Magazine journalism is unique in that it is much more visually based than other print media; it is dependent on visual aids, and one of these visual aids is modelling.
Manhattan College’s own Lotus Magazine has several students who serve as models for more visually-based articles such as makeup tutorials. One of these women is junior Caitlin Hall, who joined the magazine staff quite unexpectedly.
“Initially I only joined the magazine because my friend was supposed to be a model but she couldn’t do it so she recommended me to be her replacement,” Hall said. “Although, when I learned more about the purpose of the Magazine, I became more enthusiastic and passionate about my role.”
The goal of Lotus Magazine is to empower women, something that especially spoke to Hall, who is currently pursuing a career in mechanical engineering.
“As a woman engineer, I am in a male dominated field and have to compete with stigmas and stereotypes all the time,” said Hall. “It’s important to remember that being a woman doesn’t mean that I am less, but that I am equal. I deserve equal opportunities, pay and respect.”
Prior to joining Lotus, Hall had only done one photoshoot for the cover of a single she wrote while she was in high school. However another model, sophomore Tsegeroman “Roman” Doumbia, had a bit more outside experience.
“I had done some modeling when I was a child but I haven’t modeled for anything since then,” said Doumbia. “When they first put out the call for people who might be interested in working on this magazine I really wanted to be a part of it. But due to my busy schedule and work I didn’t have any extra time. So when Olivia [Lotus’ editor-in-chief] reached out to me to take part in the shoot I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of it.”
Both Doumbia and Hall had signed onto the magazine as models. However, sophomore Jamila Thompson both co-wrote an article about DIY jean jackets with patches and served as a model. Thompson was also impressed with the mission statement of the magazine, as well as what it stood for.
“I thought it was an amazing concept and I love how it primarily focuses on women empowerment,” said Thompson.
Doumbia and Hall, however, participated in a photoshoot for an article written by Lauren Davison, which attempts to illustrate the artistic component of makeup.
“Lauren [Davison] had a specific vision for each of the models and watching her create them was really amazing. Not to mention the end result was so beautiful,” Doumbia said. “I tend to be really conservative with my makeup so it was really cool to see what I looked like with a more bold look.”
“She wanted to show that makeup is an art form and isn’t exclusive to standard idea of beauty seen in society today,” Hall said.
Working with hair, make-up, wardrobe and photography direction can be absolutely overwhelming. But the three women had quite positive experiences with the process, particularly with Anna Maria Calma, the magazine’s photography editor.
“It was so easy to follow her direction and every photograph she took came out absolutely stunning,” Doumbia said. “I barely recognized myself in some of them they were so lovely.”
All three models plan to contribute to upcoming issues of the magazine, whose inaugural issue will be distributed during finals week.
“I would love to participate again next semester, as a model hopefully since it was so much fun. But if I have some extra time on my hands, I would love to work with them in other mediums as well,” Doumbia said.
“I would definitely do this again,” Hall said. “I am open to any medium, so as long as I can empower women.”