Busting the myths of the modelling world

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“What I say yes to could have an effect on my community, but also my work, so I tend to pick and choose which ones will be perceived as OK with community. What I found out was, everyone likes You Can’t Ask That because it’s true questions and you can get true reactions.”

Although she spent under a year in the modelling industry (“I’m not that competitive. Culturally, we don’t put other people down to gain for ourselves”), Estreich was happy to speak about the experience that has shaped her life and paved the way for others.

“Modelling wasn’t something that I strived for, but I thought, ‘This will be a good platform to put out there about First Nations culture and what it’s like to live in Australia as a First Nations woman’. I didn’t realise that, even overseas, they didn’t know who we were, so I felt like I had to educate the rest of the world at 18.”

Estreich witnessed a changed industry on the cover shoot for the May 2022 edition of Vogue Australia, where she appears with three other Indigenous women (Charlee Fraser, Magnolia Maymuru and Cindy Rostron), modelling clothes by First Nations Fashion + Design, with an article by Gunai writer, Kirli Saunders.

Vogue took on board cultural protocols. I felt culturally safe in that space. It was just lovely to be part of that.”

Like Maxwell, she hopes this episode of You Can’t Ask That busts myths and inspires.

“It doesn’t matter what size, shape or colour you are, there is some kind of field for you. For First Nations children and young people, this is just a platform. You can do whatever you like in your life. You don’t have to be a stereotypically pretty looking model any more.”

The models episode of You Can’t Ask That airs Wednesday, June 15 on the ABC and is available now on ABC iview.

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