that I have yet to take off years later. People can identify me by that necklace alone, diamond-encrusted L. I love it so much.
I: What would you tell the younger version of yourself based on everything you have learned?
LJ: Tap into all the things that interest you. I was really hard on myself in school. I was a classic overachiever, a Volleyball captain, and a member of a bunch of clubs yet always felt unfulfilled. I didn’t have many hobbies and though the aforementioned activities can seem as such, to me it was just an obligation – something I had to do. I’d just tell myself it’s okay to try out different things and choose fun. Live solely to experience.
To stay up to date with Laura Jacques, follow her Instagram
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.