“The most important lesson I’ve learned from my service is that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.” – Sara West
Welcome to Face Time. DFW Style Daily’s exclusive series that gets to know top Dallas models on a personal level. Why? Because there’s so much more to making it in one of fashion’s most competitive fields than just a pretty smile and shiny hair.
Case in point: Sara West. When it comes to models, misconceptions abound, and there’s no shortage of industry stereotypes. Sara transcends typical notions, and can probably best the average Joe in one-armed push-ups, as well. You see, she’s also a Marine.
This multi-tasking model’s commitment to excellence holds true, whether she’s in uniform or haute couture. And that’s not the only thing about Sergeant Crew Master West that might surprise you. Read on for this week’s exclusive Q&A:
DFW Style Daily: At what age did you begin modeling? Were you scouted or did you pursue modeling on your own?
Sara West: I began modeling at 22 years old, and I pursued modeling on my own after moving to the DFW area.”
You are also, quite notably, a Marine. When did you enter the military? What inspired you to do so?
“I joined the U.S. Marine Corps at 19 years old. My grandfather is a Marine, and he served during Vietnam. I loved to listen to his war stories growing up. I’ve known since I was 12 years old that I wanted to join the military. In high school, I decided that if I was going to join, I might as well go all the way, so I decided to join the Marines.”
Have you encountered any stereotypes or misconceptions, in either of these areas of focus?
“Of course, being a woman in the Marines is unexpected, and only 7% of the Marine Corps is made up of females. On the modeling side, many people have the misconception, as evidenced in a lot of movies and television shows, that models have pretty faces, but lack intelligence. I’d like to think that I defy the stereotypes in both areas.”
Looking back, tell us about an important lesson you learned from your Marine service.
“The most important lesson I’ve learned from my service is that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. I was pushed to my mental and physical limitations, and I overcame them. I believe everyone is stronger than they think they are.”
Would you recommend military service to other young women?
“Absolutely! I would recommend it to anyone. The benefits are tremendous, and at 19 years old, it gave me a career, when I otherwise had none. It has given me the opportunity to pursue higher education, and I was able to travel the world while working to preserve the American ideals of freedom and opportunity.”
Do you have any hidden talents or interests? Surprise us!
“I’ve always loved to cook. I grew up preparing good, old-fashioned Southern comfort food with my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Now, I have the opportunity to pursue that interest by attending culinary arts school at Le Cordon Bleu this semester.”
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
“I love watching I Love Lucy reruns. The episode where she does the ‘Vitameatavegimin’ ad is hilarious!”
What was the last book you read that made an impact on you?
“I am currently reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. It has already impacted my life tremendously, and given me a desire to live every aspect of my life for the glory of God and serving others.”
Do you have a personal role model? What have you learned from his or her example?
“I have been lucky enough to have multiple individuals, whom I consider role models, impact my life. First, my grandfather was a Marine, as I mentioned, and I would not be who I am if it wasn’t for his influence on my life.
“Second, my dad is currently a Captain and a chaplain in the Army. When I was growing up, he worked as many as three jobs at a time to make sure our family was provided for. He joined the Army at 39, and within his first six-year enlistment, he completed two deployments – the first, for 15 months in Iraq, and then a 12 month deployment in Afghanistan. During this time, he also completed his Master’s Degree, while active duty. I have definitely learned a great work ethic from his example.
“Also, my mother is a hard working and classic woman. She taught me how to cook, sew, and garden, but most importantly, she taught me to always be a lady. No matter what environments I have encountered, I have always tried to keep those lessons close to heart.”
Finally, when you’re not working, what is your favorite way to spend a free day in Dallas?
All images courtesy of Sara West and The Campbell Agency.