There are so many factors that influence our individual opinion and arguably the media is one of them. When it comes to models we all have our own thoughts- “I wish I was one”… “Skinny, anorexic and self-0bsessed”… “They marry footballers”… “An easy job for so much money”… “All unhappy”… “Beautiful”, but for us in the industry we know the truth. We have seen them at their lowest. We have seen their true reaction once their lives get splashed across the paper- “model X caught cheating with X footballer”. And honestly, whilst sometimes they live up to the ‘model expectation’, the general consensus is you’d be pleasantly surprised to really see what lies beneath the glamorous hair and make-up, clothes (in some cases) and confident personas.
A model we have chosen to write about is our good friend, Annie Bullah. Renowned for being a ‘TV Babe’ Annie has been in the industry since she was eighteen, always with the goal of being the next Jordan, and just like her idol, you either love or hate her. For me, I get her. I see the vulnerable, naturally beautiful little lady underneath the make-up, extensions and false eyelashes and honestly, I love her.
Annie Bullah is a UK Model Folios blog choice because she so epitomises the glamour stereotype and the misconceptions. I want to share my Annie experience with you because not only will it hopefully broaden your view of models, but moreover prove the trustworthy relationship you can build with us here at UKMF. Relationships which can expand your success in the industry and the confidence you have for knowing you are being promoted in the way you want to be and on top of that, gaining the financial credit too.
This interview is as always honest and gives an insight in to the world of not just Miss Bullah, but the model industry as a whole. We hope you enjoy it.
“Happy girls are the prettiest”
INTERVIEW WITH FAY BACON AND ANNIE BULLAH
By Coco Minnie x
Annie’s calendar is what I would describe as a typical beach-style-glamour shoot. It’s very simple and captures the beauty of Thailand. It is inspired by Jordan, Jemma Jameson and Pamela Anderson.
Annie: I LOVE my calendar. I loved Thailand. It’s the best thing I’ve done work-wise.
How did you both decide the theme for the Calendar?
I know the type of model Annie is and what she wants to be perceived as. She LOVES Jordan so we looked through previous shoots she had done. Obviously as her shoot was with Alan Strutt and he has shot Jordan many times, including her first calendar he had a great idea of what to do and so the Official Annie Bullah 2011 Calendar was born!
Annie: I have really specific ideas when it comes to modelling and I know what works for me. Fay and I work really well together as she understands my ideas and picked out all the best references for me. We worked on every detail selecting outfits, hair and make-up, everything. I couldn’t have asked for a better service.
Which was your favourite month in the calendar and why?
May or November. I know Annie loves May, particularly as a landscape.
Annie: Yes, that’s my best picture ever! 8 o’clock in the morning in Thailand. Victoria Secret’s bikini. Amazing!
Had you worked with eachother before going to Thailand?
Yes, we’d worked together on building Annie’s website, plus I also promote Babemag.com and we had worked together on a shoot for them.
Annie: I wanted to shoot with UK Model Folios and Alan because they’re the best. Alan is my favourite photographer to work with and Fay is so good at shoot production, direction etc. She knows exactly what I want and I love working with her.
Fay, before you met Annie did you have any preconceptions of what she’d be like?
Erm… Honestly, I expected her to be stand-offish because I’d seen her once or twice shooting but never spoke to her, however the minute we chatted I was pleasantly surprised. Annie needs to feel comfortable around people, I think she’s quite protective of herself and has been hurt a lot in the past by women, and maybe people generally. I think she trusts me and so we get along really well and I almost ‘Mummy’ her when we work together. She’s a truly lovely person.
Annie: I can give off that impression sometimes but I don’t mean it, I am a really open person when you get to know me and I’m very loving. I like to keep myself quite private work-wise and only work with people I trust and think will help me. I was introduced to Fay by Alan Strutt so knew she would be good for me if he had recommended her. We clicked instantly and now I love her!
How difficult do you think it is for models like Annie to escape being stereotyped for their image?
It’s very difficult if she wanted to be taken seriously in a professional career for example a lawyer, but Annie wants to be a glamour model. She loves Jordan and just like Jordan plays to the press; Annie plays the whole glamour stereotype perfectly. She wears low-cut tops to show her amazing boobies, and little jean shorts to show her bum. She loves the attention and admits it. She doesn’t try to be what she isn’t.
Annie: The bitchy comments I get are outweighed by the good. I am very lucky as I have great fans, family and friends who keep me confident. Of course there are people who want to see me fail or bring me down but I have to ignore them. To survive in this industry you have to be thick skinned.
Do you find that people tend to judge glamour models on their choice of job and appearance?
Yes, completely. I am honest enough to say I judged them too before I started working with them. There’s so many different views that people take, but the main ones are it’s derogatory to women; glamour models are cheapening themselves and have no brains. Oh, and that they all want a footballer. That’s classic.
Annie: I’d never date a footballer. I don’t believe glamour degrades women, I actually think it celebrates our sexuality and feminine curves. I love looking glamorous and making the best of myself. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m also very homely and like staying home with my man and chilling out.
How does working with companies such as Celebrity Publicity and UKMF benefit successful models such as Annie?
We can put her in the direction she wants to be in i.e. magazines. We can expose her in the best way to the right market with the best content. We will ensure contracts are in place too so she benefits from all of this because there is a huge tendency for models like Annie to be taken advantage of by those who recognise her willingness to get in to magazines and the public eye. These sorts of models end up on the front pages of magazines sure, but sometimes they’re mags they didn’t want to be on, and moreover not earning any money from the picture sales. We don’t allow this and are very transparent with everything we do.
Annie: I am very selective who I work with and since working with Fay, UK Model Folios and Celebrity Publicity I run everything by her now because she gives the best advice and makes sure I’m getting the best deal in my work.
Before you started working in the industry were you ever nervous or hesitant to work with glamour models?
No, although I used to find myself feeling uncomfortable when I told people I worked with them because there’s always that same reaction of, “phwoar, can you get me a job?” from the men, and “Oh, do you? “ *snob accent* from the women. I’m very proud of what I do though so…
Annie: I was nervous as I didn’t know whether they would be bitchy or friendly towards me. You hear a lot that models are nasty to eachother so I was worried about that.
Why would you recommend UKMF and Celebrity Publicity to other models that tend to get judged due to their appearance / their choice of career?
We treat everyone with respect but are honest with them too. Take Annie for example, she loves the whole OTT hair and make-up, but I am always telling her to tone it down because she is genuinely naturally beautiful and looks better, in my opinion, when she’s naturally made-up. Of course she doesn’t always listen to me ha, but we can only advise.
Annie: I am very fussy when it comes to my hair and make-up, but in saying that I did tone it down for the calendar and actually really liked it.
Fay, after working with clients do you often feel protective over them?
Yes, definitely. I aim to get a real rapport with my clients and strike a bond. I am close with all of my Thailand girls now for example because I lived with them for seven days and they’re such lovely women. On the other hand I’m honest too. Nobodies perfect and everyone has their negative points but I’ll give the model the negative feedback if I feel it can benefit them career-wise to work on it.
Fay, the first time you met Annie, what stood out about her?
She’s got an amazing figure. I also love her tattoos and how lovely she is. Annie is the typical example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. She’s actually really down-to-earth, caring and a homely girl. I love her.
For you, what makes a woman stand out?
I could lie and say personality, but initially it’s looks and then ultimately the two combined. I’m not going to feel bad saying that either, I mean walking down the street you’re not going to look and think, “she looks like a lovely person”… It’s the, “wow, she’s hot… I want her bag… and shoes… and hair colour…” Whilst we’re on the subject, Adriana Lima is my ideal woman. I would consider being a lesbian for her. I feel this should be public knowledge! (Both girls giggle)
Annie: I love natural beauty and a woman who takes care of herself. I love glamour and pretty, girly things. I also love girls that are approachable and nice to one another.
What was it like working with Annie Bullah in Thailand?
It was great fun. She’s so sweet and looks upon me sometimes for a bit of guidance, which I find really endearing. Sometimes I have to rein her in a little bit and encourage her cultural side because otherwise she would’ be eating McDonalds every day! Like in Thailand my goal was to get her to order Thai food and enjoy it, and she did. (Annie laughs!)
Annie: The Thailand calendar trip is amazing. Models have to go, even if it’s just for the experience. The girls who went on the trip were great fun and I have built a good friendship with, Melissa Reeves. We got up to much girly mischief!
Recently there’s been a lot of press in the media about people being stereotyped (more recently Channel 4 have been showing a documentary called Beauty and The Beast: The Ugly Face of Prejudice), do you think that there is more pressure on young girls and boys to look ‘perfect’?
Yes, definitely, our culture is obsessed with looking good. There’s the pressure to have the best clothes, the best car, the best make-up, hair-do; the list is endless. It’s is silly that we strive for this celebrity life, literally trying to afford the same pair of Louboutins as Cheryl Cole despite the fact she earns millions of pounds more than us, but it’s life. However, as much as looks are important in modern society, they’re not the be-all-and-end-all, but in the modelling industry they are. The physical is at the forefront of everything and in the end the model with the best physical assets is at a distinct advantage. Naturally personality is key and the two compliment eachother in ultimately giving you an even better career, but realistically if the next Kate Moss turns up on a photographer’s doorstep s/he’s not going to turn her away for lacking intelligence and being a diva.
Annie: Haha that’s true. Even as a model we want to become models because we look up to other models, or see them looking great in magazines and on telly and think, “I want that.” It is a pressure to then be that pretty though which is why a lot of models become insecure. It is a very competitive industry and one where it’s difficult to find true friends.
Do you think that something needs to change in the industry about how certain girls are judged because of their choice of career and if so, why?
It’s naïve to think opinion can be changed now because even without the media, people think what they think and as much as I can help by defending a model and saying she’s brainy or a lovely girl, the preconception is there. I think it’s just important for us in the industry and the model to overlook that preconception and make our own minds up.
Annie: I agree. All I can do as a model is be me and hopefully people will like me but if they don’t then there’s not much I can do.
Fay, you’re known in the industry for working with a variety of models including fashion, lingerie and topless. Do you find that ‘outsiders’ tend to judge all of these women on their looks and choice of career?
Yes, definitely. If you’re a fashion model, you’re anorexic. If you’re a lingerie model… don’t actually know what the theory is there, but if you’re topless, you’re degrading yourself. Some think if you’re a model it’s because you failed at everything else. I do not agree with any of these things. It’s the media that makes us feel that way. Of course there’s some truth in the whole ‘size zero’ thing and no matter what type of model you are, models are affected by wanting to keep skinny and toned, but I guess when so much attention is focused on how you look, you are going to become affected and ultimately they do have to have good bodies.
For more information on booking a calendar shoot or for general model advice you can contact Fay direct email@example.com
To purchase Annie Bullah’s Official 2011 Calendar, including signed versions visit Celebrity Calendars now