The Making of a model
Sep 23, 2010 | 3868 views | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend | print
COSMO GIRL — Sarah Anderson said she would love to do a magazine spread for the likes of Vogue or Cosmopolitan and work with supermodel/businesswoman Tyra Banks some day. Photo by WILLIAM WRIGHT
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It may take more than a pretty face, a thin waist or style and grace to become a top model in today’s fashion industry, but Sarah Anderson is one teenager who seems to have the right stuff to make it.

The 5-foot-11-inch model who lives in Cleveland said she wants to be America’s next top model and be in the movies someday, but the 17-year-old beauty is pacing her walk toward the fashion runway and modeling industry.

Having signed with Agentia Talent & Training in Chattanooga, Sarah said she has taken her time to learn the business before seeking representation with national modeling agencies.

“Growing up I wanted to be a photographer, but one day I just decided I wanted to be in front of the camera instead. Ever since I was a kid people always told me I had the looks and height to model. Now I’m learning through the help of my agency and from experience about the business,” she said.

When asked what had she learned about the modeling industry, the savvy teen said, “It takes confidence. You need to be comfortable in your own skin. You also need to be real. There’s no point in spending hundreds of dollars on getting your hair and nails done and buying new clothes when you have no idea what look bookers want.

“It also helps to have an agent but never pay for one. They get paid when you do. When you get rejected — not if, but when — don’t take it personally because its not that you are not good enough, its just you are not what they are looking for.”

Sarah, who started modeling when she was 14, said she will appear in an upcoming feature film, “The Deserter,” shot locally in Ooltewah and Chattanooga. She recently signed a release so Sears could use her photos in one of their catalogs and worked in one local commercial. After riding the zipline at Dollywood earlier this year, Sarah said she was asked if her photo could be used for advertising on a billboard.

“I thought that was pretty cool,” she said. “It helps my resumé. But I also want to get paid for these things and have about four films and some magazine exposure in the next five years. I plan to go national at some point and expand beyond Cleveland, Chattanooga and Knoxville.”

With an eye for fashion, a maturity beyond her years, a desire for success and the looks to pull it off, Sarah seems poised for a full-time career in modeling and acting.

Being home-schooled where she grew up with three brothers and one sister, she said she loves extreme sports like snowboarding, mountain biking and jumping from riverbanks. But modeling and public speaking are also “an adrenaline rush,” according to Sarah, who describes herself as “a little bit of a tomboy.”

Sarah, whose favorite actress/model is Jessica Alba, attributes her gifted looks and personality to her parents Andy and Margaret Anderson.

“My mom is actually Maltese. She was born in Malta, a small Island near Sicily. She still looks like she’s in her early 30s. My dad is very handsome. He did some acting when he was younger. As for me, I’m just a fun, easygoing person. I’m not going to judge you,” she said with a laugh. “I’m a pretty down-to-earth person who likes to laugh and try new things. I’m outgoing, easy to work with and I like to help people.”

Although her plans are to increase her modeling opportunities the ambitious teen said she has limits as to how far she will go for success.

“Whatever they want me to do as long as it’s not too trashy, I’ll do it. I’m not going to go too far, though. I’m not really comfortable doing swimsuit or anything like that. I’m a Christian,” Sarah said. “I don’t want to go that far. I’m not going to judge anyone else for doing it. That’s just me.”

Having the looks, intelligence and potential to travel the world as a supermodel, earning thousands of dollars a day and meeting famous celebrities are only a few of the perks of becoming a top model, as Sarah is well aware.

But the eye-catching teen said she also understands that getting there takes time, dedication, determination and sacrifice — something she is willing to make as she takes another step toward the runway to fame and becoming America’s next top model.

For additional tips on becoming a model, visit