Marie-louise Wedel On The Women Who Inspire Her

Model Activism EML Denmark

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we sat down with Marie-Louise Wedel. Since being discovered through Elite Model Look in Denmark in 2013, Marie-Louise has shot for the likes of Vogue Spain, United Colours of Benneton and Vanity Fair Italy. Below, she talks about the women who have inspired her, supporting other women in the model industry and how to be totally badass in 2018.

How do you feel about International Women’s Day?

It makes me really happy that women are coming to the front! It’s not that women should be better than men – of course we should be equal, but it’s good when you look back in history, or to countries where women are so oppressed, that makes me happy and feel lucky I am from a country like Denmark. I admire women who are confident – women who shine, who are secure. You can tell if women aren’t confident, and they should be. BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE! But I don’t like it when confidence becomes arrogance – I like helpful people! I really appreciate that, who think about people other than themselves.

Who’s your heroine?

My heroine is my mom. She has always been by my side from day one. The most caring and beautiful woman on the earth. She is there for me, by supporting me and helping me during rough as well as pleasant times. She will love me no matter what. Even though we have our ups and downs. If I need advice, she is always there with open ears and her loving heart. My mom is more than a fearless woman. She is this person I believe most on. She can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take her place. She is my life. That's my mom - she is my heroine, my STAR, my everything!

But just my parents are amazing. I talk to them almost every day, we’re always texting or FaceTime each other. My parents’ names are Mette and Jens-Erik – I really look up to them both. My mom and my dad wouldn’t be into fashion as they are now if I wasn’t a model. They were on Instagram from day one, when I got on it, they check everything, they even know more than me! My dad is always finding pictures of me, they know a lot! They really go in for it. They are really good at motivating me, they are very energised, and they are protective but they also make sure I am independent, that I go and live my life. When I’m home I spend a lot of times with them.

Do you have siblings?

I have two sisters, and I’m close to my sisters too, there’s only five years between all of us, so it’s perfect. Ann-Sofie is younger, and Kathrine is older, I’m in the middle. And I like it! My sisters are both studying, they are so smart and I’m really proud of them! My dad is the only man in the house and I love being from a family of girls. Of course I never tried difference. And I like annoying my dad! (laughs) I tell him he’s lucky, being surrounded by girls! He loves it! 

Do you think having sisters helps you to work with other women as a model?

I never thought about it, but yes, I think so. It helps you to be an open person, to live with others. Are you going to mess everything up or are you going to clean up after yourself? When you have sisters, you are used to sharing space, you’re not the only one. I think it’s easier – but I never thought about it before! I love hanging out with my sisters, just beingtogether. I travel so much that when I’m home I just like to relax with them. I have some close friends from home and in the business as well. So I couldn’t wish anything better!

Video: Précieuses Agapes by L'Officiel

Do you have any favourite female singers?

I love Beyoncé and Rihanna! I love a lot of their older stuff, those songs remind me of when I was younger. And they are amazing women, they’re so pretty and they know how to be themselves. They are really inspiring. They are more than just singers, and they will be as iconic as Michael Jackson.

You did Elite Model Look in Denmark in 2013. Do you think it helped you become a model?

I did! I was scouted in a shopping centre and I had never really thought about modelling before. I was really into sport, I played handball for 8 years, so yes – it changed my mind. I come from a really sporty family. So I have always been used to moving my body. My parents have always been open about me and my sisters' futures. They want us to be happy. In the beginning, when I started traveling, it was a big change for them, especially when I started so so young. I was only 15 years old. So my mom would travel with me – she went to Tokyo and Paris and all those places with me. After all, they visit me a lot! I don’t know what I should do without my family! 

What was it like taking part in Elite Model Look?

It was really fun! I loved to see the other girls, I was the youngest, and it was really nice to meet other people. They took pictures, we learned how to walk, and you don’t see exactly how the whole fashion industry works, but you get a taste. Right after the finale in Denmark, I started right away. So now I have already been in the business for 5 years. You learn so so much, and you grow up! Modelling is not just about being pretty, it’s about how strong you are, your family, your agency – and about the clients too. So you never know!

How do you stay motivated?

I try to turn everything into a positive way. If the client says they don’t want me, I think – oh, maybe they wanted a blonde girl, or a taller girl. I try to think it’s not about me, it’s about my look, it’s not that I’m not good enough, it’s just that they are looking for something different. And then there’s my parents, who are really good to talk to, and I have Munir, my mother agent in Denmark, and he’s so supportive. As long as you don’t keep it to yourself and talk about your feelings when you’re feeling down, it’s not going to be too hard. I also try to separate when I work from my free time – I have time to relax, and then I go for it, I give 100% every time. I had a tough time when I was younger, so everything seems easy compared to that. I am a fighter – it comes probably from playing sport. I want to be number 1! (laughs) 

Is sport a good training for being a model?

For me it is! You can do so many different workouts. I use a lot of different kind of exercises. Cardio(run, HIIT), boxing, strength, Pilates/yoga. Everything. I probably workouts 5-6 times a week. Depends of how busy my week is. Workouts gives me a lot of energy, I eat well, I use my body – don’t sit inside in your bed all day, you need to do something! Some girls think if you don’t do much you will be able to save your energy for modelling – it doesn’t work like that! Not for me. If I don’t work out, I get really frustrated, and I get tired more easily, because I haven’t been using my body.

What’s the best advice you ever got?

The best advice I got was: believe in yourself, don’t compare you with other girls. We are all different. Don’t let people push you to the back, fight for what you want but in a good way, and have fun! Enjoy your time, enjoy travelling around the world, not everyone gets to do it. It’s a big opportunity to learn a lot, and I love it.

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