Natasha Minter, 24 of West London is an entrepreneur, model and an empoweree of others.
Raised in Cheshire she dreamed of being on television and after having gotten scouted for years decided to take the chance on one scout who saw her in Topshop on Oxford Street. “All my sisters are beautiful and have always gotten scouted too; they could totally be models too. One of my sisters used to do pageants, which kind of put me off on modeling- she paid for everything herself, [it was] so much drama.
I was probably jealous too to be honest. I just always assumed that it was the same thing and I never wanted to be a model because of what has been represented.” Minter reflected upon. But the one man who got her to really think about doing it, “I just thought, ‘Let’s just see what they have to say.’” Minter acknowledged that her age and contentment with where she was in life helped her make the transition into modeling.
Before her modeling career, Minter had only been graduated for 18 months and was working as a waitress and a teaching assistant at university. Minter continued to travel from Nottingham to London after she got scouted, “I would leave Monday [to go into London] and come back Friday.”
London had an amazing draw to Minter; it was a fast pace of life that drew her in right away. Cheshire was a very small tiny village, full of beautiful estates, loads of houses and children and full of fields. While going back is nice to see family, at the moment Minter sees herself somewhere that reflects her lifestyle. “Whenever I go back there [to Cheshire] I physically feel my body slow. Which is why I love London so much, it’s fast like me.”
Before Minter’s current business, she had always been into health and getting herself healthy was a main focus of hers. As modeling began to take the center stage of her life, she was stuck with a thought a professor has said in college, ‘Find a job you like, then find where it lacks and create your niche.’
Minter knew what her job was, modeling, and realized quickly where there was lack in the model industry. “I want to help models be financially stable, be healthy, empower others; how can I help the industry is what drove me. I’ve always had a desire to help people. I basically had found this gap in the modeling industry, and I wanted to fill it.”
It was a pivotal few months in Minter’s life, she decided on a whim to post on Facebook, somewhat teasing her followers and friends about a program: Train, Eat, Think: Like a Model. Her inbox blew up with requests to join the program. She had hundreds of likes and comments of women wanting to be apart of it. Right at this time Minter set off for Milan, where she would be trying to book show and shoots through her booker.
“It was a crazy start to the year. I posted on Facebook on Monday, Tuesday I had 12 girls signed up, Wednesday I flew out, Thursday I did my walk for my agency and that’s when it all changed.”
Minter noted how she took care of her body before she went to Milan; she remembered how she didn’t even indulge during the holidays. “Right after my audition, (where I stand in my underwear) even during it, everyone was talking about me but I couldn’t understand any of it. I went downstairs to get changed and came back up to talk to my booker. She told me, ‘You’re disgusting, you’re a disgrace, I don’t even know how you did this. Did you even work out? You’re an embarrassment. You’re a disgrace to our company. You’re a waste of space. You should have known better. You’re older, not a child.’ I didn’t know what she was talking about but I told her I would do whatever it takes to get to where I needed to be. I had gained about 3-4cm in my hips [while I was away]. When I left her, I was in bits. I called my personal trainer and two of my best friends… Without my friends, trainer and my health products, I honestly would not be here. They helped me through this; if they hadn’t been there I honestly probably would have dipped into a deep depression.”
For six weeks Minter neglected her body. The whole time she was in Milan, she starved herself and trained like a mad woman. She had never truly hated herself before, especially her outward appearance, but today she is extremely grateful for the lessons she learned from during such a dark time. “I never used to relate to women who had body image issues because I had never had them. I had angst about the way I looked growing up because I looked a lot like my dad who left my mum and I when I was young. I looked like him, the same dark hair. But I had never disliked the way I looked. So when I went through this in Madrid, I can finally relate to the women that I am working to help love themselves again.”
Every night in Milan, Minter would go out for a walk around the city. She used that time to try and clear her head, understand where she was, see what she wanted to do later on. “I wondered, ‘What if I just keep walking? What if I didn’t go home tonight?” Minter put on a brave face; after all she had just had twelve women sign up for a program that didn’t even really exist. It was one that she still had to fully create. Minter would get on the phone with clients every evening, talk with them, encourage them not to give up, her mantra for her clients became her own, “Don’t give up on a bad day.”
When Minter arrived back in London from Milan, it was a season of transition. She focused mostly on getting model jobs; she kept her business as a side option, a hobby of sorts. In 12 weeks, Minter had done 42 photo shoots. “I was working really well as a model and then I went away to America.”
Taking a break and going to America was one of the best things that Minter could have done for herself. “I spent nine weeks away total. I went to LA, Vegas and then flew over Amsterdam and Tenerife. I still felt like fat, terribly so. I still felt like I was super fat and then I would be standing in front of this group of people talking and I still felt like it. I couldn’t get it out of my head.”
Minter realized that the turmoil she went through in Milan was making her realize how much her thoughts affected the way that she was, which is how part of the program was born.
The gap that Minter was working to fill in others, she realized she had to fill within herself too. Model Me ended up turning into the brand that it is today in July 2017.
Model Me is all about empowerment. It’s not about being a model; it’s about being a role model.
Model Me works to empower people in two ways: the health program and entrepreneurship. “We teach [these] as well as being able to say yes to your life, saying yes to staying home for Christmas, saying yes to doing things because you are healthy and good enough.” Minter says smiling.
“The program is built through three sections: Train, Eat and Think. The train portion of the program was created through my personal trainer, James Knight who has been in the industry for 20 years.” The program helps women (men hopefully soon) to think about what each individual likes to do working out wise. “It focuses on asking the participant: How can we get you moving? How can we make fitness something of a priority for you? It can be as simple as walking kids to school instead of driving. It’s really about finding something for you and what works for you. The whole program is about that, but the training part is about finding a program that you can resonate with and makes you feel good.”
Sometimes Minter notes, that biggest and simplest step that she works with for her clients, is taking the step to get out of bed each morning. Minter prides herself in being able to meet people where they are. They don’t have to be the next triathlete; they simply have to want to start somewhere.
The Eating portion of the program focuses on filling your body with whole food nutrition and listening to your body. “We do this through a whole food nutritional plant based product that all ambassadors have seen a benefit from themselves.” The products that the program uses are scientifically backed up and Minter is very well connected with nutritionists, biochemists and scientists that have all been involved in the whole process of the product making.
The Think section is possibly Minter’s favorite. “I know there are healthy programs out there, tons, that all talk about training and fitness but say nothing about mindset. If you don’t look after your mindset, you’re not looking after yourself. The Think section is tips on how to start your day right, the idea behind proximity is power: is all about spending your time with people who enlighten you, uplift you, empower you, tell you [you] can do more, you’re capable of great things, etc. It’s just really about putting yourself in a positive space.”
The entire program works together, “It’s not one without the other,” Minter advises. The whole program is focused on when you put a little bit of energy into the train, eat and think sections, you are better to perform well in your job. It is designed so that in each section if you focus a little bit on a little section of your life, a little bit of what you eat, a little bit of how you exercise, how you think. It’s a millimeter difference but it creates a massive change in your life.
Minter hopes to one day bring the Model Me program to every country. “I want to be the one who shows the world that models aren’t always cold but that we are women who want to empower people and to be their true selves and not let the industry ruin them. It’s not really about modeling at all- although I do want to impact the industry,” Minter says, she takes a moment to reflect and then with finality states, “It’s all about empowerment.”
Just as Minter has big dreams for her organization, she also dreams big for herself. She hopes to one day have her own television and radio show and YouTube channel through Model Me. She sees this platform as a way to be a girl that others can look up to whether you’ve been abused, raised my a single mom, and/or didn’t come from money.
Overall Minter wants to be proud of her work, which is why she dedicates her days to Model Me. She fills her time with connecting with her team members, other teams, customers and clients. She truly wants to help girls worldwide understand the power they have to change not just their lives but the world, which is truly what Model Me is all about.
Minter’s final thoughts on wanting to help others, “Find what you really want to do and just keep doing that. Don’t let negative thoughts control what you can and can’t do. Surround yourself with people who uplift you; that can truly change your life.”