Rising model Alex: ”I use my body as a tool”
Stunning model Alex Cunningham was rejected by agencies because she didn’t fit the industry standards – now she thinks of her body like a piece of art. We all should, really!
Alex Cunningham was always tall and lanky, ”But I was no good at basketball”, she laughs. ”So people told me I should model instead”. Watching Alex Cunningham in front of the camera, it becomes obvious that she was born to model. But fitting into the fashion industry standards, that’s a whole different struggle.
”The hardest thing about modelling is the toll it takes on you, mentally. You have everybody on the outside saying things like ‘you’re too skinny, you’re anorexic, eat a burger’. I’ve been trying to get signed for years now. In New York they told me I was too big, too muscular, too whatever. Hearing so many conflicting thoughts, that’s what weighs on you.”
But she didn’t give up. And now, after years of freelancing, she finally landed a contract with a modelling agency in Los Angeles.
”I am not very expressive verbally, and I never have been. So I make up for it through motion, through facial expressions. Modelling is my way of expressing myself.”
People are starting to realise that swimwear is fashion too, we can make a statement on the beach!
HAS MODELLING CHANGED THE WAY YOU VIEW YOURSELF?
”You have to know in modelling how to not take things personally. You have to be dedicated to what you do, but you have to detach yourself from it.”
HAVE YOU MANAGED THAT?
”Absolutely, but it’s been a test. If you don’t have what it takes in this industry you will burn out. Because it’s not nearly as glamorous as it looks. But I love it. I genuinely love what I do, and that’s the reason I keep doing it.”
Lucky for us. In our summer swimwear editorial, Alex Cunningham models a minimalist two-piece bikini – giving us serious cravings for olive green shades and boyish haircuts.
WHAT KIND OF SWIMWEAR DO YOU LIKE?
”I don’t like a lot of colours, I am minimalistic like that. I like the two-piece I am wearing today, it was super comfy. I also like strappy, geometric stuff. People are starting to realise that swimwear is fashion too, we can make a statement on the beach!”
WHEN DID YOU FEEL THE MOST BEAUTIFUL?
”Just recently. My looks aren’t something I had a part in – my parents had me, and I was lucky. So complimenting me on how I look doesn’t necessarily make me feel beautiful. But just recently I shot a video with a friend of mine, and when we watched it after, I was able to see what other people see in me. I was like Alex, listen, you got to stop being so hard on yourself! But you know, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. Somebody will like you, somebody will say you’re not their type. There are more important things in life.”
WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR BODY?
”What I used to hate the most – I love how tall I am. I love how my body creates shape, how I can use it as a tool. I feel like I am a walking piece of art.”
Click here to see the full swimwear editorial – our cutest swimwear for summer and how to style it on and off the beach.