INTERVIEW: SIMONE MURPHY
Simone Murphy Britain’s Next Top Model contestant and full-time Damn Rebel Bitch speaks to REEK Perfume about her experiences on the show, in the industry and all things smelly.
What women do you most identify with from history to the present day that have also inspired you to push further in your career or your personal life?
I’m lucky to be surrounded by strong, outspoken, forward-thinking women – my family and friends. Their strength and kindness is what inspires me – we rely on each other, support each other and celebrate achievements together. Being on Britain’s Next Top Model I got a lot of experience in the fashion industry – and those women were behind me.
What would your top advice be for aspiring models and for those who see the final results of fashion imagery?
I would encourage any woman to pursue what motivates them and makes them happy. To succeed as a model, as with most careers, you need to be prepared to work hard, to believe in yourself, be determined to succeed and to grasp every opportunity. On a more ‘model-specific’ note there isn’t anything I can tell you that hasn’t been said before; drink plenty of water, eat well, get enough sleep and work respectfully with the people you meet. I love fashion and am drawn to more conceptual images – like art, it isn’t always raw and honest, you have take it with a pinch of salt and appreciate it for what it is.
What smells remind you of femininity? What are your favourite smells and why?
I think a lot of my female identity comes from my mother and two grandmothers. They are extremely different people but wear clean and floral scents. I know my Grannie wears ‘Un Jardin En Mediterranee’ by Hermes which is a smell I love because it reminds me of her instantly. I also love the smell of being in a humid climate just as it starts to get dark because it reminds me of exciting summer nights in Ibiza.
What female or gender equality causes mean the most to you and why?
It’s absurd that women still have to fight for equality… but we do and we must. Our anger and outrage at misogyny must be heard and it needs to be heard by an often complacent society. I’m constantly disgusted that I still experience sexism on a day to day basis. As an older sister I’m often inspired by the type of world I would like my younger sister to live in.
What makes you a Damn Rebel Bitch? Tell us what kind of bitch you are?
I’ve never thought of being a bitch as a bad thing… It’s a derogatory word used to belittle women but in my experience people only need to put you down when you’re on your way up so I’m more than happy to take the title. To me being a bitch means you are confident, strong-willed and speak your mind which I’m sure can been seen as intimidating.
Tell us why you picked these images from our REEK shoot and was it difficult as a professional model to know there would be no retouching?
I had an absolute whale of a time at our REEK shoot and I think going into the shoot knowing the images wouldn’t be retouched gave me even more motivation to show my body in a very human way. We are so far removed from what is natural that I understand why unretouched campaigns have shock value. I love what REEK is doing to normalise the female form in all shapes and sizes and I’m beyond proud of my pictures.