Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
Tucked into the northeastern part of England, this former Roman settlement founded as Pons Aelius, Newcastle has seen everything from Romans to Danes, Saxons and Scots in carving out it’s own special place in English history.
Known for it’s breathtaking namesake castle, football club in Newcastle United based at St. James Park and it’s famous Geordie dialect, has helped give the city and region a distinctive vibe and cultural flavor all its own.
Home to a who’s who of soccer and rock royalty with names such as The Animals, Sting, Brian Johnson of AC/DC, Dubstar, Dire Straits and Jimi Hendrix—who was discovered and played in Tyneside—and Gosforth native and former Newcastle United striker, Alan Shearer, the all-time leading scorer in Premier League history.
Could plus-size model, Lucy Bennett be the next Geordie to make her mark?
A tall and striking 5’10, the blond-haired Newcastle-born beauty has modelled for brands such as Target, Simply Be, Closet London, Running Bare, The Iconic, City Chic and Flow Clothing. A versatile model who has done fashion, lingerie, editorial and swimwear, Bennett is one of the freshest and newest faces to watch for in the growing world of plus-size modeling.
In a world of full-figured models such as Iskra Lawrence, Bree Warren, Robyn Lawley and Ashley Graham, Bennett is set to add her name to the list of hottest “it” models to know. A self-described body-positive advocate model and NAM ambassador, Bennett also blogs about being a plus-sized model on her own WordPress site, weonlygetonebody.wordpress.com that provides an honest and open platform on the modeling industry, self-love, body confidence, style and health.
Below is my Q and A with Lucy as we talk role models, positive body image advocacy, rugby and her love of Shakespeare.
Name: Lucy Bennett
Birthplace: Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Modeling Agency: Bella Management
I see that you’re from London. Not sure if you’re a soccer fan, but who is your fave club? I’m actually from Newcastle in England, I just lived in London for a little bit for work. Haha I’m afraid I’m not a soccer fan, but I should probably say Newcastle United for the sake of my brother and dad, I did go to a couple of games when I was younger too. Not to be confused with Sunderland though (not that I’ve ever truly understood the offense haha).
What kind of model do you consider yourself? I’m technically what the industry would deem to be a ‘plus size’ or ‘curve’ model, but I don’t really agree with the necessity to use labels such as those. I’m a model that does fashion, editorial, lingerie and swimwear – but I’d love to add ‘beauty’ to that list someday too.
Which brands have you modeled for? And which did you enjoy the most? I’ve done a fair bit of editorial work, as well as working for brands such as Simply Be, Closet London, Running Bare, Target, The Iconic, Taking Shape and City Chic to name a few. It would be hard to pick a favorite, they’ve all been such amazing opportunities. However, when I booked my campaign for City Chic, I was ecstatic. It was my ultimate Australian bucket list job and gave me such great exposure. Also since regularly working with that team it’s started to become like a little family and now feels more like fun than actual work!
Where has been your favorite place to shoot? I’ve worked with a Malaysian brand, Flow Clothing a few times now over in Kuala Lumpur and each time it has wound up to be just the most wonderful experience. The kind where I found myself sitting on the helipad of one of the tallest buildings in the city, right in front of the infamous towers at night, and kind of just pinched myself and thought, ‘wow, is this actually my life’.
What is the most exciting aspect of modeling? Being able to travel the world and experience things I ordinarily wouldn’t have, all under the guise of work. I don’t think I’d be living in Sydney right now for a start! Don’t get me wrong, it can get very tiring and the last minute nature of the industry is stressful, but really it is all part of the thrill and I wouldn’t change it.
What are your fashion & style tips for looking good when the temperate drops? Coming from someone who owns far more jumpers than any one person ever should, I’m all about layering. Throwing a cosy knit under that cute denim dress you rocked with a bralette over summer, maybe with some tights and over the knee boots. Actually just owning a varying range of boots full stop is a good call. And then maybe head to a vintage shop and pick up a long winter coat that’s almost toooo insulating and you’re all set!
Within the industry who’s your inspiration? My inspirations are women who do it all; they’re models, positive body image advocates, businesswomen and brands. My main role models have to be the likes of Robyn Lawley, Tyra Banks, Ashley Graham and Jada Sezer – who I funnily enough used to fangirl like mad when I was a teenager and then one day I showed up to my first modelling job in London and saw that we were working together! After I freaked out and all that embarrassing kind of stuff, we became friends.
What is your secret to staying in shape? I don’t agree with working out being something you force yourself into in order to ‘lose weight’ or change yourself, I think it should be something that you enjoy and look forward to and that just supports you being the healthiest version of yourself. So I go to varying yoga classes on average 3 times a week. I find it energizes me, brings clarity to my negativity and physically I feel stronger.
Outside of modelling what are your hobbies? I used to study drama and was in a theater company for a year, so I still adore theater and literature. I’ve never really been into musicals though, I’m more into Shakespeare and plays. So in my spare time if I’m not at the theater, I’ll be off somewhere by myself either reading or writing. I find there’s nothing more cleansing than your own company, which is something I got used to with traveling so much.
Sports question: Who are your favorite teams and clubs? I have to admit, I’m really not that into sports. In fact, I think the only sport I do like is Rugby. But my friend took me to see the All Blacks v Wales in Wellington, New Zealand by promising me they sold beer and I would see fit men doing the Haka. Those aspects were great but I actually also found that I really got into the match too. Since then I’ve also been to the rugby 7s in Sydney and had the best time, so maybe I should start following rugby more!
What are your favorite cities to travel to? I love Paris, I’ve never traveled there for work, but I’m really excited for the day that the market over there becomes more accepting and diverse. Also I would have to say New York; I don’t have an agent there yet but that’s definitely something I’ll be working towards in 2017. It’s such an incredible pioneering city, it would be a dream to move there for work.
What advice would you give to women aspiring to get into modelling? Believe in yourself; you’ll face endless rejection and disappointment as a model but self-belief will push you to keep striving to succeed. Also, don’t think you need to change yourself to fit in, the market is continuously growing and changing at a rapid pace between various countries. If you want it badly enough then you will eventually find your niche simply by being just as you are.
And finally, never think that you’re done learning, reach out to other models and photographers, collaborate on test shoots, watch how those models work the camera and listen to a photographer’s vision and direction. Everyone has a different style and that will help you become more well rounded and adaptable to a larger variety of clients.
Special thanks to Lucy Bennett and Katherine Taylor of Bella Management for their time and assistance during the Q and A interview process. Images used with permission and are the rightful property of their respective owners.