For any little girls who dream of being plucked from their normal, ordinary lives and catapulted into the ritzy world of fashion, Megan Williams is about to become your new lifespo. Because that’s exactly what happened to the British-born model.
A 14-year-old Megan was minding her own business in McDonalds in her home town in Surrey when she was spotted by a model scout and told to get herself to an agency. Her first stop was Storm Management who signed her on the spot!
Fast forward eight years and with seven campaigns for Guess under her belt, catwalks for designer giant’s Ralph Lauren, not to mention gracing the pages of glossies Elle, Glamour, Marie Claire and the swimwear edition of Sports Illustrated, the 5 foot 9.5” beauty is fast becoming fashion’s new sweetheart.
But it’s perhaps her latest gig that the New York based model is most excited about. Because the 22-year-old has nabbed one of the coveted spots in the world-famous Victoria’s Secret Show, one of only a handful of British models ever to do so.
From a small town in Surrey to VS super stardom, it’s been one heck of a ride for the girl who grew up with Cindy Crawford as her career muse, but her 198K @Meganmayw Instagram followers have been with her every step of the way.
Just before she took to the Paris catwalk for the Victoria’s Secret show, Yahoo Style caught up with Megan for an exclusive chat about confidence hacks; “A light spray tan always makes me more confident”, coping with body shamers; “I really don’t pay them any attention,” and conquering her pre-show nerves; “Right before I go out I take a really deep breath.” Yep, even VS models get the jitters, but then if we were wearing our undies in front of an estimated 500million viewers we’d probably get the fear too!
Life is unpredictable. I started modelling at 14 when I was scouted in my local shopping centre, whilst eating a McDonalds. I was told I should go and see an agency in London, so I went to Storm first – and they signed me there and then!
Never give up. I couldn’t believe it when I was told I’d be walking for Victoria’s Secret show in Paris. I was told just a few hours after my call back and I couldn’t believe it was true. I didn’t want to tell anyone until I was sent the VS top with my name embroidered on it and “Victoria’s secret Paris” – and then I felt comfortable talking about it because it was official! This has been my dream from even before I started modelling, and now my dream has come true. It’s an extraordinary show to be a part of.
My mum’s is my muse. She’s a very strong role model and will always be my inspiration. She has taught me the value of working hard, and being strong and independent. Career wise I’m always inspired by the 90’s super models who are still so glamorous, confident and sexy. I love Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer.
The biggest career lesson I’ve learnt is patience. In terms of waiting for my dreams to come true. And patience when I’m on set. When I was just starting, I used to find it hard not to be in control of certain aspects of the shoot like the hair make up etc. But now I remind myself that I am the model, I’m the canvas and hopefully the inspiration. I’ve learnt to go with the flow, trust the teams I work with, interpret the briefs, and enjoy seeing myself being represented in different ways.
Be positive. I believe the energy and thoughts you put out to the world are what you will attract. So I try to stay positive and grateful, and to keep my focus on the goals I am working towards.
Learn from your mistakes. There wouldn’t be any advice I’d want to give the younger me just starting out in modelling, because my naivety and all the mistakes I made have helped me learn and develop both as a model and a person.
Biggest hurdle I’ve faced? Moving to New York, which has been a dream but was difficult in the beginning. Being away from my family has taken a lot of adjusting! Not having my family close by for a Sunday roast or a cooked breakfast every weekend is tough! But I’ve made amazing new friendships and we’re all in the same boat out there, away from our families. We spend a lot of time together and support each other. My friends are my family in New York.
Embrace what makes you different. Being in the public eye does make you more body conscious because you see every part of your body from every angle. The scrutiny could drive you crazy if you let it, but I try not to let that happen. We are all so different and unique and consequently we’re all beautiful. And beauty should not be so culturally relevant – every woman should embrace her uniqueness. It’s what makes us special.
Prepping for the Victoria’s Secret show is a year long process. I don’t just work out for the few months before the show, I maintain my health and fitness all year long. And then I step up my workout regime closer to the show. I watch my diet and eat very healthily, which can be hard at times because I’m a chocoholic. In general, I work out with my trainer about three times a week and I try and eat a very clean diet, lots of veggies, lean meats and I try to avoid processed foods. I also drink a lot of water especially when I’m travelling. I think it’s key to keeping your skin hydrated and for a healthy body.
My pre-show ritual = breathing. Right before I go out I take really deep breath to calm my nerves, and then I focus on what’s before me. Then when I’m walking and I tell myself “you got this!”
Hydration is my ultimate beauty hack. I try to drink 2 litres of water (at least) a day – I really think it’s the secret to good skin!
Travelling is the best and worst thing about being a model. It can get very lonely at times and tiring. I can also say that although I’ve been to so many places, the reality is that I haven’t actually seen them!
My plan B career is… I have always been interested in Psychology and consequently I read a lot of books based on Psychology. I was offered a place to study psychology at university but then my modelling career took off. I will return to academic life at some point – but in the future.
Will you be watching the Victoria’s Secret Show when it airs in the US tonight and in the UK next Monday 12th December? Let us know @YahooStyleUK