Picture this. You have time travelled back to your childhood and are sitting in your room. You find yourself cutting out moodboards and following photographers as you try to re-create shoots in your safe space. For influencer and model, Meredith Mickelson, this is exactly how she discovered her life passion at a young age. Never missing Fashion Week, her eyes were glued to the screen as the different shows glided on. As she shared candidly, “I’d study my poses in front of my mirror and google the stories behind each brand and learn how to pronounce them.” Instead of focusing on math class, she was typing away looking up her favorite photographers. “Fashion has always inspired me because it’s constantly changing and the amount of hard work that goes into it behind the scenes is astonishing,” she expressed. It’s safe to say, her dream was about to become a reality.
Sometimes, reality can come with a few bumps in the road but we always find our way over them. For Mickelson, there were a few obstacles she had to face from “constant judgement online, to judgement within the industry to just overall judgement on myself, she admitted. “’I’ve dealt with crazy body image issues, eating disorders, over working out, depression, anxiety and overwhelming amounts of need to get everyone to accept and like me when that’s never possible.” It was the lowest point she had ever found herself in and instead of letting it consume her, she rose up. As she explained, “It forced me to grow in ways I didn’t know were possible and gave me new depth and understanding.” Mickelson realized that self love was all she truly needed to feel whole and loved…A little something we all need reminding of.
The darkness was replaced with light and the young influencer/model found her greater purpose. Every project she is part of is an opportunity to inspire and “give people the inspiration and confidence they need to get through the day and go after their dreams,” Mickelson shared. Hoping to help those struggling with mental health, it’s important to her that everyone knows they are not alone and how important being healthy in the mind is. “We need reminders that we’re ALL going through something and that social media is how everyone wants to be perceived, not who they really are,” she said with confidence. No argument there. We grow up with these unrealistic expectations which push us towards feelings of low self-esteem. It’s in those moments that we must remember to truly love ourselves for who we are–not who we believe others want us to be.
Luckily, Mickelson has a loving, caring, and supportive family. Her father, mother, and brother are the most important people in her life and the amount of support they have given her leaves her “speechless.” Their support “is the full reason I even had the opportunity to become successful in this career,” she said. At the age of 15, the young influencer convinced her parents to move across the world to pursue her dreams and they did it with no hesitation. With her brother as her best friend, there was no stopping her from fulfilling her dreams! She continued with love in her heart, “I would be completely lost without them. Everything I do in life, that’s all I want is to make them happy.”
When asked who her role model is, Mickelson did not hesitate, “My mom and dad are tied for my role models.” Their hard working, most loving, forgiving, and kind selves are what push the young model to never give up and always be the best she can be. She continued on with a strong smile, “ I admire them and want to be half the person they are. They truly are my heroes. I couldn’t possibly admire or look up to anyone more than I do them.” I think I will take a moment to call my mom now.
When she was 16/17 years old, Mickelson shot for international Vogue which was a life changing experience–especially when she got the call she would be the cover. She shared nostalgically, “It was shot by one of my favorite photographers who I’ve worked with so often, Ellen Von Unwerth. The team from that shoot i still am in contact with to this day and love everyone of them so much.” The photographer, Ellen, is a gifted artist to whom Mickelson owes a lot. She opened up, “she believed in me at such a young age and I truly am the model I am today because of her. Her shoots are like filming short movies, you become the character she envisions and play the role. It’s honestly unexplainable the amount of creativity and talent she creates and captures. I adore her with everything in me.”
Meredith Mickelson embraces every moment in life to its fullest. Her heart is filled with warmth and gratitude as she is surrounded by supportive and talented people from her family to photographers and more. Having been through the ups and down of life, she finally accepted who she is and uses her platform to incite the same self-love and confidence in others. Looking into the future, five years from now, “as long as I have the people around me I love, self-love in my heart and I’m working my hardest I can at my career / passion then I don’t care where I am as long as I’m happy.” Truly an inspiration to all!
Photographer TOMMY FLANAGAN @tommy_flanagan
Model MEREDITH MICKELSON @meredithmickelson
Makeup Artist JACLYN B LOPEZ @jaclynbmakeup
Hair Stylist YANIV KATZAV @yanivkatzav
Wardrobe SEAN PANELLA @seanypstyles
Interview ALEXANDRA BONNET @alexbonnetwrites