“When it comes to modeling, or really anything else in life, I don’t compromise myself or my values.” – Olivia Whittaker
Welcome to Face Time. DFW Style Daily’s exclusive series goes beyond the runways to get to know top local models on a personal level. Looking back on a year of adventures, backstage stories, and insights, our interviews with Carlotta Lennox, Myles Crosby, Daniel Crouch, Sirisha Reddy, Atti Worku, Tracy Ripsin, Benn Suede, Liz Standley, and many more, have captured the attention of thousands. Beyond a doubt, Dallas-based models are among the most fascinating and accomplished in the country.
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays in full swing, today’s multi-tasking model offers insight into balancing work, school, and home. Wise beyond her years, Olivia Whittaker is both an in-demand talent with a top-tier client list, and a full-time student at Dallas’ prestigious Hockaday School. What’s her secret to a beautifully balanced life? Read on for the scoop, plus Olivia’s deal breakers, hidden talent, and more:
DFW Style Daily: At what age did you begin modeling? Were you scouted or did you pursue modeling as a career?
Olivia Whittaker: “I began modeling at age 15. I was approached a few times at the mall by different agencies and encouraged to come in for pictures and consultations.”
As a full-time student, what is your secret to balancing work and studies?
“Balancing work, studies, and sports can be tough. I run track during the year, and I also work at a local boutique. The secret to balancing all of this, for me, has been compromise. I’ve had to weigh my priorities, and sometimes sacrifice things that are lower down on that list.”
What is your favorite subject? As a senior in ’14-’15, is college on the horizon? If so, where will you attend?
“Currently, my favorite class of this school year has been AP Comparative Government. In this class, taught by my energetic teacher who is a former CIA agent, we compare the governments of major countries in the world, and discuss current events taking place in those countries. I love this class because it’s a current history class.
Do you recall a favorite, unusual, or particularly memorable modeling assignment?
“A particularly unusual and memorable modeling assignment I received was acting as a bronzed statue at the Crystal Charity Ball in December of 2013. We were covered from head to toe in bronze body paint, and adorned with glittering outfits. Another experience was being flown out by the clothing company SanMar to Seattle, where they are headquartered, to participate in two photo shoots this past fall. It was my first time traveling for modeling.”
Are there any “deal breakers” for you when it comes to modeling?
“When it comes to modeling, or really anything else in life, I don’t compromise myself or my values. To me, modeling is not everything, but simply a job, passion, and hobby of mine. Because of my values, and also my age, any nudity, profanity, or inappropriate or offensive assignments are ‘deal breakers’ to me.”
Have you encountered any stereotypes or misconceptions in the modeling field?
“People always assume that models are unintelligent, and that modeling, as well as the fashion industry as a whole, is superficial. They also assume that, as a model, you must diet, be as thin as possible, and exercise 24/7. I believe none of this to be true, at least in my case, and for many of my modeling friends.”
Do you have any hidden talents or interests? Surprise us!
“Ironically, I actually love being on the other side of the camera, as well. I really enjoy photography, and am currently taking an advanced photography class at my school.”
What was the last book you read that made a big impact on you?
“Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working by Craig Groeschel transformed my outlook on life.”
Do you have a personal role model? What have you learned from his or her example?
“My mom always has been, and always will be, my role model. She’s consistently taught and reminded me to always stay humble, grateful, polite, and kind, and to work hard for the things you want in and out of life.”
What is your favorite way to spend a free day here in Big D?
“On a free day here in Dallas, I love hitting White Rock Lake or the Katy Trail and walking, rollerblading, and running. I’d grab brunch afterwards, then hang out or go shopping in Uptown with friends, go out to a Mavericks or SMU basketball game, and go out to dinner at one of Dallas’s many great restaurants.”
Lastly, as we look ahead to a brand new year, do you have any specific wishes or goals for yourself or your family in 2015?
“I hope to further advance in modeling, and continue to learn and grow from my experiences as a model, as a student, and as a person, in a new and exciting period of my life.”
All photos courtesy of The Clutts Agency.