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It doesn’t take an experienced model to know that the modeling industry is a tough place to be. As glamorous as it may seem, the life of a model is not always so beautiful underneath the surface. Jamie Lynn Crandall has seen and done it all, and she sat down with Ugly during this season’s cover shoot to tell us about her experience in the industry and what she has learned.
UM: You’ve lived in various major cities throughout your modeling career. What brought you back to Utah?
JC: This industry is not an easy industry. You get criticized every day, so you have to be tough about it, or else it breaks you and you just don’t do it anymore. I was recently living in Chicago, and I think that’s when it was wearing on me worse than ever before. I realized that I just needed to come home and recharge.
JC: Well, it was tough. When I was modeling in LA and Miami, I was around some of the most beautiful women in the world. I couldn’t help but compare myself to them, and it was really difficult to keep a positive self image. However, I think for the most part I’ve been pretty strong about it. For example, if I don’t book a job, I just get over it and move on to the next one, but I got to a point where I was being extremely critical of myself and feeling inadequate for not booking certain jobs or not looking a certain way. After realizing how bad it had gotten, I had to pull my head out of my ass and remind myself, “This is just not normal, I can’t talk to myself like this. This is not how anyone should be feeling about themselves.”
UM: Do you wish you had started your career differently?
JC: I kind of wish that I would have just finished school before I moved to LA. I know school isn’t for everyone but I wish I would have. My younger sister manages JMR Chalk Garden here in Salt Lake, and she does a great job at it. I would love to own a store with her. I think it’s something we would do well together.
UM: Would you want to do that here?
JC: Yeah, I would love to. I’ve lived in LA, I’ve lived in Miami, I’ve traveled to New York, and it’s all made me love Salt Lake so much more. I love being home. Salt Lake is really growing as far as fashion goes, so I want to stay and be a part of that. I think running a boutique would be a great way to stay involved.
JC: I love how they buy for their store. It’s not like other stores here in Salt Lake. It’s more in tune with trends that are going in the rest of the country. I trust my sister with fashion. I always have to ask her if what I’m wearing is cute, so she would be great at buying for a store with a more unique and edgy style.
UM: What have been the most positive experiences from modeling?
JC: I think it has made me a very independent and diligent woman. I was thrown into situations that I don’t think many people are. The first time moving out of my parents’ house in Utah was when I moved to LA on my own. I had to take care of myself while I was out there, and at the age of 21, it definitely toughened me up and forced me to become more independent.
UM: Where do you see your modeling career going in the future?
JC: I don’t necessarily want to be done with modeling anytime soon, I think I’ll always model because I love it, but I have to evolve. I just want to make something else out of it. I was Miss Utah in 2011, and although it’s been a few years, I want to utilize that platform to influence young girls in a positive way.
UM: What advice do you have for young girls looking to model?
JC: I strive to be as honest and helpful as I can when girls ask me for advice. I always want to put them in the direction of a really good agency if that’s what they’re looking for. If they’re wondering about tips on diet or exercise, I always tell them, “You have to know your size and your body, because you cannot try to be what you’re seeing in magazines. You just have to be you, and then you’ll book the best work you can.
UM: What is your favorite thing about the fashion scene in SLC?
JC: There are so many up-and-coming, talented people here, and they haven’t necessarily been given the opportunity to feature that talent, But it’s happening. Slowly but surely. I just like to see local people do well. I love collaborating with so many different people who I probably would never have met if it weren’t for fashion or modeling. I’m not a writer or anything, but I want to be involved and stay involved. I feel like I’m in that transition stage of figuring out what I’m doing next, and it’s a little overwhelming, but also incredibly exciting.