Being a role model to young women is a lot more than giving good face. And while Freja Beha Erichsen certainly gives good face, she also is truly inspirational.
Fashion and media have spent years indoctrinating an idealized standard of beauty into our heads. Marilyn Monroe was the original sex symbol, and still is considered one of the most beautiful woman ever to have lived. To many, she is the ultimate example of what a woman should look like. Blonde hair; buxom; blue eyes; sultry lips; soft, heart-shaped face; hourglass figure. These expectations are even personified into our children’s toys—via Barbie and the like.
But fashion also has another side. A side that allows for personal expression and individualism to shine through. And one shining star that is prominent in the fashion world right now is the Danish-born, Freja Beha.
At 17, a modeling agent passing by on a taxi, spotted Freja on the streets of Denmark. Within the year, she made her debut in Paris at the Fall Prada and Louis Vuitton shows. The fashion world fell in love with her rare look, and the work came in pouring in for young Freja.
Freja was instantly admired for her androgynous looks—no one did it better. She further catapulted her status as an androgynous wonder when she appeared sans clothes in issue thirteen of Purple Magazine. The photos were raw, and didn’t glamorize, or idealize Freja’s body. Instead they stayed true to who she is—unashamed and no holds barred. The girl isn’t afraid to let people see the real her, yet there’s a little enigmatic twinkle in her eyes that leaves us wanting to know more. And anyone who is that self-confident, is certainly admirable.
Even though she is known for her cross-gender look, Freja is much more than that. She is a multi-faceted, fashion chameleon. She can wear Chanel like nobody’s business. There’s a reason she is used time and time again for their campaigns! Balenciaga and Roberto Cavalli seem to be second-skin on Freja. Even the soft and feminine Spring ads for Valentino weren’t too much for her. Commercial is also no problem, which apparent in her campaigns for H&M It seems Freja can wear nearly any designer, if you need more evidence just check out UK Vogue’s Look Forward Editorial. The truly amazing thing about Freja’s ability to designer hop is that she somehow always manages to retain her own identity. She wears the clothes, they never wear her.
Yes, Freja Beha is an inspirational person. She has a strong sense of self and has managed to stand out from the pack of beauties that are swarming the fashion industry. She isn’t ashamed of who she is, and she doesn’t put up a mask for the world. And she has a killer smile!
I hope the lesson learned from this, is that just because you may have ‘technical imperfections’, you are not unattractive. Those imperfections make you unique. Believing in yourself enough to own who you are, is what makes you beautiful. So thank you, Freja Behas’ of the world for being a shining example in self-confidence!
by Grace Gulley