‘Self-love is absolutely key and modelling has taught me that I have to practise daily self-love, no matter what is happening externally or how someone else wants to treat me, if I have love for myself, any criticism or objectification is like water off a duck’s back.’
Model, Stylist, Fashion Designer, Activist
Throughout her ten year career Sundal Roy has become a sought-after face and personality in the fashion industry, from covering Vogue to catwalking across the globe, no rhyme intended, Roy has been active working in a wide range of modelling styles, while doubling as a successful stylist for shoots. She is currently working on her own ethically-conscious fashion brand Samsara.
In the meantime Roy has been very active in sharing many important and inspiring messages on philosophical views and current issues that affect the world-over.
How and why did you first enter the modelling and fashion world?
I sent my photos to a local agency when I was in my first year of university and they signed me up right away. I modelled all through university, which was really easy money in comparison to pulling pints so when I graduated and started booking more jobs instead of applying for Architecture internships (which was what I was supposed to be doing as that was what I graduated in), I found myself sending off all my pictures to different agencies.
I moved back down to London, where I grew up, and signed with an agency here and before I long I was travelling internationally and being my own boss. I chose it because after my intensity of my Architecture degree, where we were often forced to work for 36 hours straight just to get 2 hours sleep and then repeat the same process for months on end, I found with modelling I could pick my own hours and say yes or no to whatever jobs I wanted. I’ve always been about freedom and being self-employed allows me to have that.
What would you say are the highest and lowest points about this industry?
Like I just said, being your own boss and getting choose when, where and how often you work is great. Having said that, sometimes you do have to take jobs to make sure your bills are getting paid. But that in itself is great, instead of that dreaded feeling I would get with other jobs when I’d have to get up and go to work every day, with modelling I’m usually very happy and grateful to have booked the job and every day is really different.
I’m working with new people, in new places, many of them very beautiful locations and getting to do something really creative. Low points are obviously all the things you hear about- having to always look perfect, being told you’re not tall enough, skinny enough, being sexually objectified etc. can wear down your self-esteem but on the flipside, it does make you very thick-skinned and it’s taught me that beauty is not only about how you look, it’s about who you are, what your values are, how you carry yourself, having confidence in yourself and what you bring to the table.