Sunday, February 14, 2010

From Sneakers to Stilettos

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Maupin

Elizabeth Maupin, 22, is not what you would consider a typical model. By day, she works at a dog boarding facility called Camp Bow-wow, while applying for zoology fellowships in-state. By night, she works the runway, walking in various cat-walk shows for charity, and for the holy grail of modeling - publicity. "I do more unique shows and photoshoots - like the Tim Burton-esque show- because of my looks. It's pretty hard, I get mostly runway work, not catalog."

Maupin stands at a statuesque 5.11' and is considered thin for her height, and unique in her looks. Rather than being the normal look for Oklahoma - blonde, curvy, and tanned - Maupin is brunette, pale, and maintains a regal bearing like that of a prima ballerina. Maupin is also unique because she maintains her personal morals in what is known as a debacherous community. "I was told they (my church group leaders) were concerned I was going down the wrong path. It was a charity show. I was fully covered and my outfits were appropriate. I don't know if they think fashion is a Godly career. I'm modest enough, I don't do nude, or implied nudity photoshoots. It was hurtful."

Among the other struggles Maupin has faced, her intelligence has been questioned the most. Maupin graduated May 2009 with a degree in Zoology. " I think being a zoo major keeps me grounded. I don't know as much about fashion, so I feel very blessed to be in this business. I would love to use fashion as a way to gain funds to start animal training/rescue shelters." Maupin is currently applying for many fellowships concerning animal education throughout the state. Ultimately, she wants to be involved with teaching children about large birds of prey or small mammals, and to train animals on movie sets. She has been involved in the local Fins and Feathers show, and would love to work more with animals. Maupin plans to use her modeling career to launch her zoology career. Already, she credits modeling with helping her in public speaking. "I would love to model with animals, but my main goal started out as using modeling to gain contacts and help break out of my shell."

Maupin offers this advice to those wanting to break into the modeling industry, "Be respectful to everyone, be punctual, stick to your commitments, always bring your walking heels, and bring a chaperone. It's difficult to find legitimate work when you do not have an agent, and a parent or a big sister is good to have with you, just to make sure the photographer doesn't try anything funny."

Maupin will be modeling in the Charity Fashion Show for Haiti on February 27, 2010. All tickets are $7 dollars in advance and $9 dollars at the door. Location still to be decided. All proceeds go to Haitian relief funds.

Maupin at Rock the Velvet Show. Photo courtesy of Maupin Photography

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