Meet our Modern Muse | Leanne Maskell
Modeling since the age of thirteen, she comes alive when she is able to help other girls, ladies, and women. She is a 27-year-old adventure-seeking human who is all about kindness and empowerment. After studying law at university, she published 'The Model Manifesto' to help other models empower themselves against exploitation in the fashion industry.
She currently lives in London and works as a legal policy adviser for immigration and mental health law.
Fair. caught up with Leanne to talk about her book, where she finds inspiration, and what passions are currently occupying her mind and soul.
Who/What inspires you to color the life around you?
My previous mental health struggles now inspire me to live my life to the very fullest!
Modeling had made me extremely depressed. During my darkest moment, I moved to a tiny hippy beach town called Byron Bay and poured my heart into 'The Model Manifesto'. At that point in my life, I quite literally gave up on caring what other people thought of me. This ironically taught me that anything is possible when you stop being so concerned with what society deems you 'should' be doing and just start doing what you want to do!
So these days, I just do whatever makes me happy! Whether that is trapeze or aerial yoga classes, setting up mental health circles, writing books, doing silent discos in the morning or cleaning my flat! I try to appreciate the little things, help others and to see the world as positively as possible.
What drove you to write a book? Why did you feel you wanted to share it with the world?
As someone who started in the model industry at a young age, I noticed how the industry exploited myself and other models around me. I was frustrated and depressed with how things were done so after studying law, I truly understood how little rights models have--virtually zero!
Some models become dependent on their agency for loans to financially survive. They are frequently expected to lose weight by their agencies or to undress in front of strangers.
I wrote 'The Model Manifesto' to educate models about the pitfalls of the industry so that they can choose their own careers and avoid being exploited by others. There is virtually no information available to new and young models. I feel extremely grateful to have been able to publish this guide to create more transparency in the industry. My book helps any model understand more about contracts, tax, finances, agencies and the different kinds of modeling jobs.
What other passions do you enjoy during your free time?
Empowering others in general still remains a huge passion of mine. I am always on the lookout for ways to do this too --- such as having a podcast with my best friend, Rebecca Pearson of Model Type Face.
Currently, I am working on something related to mental health. I think it is really important to be able to talk about mental health openly and to recognize that life is messy. No one has to have their life totally figured out!
Favorite Quote: 'Be the change you want to see in the world.' - Ghandi
No person is too small to make a difference - just look at Greta Thunberg!