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WCW with Anne -Therese

Kicking off our Woman Crush Wednesday series with model turned activist Anne-Therese Bengtsson

Tell us a bit about about yourself, Anne-Therese?

 

I’m a Swedish born, Brooklyn based model who decided to enter the world of fashion, runways and flashing camera lights when I felt I was lacking the voice to speak to and influence the world. I had just finished my undergrad in Business and Marketing and even though I truly believed in the power of advertising and integrative campaigns, I felt there was more to it than what I had just learned in school.

I wanted the influence to inspire other people to care about the things I cared about – compassionate living and a green and thriving world – so I set myself off on a mission to become a model. I was 24 at the time, today I’m 26, and over the course of these past 2 years I’ve started from nothing, been signed with an agency in NYC, quit that agency, and now started my own. In early 2017 Role Models Management came to life.

my partner Val Emanuel and I are determined to disrupt the industry and only represent gorgeous souls who want to influence and change the world.

Tell us a bit about the agency you founded, Role Models Management, and particularly the ethos behind it? 

 

Role Models Mgmt aims to represent women and men of all ages, shapes, and sizes who aspire to be advocates for positive change within their area of passion. Some of them are activists for human rights, others are just starting to know more about sustainable fashion and want to work for something good, but they all want to use their art and their voices to work for some sort of betterment in this world. With this roster of Role Models we aim to attract brands and companies wanting to do the same and to create transparency in marketing by bringing together talents and companies aligning values.

 

Do you think influencers have more of a responsibility today to be socially and environmentally conscious? 

 

Totally. Influencers are the new world and they have more power than I think they even realize themselves. If someone posts a picture and five minutes later has over 20,000 likes, then that girl has basically the power in her hands to change the world. I wonder if the influencers realized their actual power and started being authentic to who they are and to what they believe to be right in this world, if they could influence their young fans to really take care of themselves and take action for things of importance, what world would we live in tomorrow?

How would you say role models today should behave in the social spotlight?

 

Most of all I would say “be raw”. Be you, be authentic, share yourself. Don’t try to portray a perfect world, a world where we close our eyes to all that’s out there and try to tell ourselves that everything is just great. There’s a lot of sh*t going on in our world today but the beauty of it all is that we could make such a huge difference if we just decided to see it and dare to take a stand. Stop promoting fake lashes and perfectly made eyebrows and show the natural, beautiful you and show how awesome it is to take care of yourself and other people. Like volunteering for example. Volunteering is incredibly fun and cool! But yeah, most of all I’d say please just be you.

 

You live in New York City, how do you connect to nature and remain living well in such a hectic city?

 

Oh dear, it’s a constant battle, and sometimes I literally go insane and my boyfriend and I need to jump on a train and visit his mom in Massaschussets. Having grown up in the country side of Sweden I’m used to always having nature around so I must admit it’s hard, but I try to go on walks every morning to some closeby park, visit the riverside, hang out in Central Park and sometimes, actually, it’s enough to just drink coffee on the rooftop and listen to the birds. They may battle with the traffic and honking cars on the street below, but they’re still singing and that makes me smile every single time. Nature is always there, we just need to listen for it.

It's hard to be perfect and I think it's important to remember that no one is, but each choice in the right direction will make a huge impact in the end.

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Finally, what does sustainable living mean to you?

 

Sustainable living to me means making conscious decisions every single day. So I always bring my own bottle that I can refill with water, I usually carry an empty mason jar in my bag in case I want to order a coffee, and I also make sure there’s always a fork around in my bag. You never know when you need to stop and order a last minute salad and I cringe inside each time I have no option but to take a plastic fork. With a little planning we can go a long way, and the less plastic each person consumes the better! Then of course I’m also vegan for ethical and environmental reasons, and since I learned the horrible truth behind the fashion industry, I only buy vintage or look for clothes that are sustianably and ethically made!

 

Check out Anne Therese’s site and podcast HERE.