Yumika Hoskin is a model, and has appeared on season 4 of Supermodelme and on the cover of Singapore’s FHM . She discusses her thoughts on the growing acceptance of ‘plus size’ models and reminisces about her first photo shoot.
Can you tell me about your background and what inspired you to become a model?
I am half Japanese/half Australian, grew up in Melbourne Australia. At the age of 13-14 when I started high school I developed an interest in fashion and thus in my research discovered this world of modelling. Having artistic and expressive characteristics I decided to email some agencies in my city. I signed to my first agency at age 15.
What have been the highlights of your modelling career so far?
Finding my market in Asia. I was lucky enough to have friends encourage me to go to Bangkok with them on my first trip. Instead of living in a model apartment we lived together and I was very lucky to have a great agency that pushed me and friends who helped me develop my inexperience at the time. In Bangkok I booked commercials for big clients, shot for magazines such as ‘Elle Thailand’. My best highlight however would be shooting ‘FHM’ cover in Singapore and competing in the television show ‘Supermodelme’ Season 4.
How did you feel when you were asked to do a shoot for ‘FHM Singapore’? Was it different to any other shoot you had done before?
It was overwhelmingly exciting when my booker told me I booked the editorial. In fact only after the shots were reviewed, they also chose to put me on the cover which was amazing! It was actually my first time shooting a swimwear editorial. However the styling and theme was completely reminiscent of my personality so I got to have a lot of fun with it and shoot with a great team. Will always be proud of that moment.
‘Plus-size’ models are currently breaking through in the mainstream media and becoming more accepted, what are your thoughts on this matter and body image in general?
As a model I definitely was struck by the harsh realities of having to fit into the typical model image, particularly in Asia where the competition between models for jobs is much higher. I believe it takes most models if not all, many years to develop a sense of confidence and acceptance when it comes to their self-image and appreciation of their bodies. I personally think it’s fantastic to see a market building for more plus size models or models who have more curves. In fact I hope to see the industry celebrate curves and promote the image as more commercially viable.
What are the aspects of modelling that you enjoy? and any particular locations that have been amazing to work at?
Models are lucky to experience having modelling job at any stage of their life as it’s a lifestyle that is rare and not for everyone. The luxury of being able to travel and live in different cities is my favourite part. Whether you go on a contract somewhere and only work enough to “break even” in your expenses or leave with a profit, each trip is always a new memory in your life. You get to meet inspiring people in the creative industry, and you make some unforgettable friends from the other side of the world. Most of my friends now who I consider the closest to me, are friends who live in completely different countries and come from different cultures.
Is there anyone in the industry that you particularly look up to? for what reason?
Coco Rocha is one of my favourite models. She started in the industry young however always stayed true to her beliefs and looked after herself in terms of not doing jobs or aspects within the jobs that she didn’t want to do. She is a strong spokesperson for herself and for other models and thus I look up to her very much.
Do you remember what your experience was like at your first photoshoot?
Whenever I sift through the pictures in my first photoshoot, I laugh. I was and look very young and stiff. And that was the main difference between my skills now and then. I was very nervous and thought too much trying to think about how to look like the girls I studied in ‘Vogue’ magazine. I particularly remember I worked with a great Melbourne photographer who taught me something I never even thought models had to do, or looked like they were doing in their shots. He encouraged me to emphasize sticking my head out away from my neck for shots and every now and then I still think back to doing that in my shoots now.
If you could travel somewhere in the world you haven’t been to, where would this be and why?
Now that I know and appreciate the Asian market is my market, I would like to do a contract in Japan at one stage. Firstly I know the language being half Japanese and I would love to be in touch with my roots. I love Japanese culture and Japanese food of course so I wouldn’t see myself getting sick of living in the country. I hope to travel there and sign with an agency in the next year.
For anybody who wants to try and make a start in modelling, do you have any advice to give to them?
Go for it. I know the typical ideal is “girl was scouted walking down a street and the rest was history”.. but that’s not every story. I wanted to get into modelling, I found out about it, I walked into agencies when I was a teenager with no experience just enthusiasm and I got plenty of NOs but I got 1 yes. I didn’t work much in Australia, I was never pushed by someone, I pushed myself and used my initiative and determination to get myself to Asia and find a market that I work well in. Reach out, do the research and make your own future in modelling cos sometimes the people who believe in you are the ones you have to find yourself.
Name your top 5 films….
‘Mononoke hime’ (Studio Ghibli films), ‘Inception’, ‘Warrior’, ‘Parent Trap’, and ‘Step Brothers’.
Follow Yumika on:
Twitter – https://twitter.com/yumikahoskin
Instagram – https://instagram.com/yumikahoskin/