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Home » I Got My First Modeling Job at the age of 15 In London – Jourdan Dunn clears the air on Mental Health at GTCO Fashion Weekend Day-2

I Got My First Modeling Job at the age of 15 In London – Jourdan Dunn clears the air on Mental Health at GTCO Fashion Weekend Day-2

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I Got My First Modeling Job at the age of 15 In London – Jourdan Dunn clears the air on Mental Health at GTCO Fashion Weekend Day-2






Written By Dedeigbo Ayodeji Samson
















Posted By Town Crier News Nigeria











Published By Fitness Network Communications










Models showcasing their talent at the GTCO Fashion Weekend Runway

Jourdan Dunn During her interview 

On Sunday November,12 2023, Town Crier News Nigeria witnessed the Day-2 GTCO Fashion Weekend as a World Classic Model, Jourdan Dunn,who narrated her ordeal on how she got her first Modeling Job In London at the age of 15 Year.

Town Crier News Nigeria can report that Jourdan Dunn had been Modelling for Over 17 years.

Question: How were you Scouted for when you set out to be a Model ?.

Ans: I definitely had, in the beginning of my career, resentment towards my career because I felt like I was missing out.

But then I also know they’re probably looking at me and thinking, girl, we wished that we were you and travelling and New York and all of that.

But I was like, no, I’m just going to be a teen and get up to what teenagers do.


And speaking of that, you know, like people looking on the outside and thinking that everything is perfect, you know.

Question: So to Dunn , this is a very refreshing topic that we’re talking about mental health because it’s easy to look at you and think, OK, she’s perfect, her life is perfect, how would she have any problems?

Question: Why did you choose to talk about this and what has been your experience?

Ans: So I’ve, yeah, so with my mental health, it’s definitely been a journey with everybody.

Models showcasing their talent at the GTCO Fashion Weekend Runway

But I feel like when you are growing at such a young age and the position I’m in, where I’m a model, where it’s like my insecurities are celebrated.

So being tall and skinny is celebrated.
But growing up, being from the black community, being from the Caribbean, that’s not. It’s all about that nash. It’s all about that, you know, that body.


And I didn’t have any of that. So I’ve had the insecurity of like wearing certain clothes and being put on the spotlight because growing up, I would, my friends would be like, let’s go out.

And I would make up excuses saying that my mom wouldn’t allow me just because I didn’t want to be seen.

Like every time I went out, I always felt that people would just eyes on me and judge me.

And yeah, I just was at a stage where I just did not enjoy being in my body. I didn’t, I felt uncomfortable.

And then I’m now a model and it’s all about the body. It’s all about the face and that’s what I’m selling.


So I really had to learn the most important thing I’ve learned about self-love.

The dusting from self-love is self-acceptance.

And it’s like, for me, anytime I saw a comment, it made sense to me because that was already my mindset.

So it’s like, yeah, I would see something about, oh, chicken legs are skinny or this or that.

And I’d be like, yeah, that’s confirmation because that’s what, how I already feel.

So I always feel with your mindset, if you’re going to think something, I mean, we all know about like thinking positive.

And when we think comes to reality, my mindset was very negative about myself.

So I believe that people would then show me like, this is your truth. If that makes sense.

So, yeah, I had to just learn to love myself on a deeper level.

Question: It wasn’t even just about affirmations in the mirror. I was like, okay, what does self-love actually look like?

Ans: It actually means acceptance. It means, yeah, I think the main thing is acceptance.
Because then once you accept you, then you’re showing others.

Others will then accept you for who you are.

And if they don’t, you don’t give a f***. You don’t care because you’re that girl and no one can tell you anything.

But it’s a journey, though. It’s a journey.

It’s a journey.

So in terms of you’ve broken barriers, when I called you a barrier breaker, that’s because you are.

And the kind of things that people might not know.

Question: So you were the first black model to work for Prada in a decade.

Question: What was that like?

Question: Did you feel pressure?

Question: Or did you feel like you’re reopening the door?

Ans: In the moment, I wasn’t really present because in the moment I didn’t feel how big it was.

It felt like for me, I just want to make sure that I’m confirmed for the show and I’m walking on that runway.

Because Prada at the time was notorious for cancelling girls in the line-up.

So I was just like, I was just like, on my feet and just looking over.

I’m like, okay, is Marshall gonna come and tap me and say you have to go even though I’m in full glam?

So I was like, just on edge.

And it wasn’t until I got to the top of the line and the casting director held me.

He’s like, Jourdan, this is your moment.

You’re about to make history.

And then I was like, wait, what? Okay.

And then I went on the runway and then I felt the energy.

It was overwhelming.

And that’s when I was like, oh, wow, this is happening.

This is actual history that’s in the making.

This is actually happening right now.

And then the next day it was all over the papers.

I was like, oh, this actually just happened. Okay.

But then now as I’m older, I’m like, yes, that’s amazing.

But then I feel like it is quite sad that that’s something that we get excited about and we champion.

But it’s like, wow, a decade.

Really, it is quite sad. And we still have these conversations today.

Question: It’s like, okay, so when are we going to the needle has been moving, but when is it not going to just be the norm?

Question : You know?

I guess that’s what we’re still fighting for.

Ans: Yeah, that’s what we’re still championing for.

Yes, but being on the continent and seeing, you know, all black models and African models and a lot of them look up to you.

Question : And I think in terms of success, sometimes the journey seems difficult or seems long.

Question: What kind of advice would you give to a young Nigerian model who is here in the audience or who is watching live streaming in terms of not only their modeling journey, but also blocking out the noise?

Question: Because you came up in a more quiet time, I think, without the pressures of social media. But now there’s a lot of comparison. Yeah, you know what?

Ans: I would just say if this is your passion, if this is something that you desire, never, ever, ever give up.

And I think it’s important to stay focused on your lane and your journey and not look left and not look right and look at what that girl’s doing or what that other person’s doing.

Because that’s their path, that’s their journey.

And comparisons just kills everything.

So it’s all about just focusing on you, getting to your destination, because the way that they’re going to get it is going to be completely different.

So if it’s something that you really want to do, I would say just don’t give up.

Like never, ever give up.

Question: So being named Model of the Year, then being named Entrepreneur of the Year, did you make a conscious decision that you didn’t want to just be a face, but you wanted the business angle?

Question: And if so, how did you approach that?

Ans: So they got to a point where I was a bit overwhelmed with everything. I was overwhelmed with all of the love that I was receiving.

But then also I would, like, my DMs were packed with girls.

And they would say, oh, I wish I could just be like you. And I don’t know, I just, yeah, I started feeling quite bad for my position.

Like, oh, maybe what I’m doing is not right.

I’m like highlighting people’s insecurities.
Or I don’t know, I just started to feel like posting a selfie, what is that I’m really doing?

Maybe I don’t do that.

Maybe like, what is my actual purpose?

Question: Is this actually, what is this giving?

Ans: And it’s not until I realized that actually bringing beauty into the world, being an inspiration and being, like, bringing art in the pages of magazines, and when people see that, that inspires them.

And making sure that there’s women that are represented, that inspires hope and inspires dreams.

So it’s like, actually, no, beauty actually is a very high vibrational thing, where it’s inspirational and it, like, fills people up.

I know when I see a sunset, when I see food, when I see flowers, like, it inspires me.

So I have to think on it’s head and be like, actually, what I’m doing, this is my purpose.

And I can use my platform to speak on things like mental health or sickle cell or being a young mom at the time, you know?

So I started to look at it as not as a negative, but beauty is everything, and we see it all around us.

It’s all about enhancing that and inspiring people. Beautiful.

You mentioned sickle cell, and that’s a disease that a lot of Nigerians and Africans suffer from.

Question: How did you navigate that as a young mother?

Ans: It’s, yeah, because it’s my son, and it’s something that I don’t feel, and I witness it.

It’s so hard because, like, in the beginning, I blamed myself and had shame because I knew I have the trait, and his father had the trait.

But in my head, I was like, oh, yeah, yes, those are the chances, but it’s not going to happen to me. Like, ugh, whatever.

And then it did happen. I was like, oh, wow, okay. It was like the realization of it all.

And seeing him go through his challenges, yeah, it’s difficult. But then I flip it.

I always look at the positive things, and I’m like, you know what?

I believe that with my platform, I’m allowed to use it to spread awareness, and that’s what we need, to spread awareness.

And for people to have someone that is speaking for them.

So I’m, like, a voice piece for my son and all the other sickle cell warriors out there.

So I like taking my stride and be like, yeah, no, this is a good thing.

Question: Could you get a round of lapplause?

Question: So let’s switch gears a little bit. So when I was doing my research on you, I wanted to have some stats, right?

Question: And I was like, how many Vogue covers has she been on?
And I couldn’t count, because you’ve been on so many.

Question: And so people looking at you and thinking, wow, how did she, did you ever envision that this would be your life?

Question: Did you ever envision that you would work so much?


Question: Yes?

Ans: Okay. But it’s a different thing from, like, visioning it and manifesting it for it to then actually happening. It’s two different things.

So, like, when I was younger, I always knew I was going to be, not I was going to be someone, because every single person is someone.

But I just knew that I was going to have a different journey than from my friends.

I just knew that I want to be a creative.

And so, yeah, I was manifested when I didn’t even know what that even meant.

But then when it was happening, it was like, wow, is this really my life?

Is this really happening? But what I really do want to touch on is that I had a list of all the goals that I wanted to achieve in my career.

And it was Walkable VS, Victoria Seafront.

It was to have my Vogue covers.

And it was to have a Maybe live contract.

And it was, I was very specific. I wanted a Maybelline contract.

And I ticked all of those boxes.

But then I was still unhappy.

I was still sad. I had, like, achieved everything. But I still felt empty.

And that’s when I felt like my journey to self really took place.

Because at the time, my manager was like, Jourdana, you need to take a step back and just focus on you.

You need to go to a retreat and just reconnect and discover you and connect with yourself again.

And I did that. And I realized that you can’t attach happiness to a thing.

You can’t attach happiness to a partner, a relationship, a job, losing weight.

I’ll be happy once I lose a few pounds.

Or I’ll be happy when I get that promotion.

Or you’ll get that. I’m saying that I got all that stuff, but I was still unhappy.

So it was about actually connecting with myself and realizing that I can’t get it from outside.

It’s all about within. And it’s difficult.

A lot of people don’t want to do that.

Like, looking at yourself and wanting to learn about you and accept you is so hard and so difficult.

That’s why a lot of people don’t do it.

But I made a decision that I don’t want to feel like this anymore.

I want to change.

I want to feel comfortable in my body.

I want to be grateful for everything.

To this day, every time I get a job, I’m like, wow, I’m so grateful that people want to work with me.

People are like, I’m here in Lagos with everybody.

Like, this is amazing.

So I was like, no, I need to do the inner work because I’m having everything.

My life looks picture perfect to people from the outside, but it really wasn’t.

So I really would say it’s so important to do the inner work and to not attach your happiness to things because you can’t.

Thank you so much.

That’s so powerful.

That should be in your book.

What were you? Yeah. I mean, so I like I thought that self-love was just all about, you know, having a bath, reading, a spa day, saying I love you in the mirror. All of that stuff.

And that is part of it.

Self-care is you need to look after yourself, your mind, your body, your soul.

I truly believe that self-love, the inner work is about your shadow self, the parts of you that you don’t want nobody to see.

But we have to face ourselves and we have to accept ourselves because if we don’t accept ourselves or love ourselves, how are we going to let anybody else love ourselves?

You know what I’m saying? Like how? How can we expect somebody else if we don’t?

So it’s messy and there’s a lot of tears and you feel like once you’ve healed one thing, another thing comes.

But it’s a journey. And I don’t feel like there’s anyone that is completely healed.

It’s like you keep on going.

And I think that’s the journey of life.

That’s what it’s supposed to be about.

I’m like, yeah.

But it’s worth it though.

I feel like it’s worth it.
When you’re self-aware, like having awareness and you’re self-aware, me, I’ve noticed that there’s people that are not aware and are just blindly just hurting people because they hurt themselves.

But the only way you can go through it, the only way you can get out of it is to go through it.

Because you just, yeah, just like hiding it and putting pressure on it.

You’re bound to just blow.

So I’ve learned to just surrender and to accept. Accept my situation.

It may not be perfect, but you know what? I accept it for what it is. I’m willing to do what I need to do to get through it.

And I feel like you just need to make that choice.

Once you make that choice, like I no longer want to feel like this anymore.

I no longer want to feel like this anymore.

I need to be my higher self.

That’s when you will then make the steps and the choices and actions to be that person.

Because it’s so easy to just be in your misery.

I realized that I loved being miserable.

It was comforting.

I could easily say I didn’t want to go to an event because I had a strong anxiety.

Being outside and being seen by people, it gave me anxiety.

So for me, it was like so easy to hold on to that because it felt comfortable.

It felt cozy.
It’s like, yeah, I don’t want to do that because I have anxiety.

That feels good.

But no, actually, I don’t want to feel comfortable.

Even speaking in front of you guys is very uncomfortable for me.

But I also know that it’s part of my purpose.

I’m supposed to share and speak my truth and hope that it may reach one or two.

How many of you guys are going to resonate for each other?

Yeah, man, I feel like it’s about being uncomfortable, stepping forward, and just not letting you be your biggest hater.

That’s a quote. That’s a quote.

Let’s go through some unhealthy practices in the industry that affect mental health models.

Unhealthy. Unhealthy practices.

Experiences that you think could be labeled as toxic and that models need to know how to protect themselves from.

I would just say, and I feel like in any industry can relate to it, it’s just running yourself, running on empty, and not feeling shame and guilt for taking a step back and actually resting.

Like, resting is very, very key. Not doing anything, you’re doing something.


So, in the beginning, you want to be able to, you want to put this amount of shows.

I remember one season, I, like, walked about 80 shows.

Now, that’s unheard of. Girls don’t really do that. But, like, it’s just that, I need to do this.

I need to. It’s just that need and want.

It’s like, actually, no, you need to lay your ass down and rest and eat and look after yourself.

And that’s the key is to look after yourself.

Especially in the industry. Some girls are unfortunate where they don’t have an amazing support system.

They don’t have an agency that really cares for them.

I’m lucky enough that from the beginning, I’ve always had that.

And my mom, I make sure that the people around me, my glam team, everyone that’s in my circle is supportive and is, like, who’s got my back fully.

And unfortunately, some girls don’t have that. So, it’s like, you have to have your own back.

You look after you.

Question: Because if you don’t, then what?

Ans: I love that.

Question:Let’s talk about social media ?

We touched on it a little bit in the beginning.

But I think social media is such a force.

And we have a lot of young people who look at the success of people, look at the highlights, real, what has been your relationship with social media.

How do you protect your mental?

Ans: And, yeah, let’s just talk about Instagram. Yeah. I’ve had in the past a lot of hate for social media.

I loved it in the beginning because there’s this new thing called Instagram where I get to control the narrative.

And I get to put up images that I feel that represents me.

Because when you’re a model, you don’t have that control.

You’re not you.

You are the muse of whatever creative director, stylist wants you to be.

So, I was like, oh, wow, I love this.

I get to post what I want, show, like, me.

But then what comes with that, when you put yourself out there, you get comments.

And you get people that want to nitpick and all of that stuff.

So, it was difficult, especially because I was out searching on Twitter, searching my name and searching for the negativity.

It’s like I just feel like humans sometimes are so addicted to negativity

It’s like I would see all the positive comments.

It’s like, no, no, no. Oh, chicken legs, skinny bitch, ugly.

I’m going to hold on to that.

But I’m not going to hold on to all the love and all of the goodness.

But I want to hold on to the negativity.

And I was like, no, this is actually, this is toxic.

This is not good.

First of all, I need to, first of all, I have to speak to myself.

Like, why am I searching? That means I’m looking for outside.

What’s the word I’m looking for?


Sorry, my mind just went.

Yeah, I’m looking at it from the outside.

I was like, nah, we need to stop doing that.

Like, once you, like, if I say I look good and I felt good,
no one can’t, like I said, no one can tell me nothing.

So I’m going to stop doing that.

I’m going to stop anything that I consider that is unhealthy for me,
certain accounts, I’m not going to follow.

I’m going to make sure the same way that I protect my space with people, I’m going to also do that when it comes to social media.

So then I stopped following certain blogs, anything that was negative.

I was not, I just didn’t, I got to a stage where I was like, I’m not going to feed my mind with any negativity.

So I made that decision to do that.

And then also I decided to look at it as a positive because I was starting to really resent what social media was.

Again, I was getting messages from women from all over the world, and I was starting to feel a bit ashamed that they were, my images were making them feel that way.

But then I was like, okay, but also my images can make them feel another way. It can give them hope. It can inspire them.

I used to always look at girls who would post a selfie and then have like, their caption would be like some kind of quote, and I’d be like,
you’re just, that’s, I don’t know, that’s even false.

You’re just, why would, why that selfie with that quote?

But now I get it.

I understand it.

But when I read things, it inspires me.

So I was like, you know what?

Let me flip it on its head.

This can be a positive thing.

I’m going to make it a positive space for me and also for people that follow me or happen to come across my page.

Like what can they get out of it? And same way for me, when I’m on scrolling, what can I get out of it?

Because yeah, spending too much time on social media can be, you know, very counterproductive.

But also I see things that makes me want to, if it’s a recipe or if it’s a quote
or if it’s an affirmation, it inspires me.

I want to save it.

So that’s how I now view it. But yeah, it was very much a journey.

I very much did not enjoy social media, but now I see it as an amazing tool if you know how to work it.

I just like, you have to work it and not allow it to work you.

So once I had that mindset, I’m like, okay, I can get with it.

Question: And you cook a lot.

Is that part of your self-love?

Ans: Yeah, I just follow. Okay.

Yeah, no, I love food.

I love cooking.

And where am I going?

Food, cooking.

Yeah, it was my food, cooking, and the period.

That’s part of me, yeah, that’s to me.

When I’m in the kitchen and I’m like, let’s say it’s Sunday dinner, I feel like I feel connected to my ancestors.

I feel connected to my grandma.

When I season my meat from the night before and I have my music on, I’m like, oh, wow, I feel like my grandma’s with me right now.

She’s helping me season it.

It’s like a whole ritual.

I legit treat everything like a ritual.

So cooking to me is a ritual that I enjoy that makes me feel grounded.

It feels good.

And I just love cooking for my friends and family as well.

That’s legit my love language to service people.

Question: Beautiful.
Your career has spanned almost 17 years.

Yeah. Yeah. I know. How does it feel and where do you,what dreams and hopes do you still have in terms of the territory that you want to take?

Ans: I mean, there’s still so much.

Even though I have done so much, there’s still so much I haven’t done.

There’s still shows that I haven’t looked for, campaigns that I haven’t done.

And I still have a love for fashion and I still have that passion and I’m still like, yeah, there’s still more for me to do.

So as long as I’m still welcome and people still want to look at me, I’m still going to be on these runways and, you know, doing it big.

And, but also I’ve realized now that I just want to be intentional with everything.

So anytime I have a platform, anytime I can spread anything, I’m going to use that and just speak my truth and be an example.

Because for me, if a girl can look at me and be like, oh, wow, that girl from London or Greenford or that girl from Jamaica or that girl who had her baby at Yas Mas or that skinny girl at Shorestar, if she can do it, I can do it.

So it’s important that, yeah, I can be that person.


Question: Before we open up, we’re going to have audience questions.

I’m sure a lot of people want to ask questions.

The last thing I want to ask you, because I think everybody has, you know,
voices in their head.

And I read something where you were talking about just grappling with negative voices from when you were young.

And I found personally that the voices never really go away,
but it’s just what you choose to pay attention to.

So how do you navigate that?

Question: And what is your advice for anybody who has now negative voices in their head, especially being a model, especially being somebody who is in the limelight?

Ans: I realize that the voices in my head are not real and that I actually controlled it.

Because if we was to do it right now, go in and say hi in your head.

You’re going to stop and say hi. Then you realize I’m actually controlling my thoughts.

So therefore, why not control it to, when it does come up, instead of going left, everybody goes left, go right.

Like I said, I feel like people are addicted to negativity.

Just as soon as that thought comes up, just swap it for something else.

So it’s a practice, it’s a journey,
but I feel like I’m starting to master it because now I just don’t focus on that.

I just don’t pay any mind. And even in my low days, I take it for what it is.

I’m like, okay, you haven’t been, you’ve been lacking in that.

You need to actually take some time and relax, or you need to read, or you need to meditate, or you need to be in your body and move, or you need to be around your friends and family.

I treat it as a reminder that I need to be on my game.

And I treat it as like a little doubt.

I feel like sometimes doubt is quite healthy.

So when those self-doubt comes in, I’m like, okay, I see you.

I see what you’re trying to do now.

I see that you’re trying to sit me up, but nah, I ain’t going that way. I’m going to go, I’m going to go over there.

So you can stay there, but I’m going to go there.

But saying that sounds so easy, but like I said, it’s a practice.

And it’s a journey.

It’s a journey.

Okay, let’s get some questions.

Thank you so much.

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