Up close and personal with Bella Fernandes
- Who is Bella?
My name is Bella Fernandes, I am 17 years old. I was born in February, so I am an Aquarius. I have moved around a little bit growing up, but I spent most of my time in a small country town in New South Wales, Australia, called Denman. I now live in Newcastle, New South Wales near the beach. I am currently in year 12, aspiring to study a double degree in law and political economics, with a goal to work in international resolution. In my spare time I enjoy riding horses and spending time in the country.
- What inspired you to be a model, and how did you start?
When I was 13 my mum booked a photoshoot for me as a birthday gift and I loved the experience. Even though I was nervous prior to the shoot, I discovered that I felt really comfortable being in front of the camera. I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that I could perhaps do this as a career. What inspired me to be a model when I was 13, compared to now has significantly changed. At first, I was in love with the thought of constant travel, meeting new people and the glamourous depiction of being a model. Now what inspires me is being able to make a change in people’s lives through the following I have gained on social media and the different people I have worked with. Through modelling, I have been able to promote my passions of feminism, self-love and a positive lifestyle.
- If you look at the arts and modelling industry, which area of the industry would you like to change and leave a mark?
Over my years in the industry, I have seen a lot of men and women consume themselves with modelling to a point where it affects their mental health. Working hard to achieve your goals is important, however, it should not be overdone. I would like to change the constant expectation of over working yourself to the point it causes health concerns. It’s okay to have an off day. I would love to be remembered for being a vibrant, enthusiastic and reliable person, who always tried to promote equality, support for mental health and self-love.
4. What are your best moments as a model?
There are definitely too many to remember! I enjoy every opportunity I am given, but my recent best moments would have to be when FRM Management signed me. I was working so hard towards getting signed when I was younger and once I was signed, it was literally a dream come true. Also, being selected as a NSW finalist for Top Model Australia, which I am competing in on the 23rd of June, 2021. As well as modelling for MishMish Photography in Sydney Opera House. The shoot was no doubt the coldest one I have done, although the photos turned out amazing. Modelling has also lead to numerous paid partnerships on Instagram which I always thought were really cool when I was growing up!
There’s a point when you almost gave up, what had happened, and what made you rise again? How do you finance yourself as a model, and what necessary steps do you take to achieve what you want?
The modelling industry is for sure the hardest industry in regard to competition. I never thought I was going to be tall enough to be a professional model, as I am only 171cm. After being knocked down numerous times before I got signed with FRM, there were moments when I thought I was not going to be able to make a career out of modelling or I should stop trying so hard. Even after being signed, there are times during off seasons when I don’t get work and I start doubting myself. Constant support from my family, especially my mum was one of the biggest reasons I never gave up on trying to achieve. A lot of self-determination, persevering, self-motivation and resilience was needed to get where I am, and especially where I want to go. Modelling definitely isn’t a cheap industry, especially the start-up cost of portfolios and promoting yourself. I found the best way to manage the finances of modelling, was sourcing collaborations with starting up photographers who were interested in doing a TFP (time for print) shoots. I also can’t thank my mum and dad enough for supporting me financially with modelling and I really hope I can pay them back as I continue to grow my career!
- who’s your icon as a model.
I have been inspired by a lot of people as a model, especially a lot of strong women. Someone who is iconic to me is Donatella Versace. Mostly due to her dedication to feminism and her determination to constantly being a strong woman, in such a harsh industry.
I believe before you joined modelling, you had expectations from the industry, what were your expectations, and what surprise did you get that wasn’t according to your expectations?
I didn’t really have any expectations when entering the industry, I always thought it would be best to join with an open mind. The only thing I expected was that it was going to be tough, so I had to enter with a strong mentality. It definitely isn’t as glamorous as it is painted out to be in the movies, and it takes a lot of constant hard work.
Any advice for other models out there?
I feel like this is constantly said but I will continue saying it to any aspiring models, do not give up! If modelling is your passion and you are prepared to be self – motivated and resilient then keep at it. Just because you aren’t accepted by the first 5 agencies or don’t get selected during a casting, doesn’t mean the 6th agency won’t sign you or you won’t be selected for the next job. Believe in yourself, push yourself and have faith.
In your own words, what else would you like to let our readers know?
I’m extremely grateful for my interview to be featured in Model Square Magazine and I send my love and best wishes to all the readers’ xx