HAILEE KEANNA

God created me the way I am and I am confident in knowing that. Expressing yourself and putting it out there for the world to see -- and ultimately critique -- are exactly all the things you've said: fulfilling, challenging, & intimidating. But when your form of expression is literally your physical-self (ie. modeling) it can really snowball that experience, and not least of all, the negativity. When someone says your painting is terrible, that sucks. When someone says your face is terrible, that reeeeeeally sucks. The best I can do is remove myself emotionally from the pictures; the images of me that are out there, especially the ones that I'm proud of, they're literally 'me,, yet not 'me'; it's a photographer's interpretation, or a company's --a product, a proxy.

In reality, I still know that I have stray eyebrow hairs, and don't walk around lit by a beautiful, hazy backlight glow. So, when people respond negatively to a picture of me --and believe me, they're sure to let me know, it tends to roll off a bit easier, because despite an image representing my face and body, in the end, it's just a picture. And I'm not going to begin hating and hurting myself, because other people dislike it.

In the immortal words of one of our culture's most prolific artisans, Lil Wayne:

I hear you talkin' hater but you aint sayin' nothin';

man I let him keep talkin', let alone this motherf***** barkin'.

 

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I wish I could say that I always had the mantra "forget the haters" playing in my head, but I didn't realize until after high school that I am enough, just by being me. People were not the kindest about me modeling. I would get called Pocahontas because of my hair, or a chipmunk because of my teeth; I was told I had a witch's nose, alien far apart eyes, etc. All of these now being some of my favorite parts of me. Mermaid hair, nice smile for commercials, unique nose, and Lily Aldridge width eyes. (laughing) These are all things that have gotten me amazing bookings in my career. 

There are still those days when you look in the mirror and think, "Dang, I have to go a little longer on the treadmill today" but that's all part of the job. Two other physical details that I love are small; I have a mole on my neck and my stomach that I find quite adorable.

 

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My favourite movie is Lost in Translation, and my favorite human is Bill Murray, and as always, Bill says it best: "The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you." Real life wise, this is 100 percent true. If you know who you are and where you're going, nothing can get to you because you have a visualization of where you want to be locked into your head. You won't sweat the little stuff.

On the superficial level, to be a successful model, you need versatility. Clients want to see in your book before they hire you that you can transform from high fashion to commercial (example, from a Chanel make-up ad, to frolicking on the beach for PacSun).

 

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I wish I could tell you I've been wrapped in trash bags, dyed pink with owl feathers glued onto me, but LA has been pretty fashion forward. One of my Beyonce-esq moments was tromping around downtown LA wearing only short and I mean, short, jean overalls with thigh high suede Louboutins. 

One of my worst outfits was my first photoshoot ever. My mom and I styled it, with the help of the photographer. We brought what looked like a crazy blue 80's prom dress, and they styled me with a blue stripe across my eyes/face, wrapped tule around my head, and stuck me in downtown Portland. This was supposed to be called "high fashion," but I don't even know how it came off, but it wasn't high fashion. 

As for my style, lately I am channeling my inner boy. I used to dress super cutesy, boots and cardigans galore. Now I'm all black, varsity or leather jacket, clunky docs or a pair of roshe runs (with a little bit of heel, --flats terrify me), joggers or leather pants, and a lot of make up to keep up that female side of me. I've also been known to throw on a Kardashian lip. It's basically a model uniform, black on black, tight on bottom, loose on top. Otherwise, you can find the inner nerd me escaping the house and running to the grocery store wearing a Final Fantasy shirt ordered from Japan.

 

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One of the most challenging aspects of my work but one that I am truly grateful for is: The physical aspect. That's the biggest part of modeling that I find most annoying. When friends want to go out, they aren't going to places where I can get a "model meal", I also hate working out. BUT, I am also very grateful for it. Modeling keeps me fit and healthy. Knowing I have a big job or casting coming up really inspires me to kick butt in the gym. So thanks, modeling, for keeping me healthy.

Same goes for traveling. I booked a job that's taking me to Alaska soon, which I am nervous and stoked about. Modeling is a life of traveling, which sometimes wears me out; I miss my family, routines, and comfort, but at the same time, I'm getting free trips to amazing parts of the world, and getting to do my favourite thing while I'm there.

 

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I believe the way you think forms your future. Positive thoughts breed positive happenings. I don't just have to think optimistic right now though, because everything is so great, and am so excited about the future! I have to decide where I want to travel next, which is scary, but I have the world at my fingertips.

 

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The end of civilization will be caused by: The overpopulation of bunnies. And zombies. Definitely zombies. Maybe zombie bunnies. And probably also normal humans.

 












Hailee Keanna // haileebobailee // haileekeanna.tumblr.com

Red Pill

 

JUNNNKTANK is an online zine which has existed in one form or another since 2006.
For over a decade, the focus has been on highlighting the efforts of inspiring individuals and artists from around the world.

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Submissions are always welcome to junk@junnnktank.com.