“Parenthood has definitely grounded me, especially in this job, where your worth as a person in based on the way you look.” – Maggie Parks
Welcome to Face Time. DFW Style Daily’s exclusive series goes beyond the runways and picture-perfect shoots to get to know top Dallas models on a personal level. Why?
Boasting top tier agencies, producers, and retailers, the Dallas market is emerging as a fashion force on the national scene. And, as our interviews with Carlotta Lennox, Myles Crosby, Donny Boaz, Sirisha Reddy, Atti Worku, and many more prove, Dallas-based models are among the most fascinating and accomplished in the country.
Today’s model multi-tasker is no exception to the rule. If her gorgeous girl next door looks seem a bit familiar, it could be that you’ve glimpsed Maggie Parks in campaigns for national retailers, or as the face of the official margarita of the Dallas Cowboys. A mother of two, she also served as the model for a DC Comics action figure – wow! – and that’s not the only thing about Maggie that might surprise you. Read on for her story and click here for more Face Time model interviews!
Name: Maggie Parks
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Agency: Kim Dawson Agency
Notable Clients: Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Brooks Brothers, Mary Kay, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Belk, Fossil, Armani, Roberto Cavalli
DFW Style Daily: At what age did you begin modeling? Were you scouted or did you pursue modeling as a career?
Maggie Parks: “My mom says that people approached her about getting me into modeling, starting when I was a baby. She always held off, trying to make sure that I was grounded and had a ‘normal’ childhood. When we moved to Dallas when I was 15, one of my friends knew a girl who had just signed with Kim Dawson and was doing very well. My mom took some snapshots and sent them into the agency, and I signed right away.
“My dad was still on the fence about this ‘crazy modeling idea,’ though. Well, my first job I worked for Supercuts. I was only supposed to be there an hour or so, but the camera broke, and we had to wait while they went to the store to get the parts. I ended up being there for many hours, so my first paycheck at age 15 was over $1,000. My dad didn’t have a problem with [modeling] after that!”
What do you think is the biggest misconception about the modeling industry?
“I know that many of the other models you have interviewed have said that it is not as glamorous as one would think, and that is 100 percent true! But, in the spirit of not being redundant, I think that another huge misconception is that the industry is very catty and the girls all hate each other. In Texas, that couldn’t be farther from the truth! There is such a strong sisterhood among Dallas female models, we’re really like a family.”
What is the craziest, silliest, or most unusual thing you have ever done on a shoot?
“The most unusual, and in my humble opinion, the coolest thing to happen in regard to a job, was being the model for the photographs and sketches that eventually became the DC Comics action figure, ElastiGirl. It was a big deal in the comic world when she came out. We have a few of them at the house. She’s really cute!”
Are there any “deal breakers” for you when it comes to job requirements?
“I usually try to go with the flow on most jobs, but when it comes to nudity, I usually say no. This is not to say that I can’t appreciate it when other women or men choose to do so, and I completely understand that it lends itself to many artistic aspects of the job. However, I have two sons. I have to always remember that everything I put out there will eventually be seen by them – or their friends. The internet is a powerful thing, and I have to protect my children from being embarrassed or teased.
“I also try to think to myself in any situation, ‘Is this something my father would be comfortable looking at?’ Everyone has always been understanding about my stance on this issue, and after 22 years in this industry, I’ve never had a problem.”
If you could have any other job in the world, what would it be, and why?
“I actually went back to school a couple of years ago to pursue a degree in nursing. I have finished all of the classes except the nursing classes, and I have a 4.0 grade point average. I’m just trying to decide the right time to dive into the remaining classes, as I would have to scale way back on work. I still work almost every day, modeling and acting, so it’s a big decision looming ahead.”
Tell us three facts about yourself that might surprise us.
“I love to cook and bake. I know that people think that models don’t eat, but I’m a total foodie. I love experimenting with new recipes, and trying them out on my family. Second, I know how to lasso like a pro! I was the face of the ‘Cowboyrita,’ which is the official margarita of the Dallas Cowboys. ‘Rita’ was a mischievous cowgirl who knew how to lasso, so the team had a rodeo professional come in and teach me some skills before the shoot. Third, I have worked on every continent except Asia and Antarctica. …I had the best passport with so many stamps, until it fell out in a taxi in Mexico City on an assignment!”
You are a mother of two. How has parenthood changed your outlook on life?
“My sons, age 17 and 10 years old, are my whole world. Parenthood has definitely grounded me, especially in this job, where your worth as a person in based on the way you look. When you come home to those two smiling faces, who love you no matter what, it really puts things into perspective. I can come home from the worst job, wanting to start crying, and my sons run up and hug me, and we start laughing about something silly, and the bad stuff just fades away. It really helps you see clearly what is truly important in life.”
Is there a secret to striking an ideal balance between work and home?
“It is definitely a juggling act. There have been days when I kept my laptop next to the stove, so that I could finish an online quiz for my class while stirring dinner and shouting out my son’s spelling words for his test the next day. It is a circus sometimes, for sure, but I also have to give so much credit to my mom and dad for helping me out with the kids. They are both retired, and my kids have their own rooms at their house, too. This way, if I have to get up at a crazy hour, or leave town for a few days, the kids’ lives aren’t disrupted. There is no rhyme or reason to our schedules as models, so having two awesome grandparents on permanent standby is such a blessing! I really don’t know how I would do it without them.”
Finally, what is the most important lesson you hope to teach your kids?
“I hope that they learn all of the given, important things like being kind to others, honesty, and hard work. But, I also hope that they keep growing their imaginations. They are both so creative, and I love watching their minds invent these magical works of art, games, and stories. It makes my heart happy. My youngest son and I were watching The NeverEnding Story the other day. In the first scene, the little boy is eating breakfast and his grumpy dad tells him to ‘stop daydreaming and get his head out of the clouds.’ I turned to my son and said, ‘No, don’t ever stop daydreaming!’ That’s where the magic happens.”
All photos courtesy of Maggie Parks.