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Genevieve Morton, Social Survivor

Genevieve Morton

How a seasoned, professional model endures when social media has changed everything

Aaron Stipkovich: Have you ever downplayed (or up-played) your intelligence for work?

Genevieve Morton: No I have never downplayed or up-played my intelligence. I try to be as authentic as i can, and when i am out of my depth in conversation i ask questions, people like to talk about themselves and what they do.

AS: What makes you, as a model, different and successful?

GM: There are many beautiful women out there for clients to choose from. So i try to bring a good work ethic, enthusiasm, be fun to work with.

AS: Can a model make or break a design?

GM: It's up to the client to know what they are looking for in a model, the model is mostly just the canvas for the product. However when it comes to jobs where the model is interviewed and book for who she is rather than just the look she has, then personality plays a much bigger role.

AS: To improve the modeling industry, what three things would you do with a magic wand?

GM: I think more communication with models, transparency, and less discrimination ( height, weight, race etc.)

AS: How has the modeling industry changed since you began?

GM: When I began there was no social media, it has changed everything.

AS: How much of modeling is just business for you?

GM: Modeling is just business for me, its a job i don't do it for fun. Sure it can be fun to take pictures, but there is more to it than that. At least for me, at this stage in my career i have turned into a business woman working for "Genevieve Morton", the best way I can explain is that i am my own producer, social media manager, sales, web designer etc. I work hard at coming up with new ways to work with clients where i am bringing something to the table. I have often approached clients with the ideas as opposed to them approaching me. Perhaps this is unconventional, but i wanted to start having more control in my work life, I realized i have a lot more experience than just being in front of the camera.

AS: In your modeling career, what feature sells you the most?

GM: Of course over the years this has changed. However now I am bringing to the table my experience and creativity as well as my social media following. Of course the easy answer would be to say a physical feature, but the reality is that is just no longer enough.

Genevieve Morton
Genevieve Morton

Genevieve Morton, born 1986, is a South African model. In 2010, she made her rookie debut in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and has since appeared in numerous issues. | Photo: GenevieveMorton.com | Link |
AS: How has Instagram changed your career?

GM: Instagram has changed the industry as a whole. It can be frustrating to have brands approaching me without looking into my work experience etc, but rather just looking at my value as a number. I have been on jobs where there are girls booked based on their numbers who have no idea how to work on a professional set and it is challenging. Additionally I have been to castings recently where I was asked whether I had ever modeled swimsuits before, even though my portfolio was open with pictures proving it. It shows how inexperienced people are, or if they are of the social media generation.

AS: Has Sports Illustrated ever caused you typecasting?

GM: I am so grateful for the opportunities i have been afforded as a result of Sports Illustrated, I have been given a life beyond my wildest dreams as a result of working with the brand. However it has been challenging to be seen both at work and in my personal life as nothing but a swimsuit model. I have found that I over compensate by dressing more conservatively than necessary, I feel judged by men and women based on the expectation of what they imagine me to be. You can never really judge a person by a picture alone, and so i find more often than not people are surprised by how different i am in person.

AS: How can a model avoid stereotypes?

GM: Can a person avoid stereotypes? No, thats the world we live in. the best a person can do is to know who they are and live their life fully committed to that regardless of what other people think.

AS: How can a model avoid the casting couch?

GM: By having personal integrity. The more models who decline the casting couch experience, the less it will be offered. In my career I have been offered the chance to advance my work in this manner and when I declined I found myself suddenly dropped. It was hard for me to accept this at the time, but at least I still have my self worth. My mother used to say that there are many routes to the top of the mountain, perhaps you might have to hustle or work outside the box but you can still have a successful career. Additionally I have been accused by other models of this before, and my thought on this is that it only makes the problem worse. We don't need to break each other down, when we can just as easily build each other up, there is more than enough to go around.

AS: At what point do you stop modeling and look for something else?

GM: I'm not sure, i have been asking myself that since the day I started. And so has everyone I know, been asking me this question. I studied my degree along the way, I am constantly looking for new opportunities and ways to branch out. I would like to take the last 12 years of my hard work and turn it into something new that has longevity. I hope to talk more to women about some of the challenges I have faced, that I am sure they are facing as well. I would hate for these years to have been a waste, at the very least I would want my experience to benefit someone else.

AS: Nature or nurture?

GM: Both, everyone has natural beauty, and we have the responsibility to ourselves to keep our bodies in the best health we can. I have struggled with my weight in my twenties. I fluctuated a lot, and the consequences of that were huge. I would read articles about myself that were horrendous and ridiculous at the same time. I would berate myself constantly while I worked out, telling myself if I was just a little better maybe I could get that cover, or shoot. But I was tormented, unhappy, and constantly stressed. Once I stared changing the way I thought about myself, the reasons I worked out, and what it was all really for (my health) - my body followed suit. I finally began to respect my body, I let go of the desperation I had for other peoples approval, I realized that no modeling shoot was worth me driving myself crazy.

AS: Subway, taxi, car or walk?

GM: I live in LA so i like to drive, but when I am in New York I like the subway and walking.

AS: Describe your love life.

GM: It's interesting, challenging, one of the areas in my life which I have had to grow a lot. Men find it difficult to date someone who gets the amount of male attention I get online and in person. It is challenging to explain that these are the cards I was dealt in life and I am certainly not about to take throw that away to make someone else feel secure. I am quite eccentric and so many times partners have slowly tried to change me into what they think they want me to be, and when they succeed they don't like the outcome. Now I am not prepared to play small to make someone else feel big, I want to be able to be completely my weird self, and hope that the person who I'm meant to be with loves that side of me too.

Genevieve Morton
Genevieve Morton

Genevieve Morton, born 1986, is a South African model. In 2010, she made her rookie debut in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and has since appeared in numerous issues. | Genevieve Morton, Model, Swimsuit, Sexy, Bikini, Beach, Ocean,
AS: Why did you last cry?

GM: I cry WAY too easily. I am very sensitive, although from the outside I like to portray a person that is super tough. The truth is I feel isolated away from my family, and I worry about what the future holds for me. I try to live in faith, but when things don't work out the way I want, I have no one to turn to. I don't come from money, there is no back up plan, THIS is the plan. I'm scrappy and of course I know I will figure things out, but that doesn't mean the fear isn't there all the time.

AS: When and what was your last substantial impulsive decision?

GM: I committed to adopting two cats. I had been secretly looking at pet adoption sites for a few years, or instagram accounts, living vicariously through the cuteness overload on the internet. I didn't feel that I deserved to have a pet because I had moved country and left my cat with my dad. But this was my secret, until i got caught by a friend. I then had to explain myself, only to realize how ridiculous that sounded. I went just to look at the cats available at the cat cafe, Crumbs and Whiskers, and when I walked in to see these two white kitties. I fell in love, I knew that I had found my pets. They have taught me how to love again, and how to open up my broken heart. I of course know that the stigma is that i am a spinster cat lady now, but i don't care, because the way I feel about Patti and Labelle is worth everything. I couldn't help but make them an instagram, because everyone deserves to enjoy them as much as i do.

AS: Professionally, what can I expect from you in the next 5 years?

GM: I am working on a few different things that I hope will come to fruition, but at the moment I am in a growth period where I want to figure out where I fit in and what i can contribute to the stream of life. I am hoping to write more, and talk more about the things that are most close to my heart, that make me feel passionate. I am not trying to think outside the box anymore, because I realized that I don't see a box anymore.


Genevieve Morton calendar
Genevieve Morton calendar

I am proud to announce I am donating $1 of the sale of from EVERY calendar to an organization very close to my heart, Alpha1.org. I lost my Mom in 2005 to Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. It has taken some time for me to have the courage to speak publicly about it. Creating greater awareness of this devastating and fatal disease is very important to me personally. Your purchase will help me contribute to finding a cure <3 thank you, Genevieve

Genevieve Morton, born 1986, is a South African model. In 2010, she made her rookie debut in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and has since appeared in numerous issues. | Photo: GenevieveMorton.com | Link |

From Genevieve: 2018 Calendar


The results are in! I am so excited to share the result of teaming up with Tyler Kandel. Take a look at my 2018 calendar!

This year's calendar features 10" x 12" beautiful color images, all shot at El Mirage lake bed, in California.

I am even more proud to announce I am donating $1 of the sale of from EVERY calendar to an organization very close to my heart, Alpha1.org. I lost my Mom in 2005 to Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. It has taken some time for me to have the courage to speak publicly about it. Creating greater awareness of this devastating and fatal disease is very important to me personally. Your purchase will help me contribute to finding a cure.

Thank you,

Genevieve


From her blog


One might think that there are more instances of depression, but I wonder if we only think that because more people are willing to reveal what is really behind the curtain. The stigma surrounding mental health issues is far from gone, but the fact that we have greater acceptance, encourages more people to seek the help that they truly need. My own journey through the roads of depression and anxiety has been long and winding. Not only do I use the professional help available, but I have done extensive work on my own as well.

I love to read, and recently I heard about Marrianne Williamson's book "Tears to Triumph." The tag line is "Spiritual Healing for the Modern Plagues of Anxiety and Depression."


Read on...

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Updated Nov 7, 2017 2:09 PM EST | More details

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