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From running the hallways to walking the runway

Sophomore class president Beatrice Antonenko shares her experiences about runway modeling

Sophomore+Beatrice+Antonenko+poses+for+her+headshot+pictures.+These+photos+will+be+used+in+the+auditioning+process+for+runway+shows.
Sophomore Beatrice Antonenko poses for her headshot pictures. These photos will be used in the auditioning process for runway shows.

Sophomore Beatrice Antonenko poses for her headshot pictures. These photos will be used in the auditioning process for runway shows.

Courtesy of Fourworlds

Courtesy of Fourworlds

Sophomore Beatrice Antonenko poses for her headshot pictures. These photos will be used in the auditioning process for runway shows.

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From her head to her heels, sophomore Beatrice Antonenko is created into a masterpiece for the runway. Her face is carefully painted with makeup; her outfit pieced together by an artist. Antonenko started runway modeling at a young age to follow in her mother’s footsteps.

“My mom got me into runway modeling because she started to model around the same age as I am right now. It was intriguing to me because there aren’t many people who do it, and it’s a relatively easy job for a 15-year-old,” Antonenko said. “I first started out modeling for commercials, and I worked for companies such as Build-A-Bear Workshop and Tyson Foods. I started runway modeling shortly after I started eighth grade.”

Antonenko walks at the Romancing Runway show on September 29, 2017.

Depending on the theme or style, some runway shows will have different locations than a traditional stage, using unique back-drops and props for the models. Antonenko finds that her fondest memories were the shows that were different and had a unique twist on their stages and backgrounds.

“I’ve been to shows that are outside and the stage is a blocked off street, which is not the average stage for a runway show. Since there are also a lot of behind the scenes people who put a lot of time into the lighting fixtures and music, the themes of the shows are even better and blend the show together,” Antonenko said. “This is important because the outfits, music, lighting and scene has to all harmonize together. I like the shows that change things up and use their environment and setting to make the pieces of clothing perfect.”

Antonenko says it is important to have good posture and a relaxed walk, which she learned from her mother. From Antonenko’s four years of experience, she has learned to not let mistakes during the show mess up her walk, but to instead embrace the fall and keep moving.

One of my favorite designers that I have modeled for is Barbara Bultman. She is a close family friend, and her designs range from colorful and zesty to serious and modern.”

— Beatrice Antonenko

“I am generally only looking forward, trying to keep my head straight, posture straight and facial expressions simple and not distracting. It’s also important to look relaxed; you do not want to look uncomfortable or stressed out on the runway,” Antonenko said. “I’ve tripped before but it wasn’t very noticeable, and I had to get up and play it off. When I was performing at the Trash Gala, there were cups on my outfit that fell off, and it made me slip. Sometimes the runway might be slippery or the ground isn’t easy to catwalk on, but I just keep walking and try my best to always continue on.”

From the criticisms of body size to the basic and uneducated personalities of a ‘typical’ model, Antonenko does not let predetermined perceptions about models restrict her from being successful.

“It’s important to not gain or lose weight after getting fitted for a show, because the designers make the clothing specifically to that size and shape,” Antonenko said. “I’m not super skinny or super tall, so in the past I had some insecurities about modeling. But runway modeling, especially in Missouri, isn’t super critical of people’s body sizes. For runway modeling, they generally want you to be taller, but the standards here aren’t super high. I don’t feel stressed out or self-conscious of my body. The designers that I have modeled for are not strict about body weight.”

Courtesy of Street Scape Magazine

Antonenko’s mom, Galina Angheluta, poses for the Street Scape Magazine.

Despite society’s beauty standards for women, Antonenko views modeling as a way to break pressures on body size. On Feb. 4 , 2015 Ashley Graham became the first plus-size model to be on the cover of the Sports Illustrated magazine. Since Graham graced the cover of a popular magazine, Antonenko has noticed a drastic change in the modeling industry around the United States, and is hoping the labels on body types will go away.

“I know a lot of designers who are seeking a larger range of body sizes for their pieces because a lot of people are realizing that not everyone has a small, ‘perfect,’ skinny body. Everyone is beautiful, and I think runway modeling can have a positive impact on teaching people that,” Antonenko said. “I’m tired of people having to classify the type of body people have when we all have perfectly different body sizes. You can’t say someone’s body is more beautiful than another, and you shouldn’t promote only one type of body.”

Other than modeling, Antonenko enjoys playing tennis, being a part of the speech and debate team and is president for her class of 2020.

“I am passionate about my career outside of runway modeling, and I’m hoping that I will be able to continue doing it after high school. I take my school work and my personal interests very seriously, and I hope that people don’t judge me for being a model,” Antonenko said. “I am thankful that I have the leadership opportunity to be my class president, and I hope that it will continue to make me a better person on the walkway and in the hallways at school.”

 

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From running the hallways to walking the runway