Our March 2020 Model of the Month is Hillary Likos! Hillary is a fairly new SG model in the scheme of things, starting with us in Fall 2018 – but she jumped in with full enthusiasm and has come back multiple times now to take part in many shoots and shows.
1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do?
I work as a design assistant at a global real estate company; basically I create the presentations and books my bosses give to their clients. In my off-hours I practice a group improvisational style of bellydance called FatChanceBellydance Style (formerly known as American Tribal Style), practice digital art, play videogames, and attempt to keep a plant alive for more than 15 seconds.
2. How did you get involved with the brand?
A friend of a friend had modeled a few times, and told my friend about how amazing and fun it was. So, when the Fall 2018 casting call came out, she forwarded it to me and pretty much demanded that I take part. Thanks, Bri! 😉
3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?
I love the people, the message, the environment, and the clothes! Most people don’t know it (because I’ve learned to suppress it), but I am very shy and introverted, so it takes a lot to get me out of my apartment. Getting involved in an SG shoot/show when I’d never modeled before was completely nerve-wracking, but the vibe at the shoot was just so chill and friendly, I couldn’t help but relax. Gorgeous babes right and left were helping each other into outfits, giving opinions on which lipstick to wear, and taking selfies together. It took about 1 minute for someone to compliment my shoes, despite me quietly hiding in a corner. Every SG event I’ve attended since, I’ve met so many incredible new people and had an absolute blast, because Mallorie has really created something inclusive and special that doesn’t exist anywhere else, which is reflected in the awesome personalities of her models.
4. What does body positivity/body liberation/body acceptance mean to you?
It means not having to explain or excuse myself. To say hey, this is how I’m shaped, this is how I look, this is the space I take up…. and I don’t have a problem with it (and if you do, you can f*ck right off). And not just for myself, but for people seeing me as well. I’ve always been tall and super pale, and over the years I’ve realized that people are going to be looking at me regardless; I stand out. And I can’t say exactly when, but there was a point in my life where (coupled with dance and some badass friends)I decided to take back control of that; if people were going to be looking, I was going to feel good about how I looked when they did it.
5. If there is a message you could put across to women/femmes/non binary folks through your modeling photos – what would that be?
Comfort, fun, power, and love. Do not disappear. So much of our lives is about being minimized; ‘only wear black because it’s slimming,’ ‘no bright patterns or large prints,’ ‘you can’t wear that,’ ‘please disappear as much as possible’. Wearing something that fits, that is not just a graded-up straight-sized pattern, but instead is actually made to accommodate the different shapes of my fat body, that has an actual style, and fun features/prints…. it makes me feel that special Thing. I stand straighter, I walk more confidently, I speak more authoritatively. I want that for everyone.
6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try?
RELAAAX. My first photoshoot, I was so nervous and stiff, and I could have sworn I was smiling (I wasn’t). I was trying too hard to fit a certain mold, and looking at the other models’ pictures (and a few of my own), the ones I loved the most were the candids, the ones where they were laughing and smiling naturally. And that natural beauty is what Mallorie was aiming to capture all along, when we were just being unapologetically ourselves.