Get to know more about Emma, her modelling career and what her ‘clean eating’ principles stand for.
Name: Emma Haarsma
Mother agency & city: Anka Models, Amsterdam
Based in: Drachten, the Netherlands
Current city: New York (One Management)
Modeling since: fulltime since January 2013
A few clients I’ve worked for: Prada, Balenciaga, Romeo Gigli, David Fielden, Koonhor and Vogue.
A: Emma, you grew up in the country side up in the north of the Netherlands, just like VS Angel Doutzen Kroes. Doutzen once send in some snaps of her sailing vacation to a modeling agency and from there her modeling career started. How did you end up being a fulltime model in New York?
EH: I began modelling at the age of 19. I started with some small jobs without having an agency, because there are no agency’s in the part of Holland where I live. Just like Doutzen Kroes I decided to send some pictures to a few agency’s in Amsterdam. And that’s how it all began! In the beginning it was hard, but I never gave up and look at me now! I’m in New York. If you fight for your dreams, you can make them!
A: What’s the biggest difference you experience between working in Europe and the US?
EH: The biggest difference is the language difference. I was used to working in Milan and Paris where they speak their own language most of the time. When they discuss something during a job or a casting, I usually had no idea what it was about. It is also easier to find the castings, since everyone on the street can help you because you can speak English with them. In Milan or Paris this was often a problem, since many people there don’t speak English. Beyond that I have experienced no big differences yet.
Emma in front of the Flatiron Building in New York in between her castings
A: What is it about modeling that makes you want to work as a model?
EH: I’ve always want to be a model; travel, meet new people and experience the world that people see in a magazine or on television. I love beautiful clothes and everything about fashion. I’ve always wanted to have an extraordinary job and do something special. So I decided that modelling is my job! But that’s not the only reason. As a model you can inspire other people and bring something good to other people. For example my love for animals, my passion for nutrition and inspire people to never give up their dreams!
A: Are there any downsides of working in the fashion/modeling industry that you have experienced? How do you cope with them?
EH: Of course there are downsides on working as a model. I think every job has its downsides. Sometimes it’s hard to always be judged on what you look like. If there is a day you are not feeling well or you made a trip for so many hours, you have to look good because it’s your job to look good. But as long as the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, it is worth it!
Emma backstage. Peace out!
A: Modeling comes with requirements regarding physical appearance. Lately, the media has covered this subject in a negative way numerous times, mainly targeting the ‘size zero’ requirement. Do you have an opinion about this requirement?
EH: I think it’s hard for people outside the fashion industry to understand this industry. Other professions come with certain requirements, so does modelling. In this case one of them is the small sizes. My opinion about that is that beauty and health has nothing to do with size. So for me it’s fine to see models in different sizes. But my opinion about the media and how they subject the small sizes in a negative way? I think it’s not really fair. Lately, being thin is labeled as something negative. The media forgets that most models are hardworking girls: models who eat healthy and train hard to stay in shape.
A: You have a slender physique. Are there any dietary regulations that you follow to maintain this physique? If so, is it hard to maintain?
EH: When I was eight years old I decided to eat no more meat. This wasn’t because of the health benefits, but because of my love for animals. So since then, I live a vegetarian life style. I have always been (naturally) slender, but to keep my slender and toned physique, I try to go to the gym 3 times a week. I also try to exclude processed sugar from my diet; a kind of “clean eating” life style. My preference is supply that is as natural as possible. But of course I sometimes cheat. One bad meal doesn’t make such a big difference, as long as you continue a healthy lifestyle.
A: About that “clean eating” stuff (a principle we share): can you tell me more about your reason for eating clean?
EH: When nutrition got my interest, I read a lot about the topic. I discovered how many sugar people actually eat and was in schock! Without being aware of it, most products contain sugar, even products from which you don’t expect that they do, such as bread, cereals, juice and canned vegetables.
I started to gather more information about sugar and found out that eating processed sugars has many negative effects on our health. Lately, more and more disorders and deseases are associated with eating processed sugar.
Sugar also has an addictive effect (1) and the food industry makes abuse of that. Most our products contain a lot of sugar, which causes people to get addicted to these products.
Luckily, it’s not necessary to use processed sugar. There are plenty of alternatives that can give a product a sweet taste. So now, most of the time I eat clean, organic foods without additives and show people through my blog how they can eat clean as well.
A: That sounds like a beautiful mission! So help us out here: if there would be 5 foods that any woman that wants to eat healthy and cares for her waistline should always have at home, what would they be?
EH: First of all: don’t be afraid of fat. I think the biggest mistake that women make is to try a diet that excludes fats. But there are two different types of fats. There are natural fats that your body needs (unsaturated fats) and won’t nessecairily make you gain (2). I’m telling this because one of my favorite foods is avocado, which has many good properties, like lots of healthy fats. I can also recommend quinoa, oatmeal, yogurt and of course vegetables to make a healthy meal.
A: What mistake regarding diet do you often see made among other women that care for their waistline?
EH: Everywhere around you, you can find some kind of diet that will help you lose weight. But why would you choose for those kind of diets? Everyone knows that the key to a good body and health is eating healthy and having enough exercise. There is no diet that will do what eating healthy does. I think a big mistake is that people choose for the quick and easy way. Perhaps with results, but not on the long term.
Another mistake is that people don’t eat enough. I advise not to count calories, but rather ‘count’ nutritients. With that I mean that you don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right.
A: Last but not least: we’re curious toward how you spend your time in NY when you’re not working!
EH: When I’m not working I’m really a tourist, haha! I love to travel, so when I’m not working I take my time to see the city. It has always been my dream to go to America and New York. So now I’m here and I want to see everything!
There is so much to do in this big city. I spend my time on sightseeing and of course I like to spend my time shopping! There is so much choice here, I love to go to the Victoria Secret store and especially the PINK store. And I also love to go for lunch or a drink with other models. Most of the time we go to Starbucks or Pret a Manger, I really love Pret!
A: Thank you so much Emma for this interview! I wish you good luck with your modelling career in New York or wherever it may take you and am looking forward to your healthy recipes!
** Chief editor notes **
(1) Scientists have not fully agreed on this statement yet.
(2) Weight gain is dependend on multiple factors.
Looking forward to Emma’s vegetarian recipes? What kind of recipes would you like to see appear by Emma at Great Body & Skin? Sweet recipes? Savory recipes? Let Emma know in the comments below!