“Right now there is work for really skinny women, and really curvy women. But the ones in the middle sizes are really left out.”
Before I started working on overcoming bulimia, I used to envy people a lot. Other women, specifically. Gorgeous women. I wanted to be pretty like them, I wanted to be successful like them and, most importantly, I wanted to be happy & at peace with myself (read: my body) like them. One of the most important things that I’ve learned during these years of working with myself is the fact that comparison is one of the habits that takes the worst toll on our happiness and mental health. I forced myself to stop doing it. Every time I’d start comparing myself to someone else, I’d immediately shift my thoughts to something else, anything, from analysing an inanimate object nearby, to reading, to forcefully paying myself a compliment.
Funny thing is, the more I interview the kind of women I used to envy, the more I realise that most of them have been what I’ve been through (more or less). Ali Tate Cutler is jawdroppingly beautiful and has a million dollar body, however she’s been through her fair share of insecure moments. For me, I find that learning about their experiences and how they muted those annoying voices that guided their insecurities is so, so humanising – the gorgeous girl in the picture is no longer just an image. She’s a human being, who’s been through stuff that’s so relatable to women everywhere. So let’s dig in Ali’s story.
I’m a curve model! I travel the globe working for clothing clients and do my best to sell their clothes. I also try to help women who struggle with body image via social media and spreading the message of body acceptance. Aside from that, I just became a certified yoga teacher and I’m an animal rights activist.
When are you the happiest?
I’m happiest in nature, walking among the trees. Throw in a little yoga, and I’m one happy girl.
What was the most difficult moment in your career as a model?
There were so many moments I felt like giving up- too many. After being away from family and friends for months and going back to my hotel room alone after work, I started to go a bit crazy. I would become depressed and angry, because I felt I was so far away from what I wanted to be doing and who I wanted to be with. It’s hard to be on the road all the time, but that’s just part of the job.
Have you always been this self confident?
No! Not at all. Confidence was not a quality I possessed when I was young up until age of 17. I was insecure about my body, how big I felt next to all my friends. I was insecure about being too funny as a girl, or too loud, or too intelligent. I would be scared to be who I really was around many people. But after I started to model, I got over all of those insecurities. I realized my body wasn’t perfect, but I was lucky to have a body. I realized my personality had flaws like everyone else, but I was doing my best to be a good person. I stopped judging myself so harshly, and accepted who I was at my essence and confidence was a byproduct of that.
What was it like to shoot naked on the beach?
I absolutely love shooting naked now. Five years ago it was a completely different story, I was so scared to get naked on set and feel a lot of eyes on me. I thought everyone was judging me. But now after years of practice, I don’t mind if people are judging me. Let them! I love my body and I feel empowered and liberated when I let it all out, it feels like I don’t have anymore secrets.
How do you feel about women expressing their sexuality?
I think it’s very important for women to have sexual energy and be comfortable with it. Sexual energy is strong, healing, and wonderful. It has been demonized for thousands of years because it wasn’t well understood, but reclaiming female sexuality back on our own terms is of utmost importance.
7 What was the craziest proposal you’ve ever received in your career?
Sometimes photographers will write me on social media and ask me to do nude shoots for them, or “erotic” shoots for obscene amounts of money. Don’t worry, I would never say yes!
Could you share 3 tips for the girls who think about becoming models?
Three useful tips to girls thinking about becoming models:
1 don’t get down on yourself if you face rejection. Rejection is one of the biggest parts of this job and you need to develop thick skin to be able to hold yourself well.
2 sometimes the most beautiful women in real life cannot move well in front of the camera, or photograph differently. Don’t get down on yourself if you think you look horrible on camera- I did too when I first started. Like anything, it takes practice to get your angles right.
3 Remember modeling is not all glamour like most people think. It can be grueling
tough hours, early call times, trying to feel confident on days when you simply can’t feel confident. It’s a tough job!
What was the most meaningful moment in your career?
I loved working with top photographers Rankin and David Sims. They are such icons and working with them was a career high
What would you change in the fashion/modelling industry?
I would love the industry to change having only two acceptable size ranges. Right now there is work for really skinny women, and really curvy women. But the ones in the middle sizes are really left out. I want to see huge fashion houses using women of all sizes.
Any projects you are currently excited about?
Well I just got my yoga certification and I am very excited to start integrating the spiritual world with the fashion world.
I’m planning on holding self love workshops for women struggling with body image, and working on those insecurities with yoga and meditation.