Charli Fletcher (main picture) as interviewed by R.L Bartholomew
Thursday, November 1, 2012.
It has always been my dream to work as an international model since my early youth. It feels absolutely amazing turning my dream into a great reality which I have been doing since the age of 16. I did my first print job for the Black Hair magazine which was the issue for August/ September 2007. I then branched out into doing other fields of modelling such as runway, promotional, television and film work. I have worked for companies such as Paul Mitchell hair salon, Sony Ericsson and O.K magazine as well as many others.
This year -2012- has been a great year as my modelling career is making a lot of progress and I felt it was time to take seriously my other talent which is acting. This year I appeared as a supporting artist in the films Fast Girls and The Knot. Both were released in the cinemas all over the UK. I have also done many other commercials and movies that are due to be released in 2013.
I enjoy modelling as a way of expressing myself through different kinds of clothing and of course through the poses - whether dramatic or subtle. It never feels like work as I love what I do. I have a zeal for acting too as I love impersonating differing personalities. It's a chance to go through the emotions of the character and use life experiences as well as my imagination to illustrate how they may feel.
Of course, there is the issue of race, and it shouldn’t ever be shoved underneath the carpet. Working as a dark skinned model in the UK has its advantages and disadvantages. It goes without saying that a majority of the high paying work is usually for caucasians - because most of the people here are white. However there are some advantages to being dark skinned. Many photographers like to experiment with differing looks and complexions and that does give people of colour increased exposure. In addition, there is not- in the UK –a lot of competition for models who are of my own hue, compared to the densely populated black areas in cities such as New York. It’s good to see, however, that nowadays there are much more ethnic models on the scene - indicating that multiculturalism is becoming triumphant in the industry. The future is looking good, and in all different hues!
Fashion appeals to all races and I believe it is good to incorporate models from differing backgrounds to represent where they come from. One of my role models in the fashion industry is Alex Wek who I met on Fashion's Night Out in New York this year. She inspires me because not only did she work hard to get to where she is today but she represents a true essence of black beauty and Africa.
I aspire to display to others that not every model is just a pretty face. In order to be a model I personally think that one should be confident, diplomatic, and able to communicate well with others. To me beauty is only skin deep so I strongly believe in education, as knowledge is power. By continuing with my university degree in politics and international relations, I hope to inspire many people to continue to not only embrace their talents but also to educate themselves. All is possible... the only person that can ever stop yourself is you!
R. Leonard Bartholomew (pictured below) is the Birmingham Editor for Thenewblackmagazine.com. He is also a freelance marketer and a private English tutor. R.L can be reached on Bartholomew1@blueyonder.co.uk