Britain’s Missing Top Model – Interview
Kellie Moody is a 24 year old makeup artist who lives in Leicester. A gorgeous girl with tons of intelligence and potential, to look at her you would never guess she is disabled and you’d probably assume she is or could be a great model. But Kellie was born deaf and was later having to endure being bullied because of it. With drive, determination and immense support from her loving family she fought through it all and even went on to win Miss Deaf UK in 2007.
Despite her not winning BMTM as she was eliminated last week, she is experiencing some great benefits post competition. Being offered exciting modelling jobs since appearing on the show must mean she did something right! Miss Luisa Savino caught up with the Miss Deaf UK of 2007 that is Kellie Moody for some girl talk on one of the most talked about shows to hit our screens.
Hey you, how are you doing? Well done for getting as far as you did in the competition you’re such a beautiful girl and I’m shocked it was you that went. How does it feel to be home again?
Hi I am fine thank you. I was disappointed to be going home but, at the same time, I am very happy to be home. I missed my own bed!
What made you decide to enter BMTM? Is there any relation to your experience of the Miss Deaf UK competition?
Somebody knew about me from Miss Deaf UK having seen the programme on the television and from an article in the Guardian newspaper. The person emailed me and asked if I would be interested in taking part in BMTM. I entered into the show because I like new challenges and also had the support of my friends and family.
Were you apprehensive about living with strangers who also had disabilities to cope with?
Before I entered into the house I never thought about what it was going to be like. I didn’t even know there was going to be another deaf girl in the house. After a while I realised that Jenny was difficult to get along with because she would move a lot when she was talking and this made it difficult for me to understand what she was saying. I feel like I made an effort to get to know her but feel that she did not take me seriously and didn’t make an effort to get to know me. I didn’t feel any problems with living with any of the other girls.
When Lillie left, you must have felt even more alone than before. What was it like being the only completely deaf woman in the apartment?
When Lillie left I did miss her but, even when she left I didn’t feel any different because I am used to it being the only deaf girl at work and it was also the same at College. The only difference was that I didn’t sign as much because there was no other girl to sign with. This did however enable me to get closer to the other hearing girls especially Kelly Knox.
Which of the tasks or photo shoots could you refer to as “I absolutely loved it”?
I loved the photo shoots and the catwalk and felt really good when I won the modelling of the hats task.
Did you find the challenges difficult? If so was there any one in particular?
Yes the television advert was difficult for me as it was a speaking part and I am not always confident about my speech. However I did try to do the task even though I did want to use sign language instead. They told me I couldn’t sign and had to talk but, when I did attempt to talk they told me to sign! I wanted to sign because I thought it would be something different as all television adverts are spoken.
I was in total awe of you when you came down the catwalk. You looked fabulous and didn’t walk out of tone what so ever. How did you feel, walking to vibrations, not hearing what you were trying to keep in step with, whilst being watched intensely?
I simply love the cat walk and I love to feel the vibrations when I am walking. I have done the cat walk before when I was in Miss Deaf UK so I had a little bit of experience before BMTM. It’s all about confidence and believing in yourself.
Sorry I’m really fascinated; do you approach nights out clubbing the same way? How long did it take for you to get used to this lifestyle going about every day and night activities as an adult, or has it all just felt like your normal way of life as you’ve been deaf since birth?
Deaf people do go out to night clubs of course, they do like to have a good time with their friends the same as hearing people. Some deaf people are even professional dancers. It is very normal for me I have always loved just getting dressed up, doing my hair and makeup and going out having a good time with my friends.
How did you feel when you found out you were leaving the competition?
Of course I was upset but, I sort of expected it and know I would be going because of the television adverts and one of Judges felt that I was over compensating for my disability by saying that I wanted to sign and not speak! I just hope that people who watched the programme will become more aware of deaf people and the same for all disabled people.
What are your thoughts about getting into the modelling industry, now you have appeared in the show?
I feel more confident about working in the industry now and I know I have what it takes to be a good model but, it won’t change who I am I will always be myself at the end of the day.
Do you still want to be a model or are you content being a make-up artist?
I would still love to be a model but, I know modelling is not a full time career whereas my chosen profession as a Make Up Artist will stand me in good stead for the future.
Also what drew you to want to become a make-up artist?
My mum told me that when I was little I stole my mum’s lipstick and put it in my nappy. I have always been the artistic type and after I passed my GNVQ in Art and Design I decided to go to College to do a Higher National Diploma in Surface Pattern. I was given an assessment by the Teacher and had to put Make Up on a model and this is when I realised that that I wanted to study Make Up. After my assessment the girls on my course said that my model looked brilliant with the make up. I have always loved colour. I am so glad I did the course and I received two consecutive Student Of The Year awards for my two year course in Artistic Make Up and Special Effects.
Describe a day in the life of Kellie Moody? What are your interests outside of work?
My normal day would be working for MAC Make Up in Leicester. I work here three days a week.On my days off I love to go shopping, catch up with my beauty sleep, go out with friends, spend time with my boyfriend, go to the gym and see my family. I am also busy at the moment with modelling work.
I would assume it’s easier to communicate with your family, but how do your friends and colleagues relate with you due to your disability? Is it hard?
My family are all hearing apart from my younger Sister but, my family actually cannot sign and we communicate through speech and body language. This is and has been the same at School, College and work.
I have hearing and deaf friends. With my deaf friends I would normally communicate using sign language but, with my hearing friends at first when I met them they maybe didn’t fully understand me but as they got to know me more they started to get used to me and understand clearly what I was saying.
What message do you want to get across to the fashion industry? And do you have any words of wisdom for girls out there with disabilities, who want to enter the modelling world?
I would like to say don’t exclude disabled girls from working in the fashion industry as the show proved that they have what it takes to be successful as models. To any disabled people out there I would say to them don’t hold back and just go for it if that’s what they wish to do, and enjoy the experience. I hope that the fashion industry will be more open to disabled people to give them the confidence to do well.
Do you have a favourite to win Britain’s Missing Top Model, if so why her?
I want Kelly Knox to win, I think that she is a strong character and she was only interested in doing well and not criticising any of the other girls. That is what a good role model should be. I hope that the show will encourage changes to be made in fashion and that all disabled people can be winners as a result.
What’s next on the agenda for you? Have you had any opportunities since BMTM?
Yes I have been offered a modelling contract with Siemens Hearing Instruments to model there Hearing Aids and an opportunity has come in for me to become the new face for Dolly Girls. I will also be doing cat walks in November for a fund raising fashion show with Leicester Tigers Rugby Club players and Leicestershire County Cricketers, which is being set up by Action Deafness
Before you go, here are a few quickies…
High Street or Designer?
Do you have a preferred designer or high street store, if so which takes your fancy?
Primark because I can stay in fashion without breaking the bank!
If you had an addiction would it be to bags or shoes?
What is your favourite make up brand, and why them?
MAC because the make up lasts all day and the colours are beautiful. I have tried them all and MAC is the best and I am not just saying this because I work for them!
If you could change one thing during your experience on BMTM, what would it be and why?
I wish that I had not have been forgotten about on the cat walk as the judges were confused when they realised that they had not seen me in the first walk of the fashion clothes.
Other than this I hope that the general public just saw me for who I am a loving friendly girl he-he.
Tonight three girls remain, Kelly Knox, Sophie Morgan and Jessica Kellgren-Hayes. Battling it out for the chance of a lifetime, I wish them luck and look forward to watching their performances in their most testing photo shoots yet.