Apr. 29 2020
You’ve seen Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor around. She’s been a Vogue model, a Hollywood DJ, and a podcast starlet with her own show, I’m Over It, which spotlights cool girls making tough choices for the greater good… and features candid talk about body image and mental health from Atlanta herself.
We spoke with Atlanta for our second installment of Behind the Curtain, a feature that explores how women find peace of mind in the midst of total chaos… (i.e. all of us right now).
So Atlanta, what do you do?
Ha! What aren’t I doing?
Right? It’s interesting, because when men are good at many things, they’re called polymaths or multi-talented. But women are “slashers,” like model-slash-whatever…
As if it’s because you can’t focus, instead of because you have many interests and skills. Isn’t that annoying?
Extremely. And it can create anxiety every time you have to introduce yourself.
It does! It’s a hard thing to say every time. I always get people asking, “So Atlanta, what are you doing now?” and it’s like, “I do so many different things. How do I put this all under one title?” But you know, a little while ago, I heard someone say “social entrepreneur” and that really stuck with me.
What does it mean for you?
Basically that you’re trying to create a business having a positive influence on the world. So I like saying, “I’m a social entrepreneur,” and of course, “I’m a podcaster.” But I still feel insecure describing what I do sometimes. Imposter syndrome is real.
And you’re also a designer for Morgan Lane right now…
I am! I’m very proud of my body, but bras are a struggle for me. I have big boobs. It’s hard to find bras that don’t hurt and that aren’t mumsy. And millions of women wear larger sizes. If this kind of bra is lacking for me, it’s definitely lacking for other people. So I made a list of brands I wanted to work with to fix the problem, and Morgan Lane was at the top. I put together a deck and proposal and sent it to her.
How do you advocate for yourself professionally when you’re feeling anxious?
Being creative helps. For Morgan Lane, the first thing I did was make mood boards and inspiration sketches. Putting in a lot of work makes me more confident; you know you’ve worked hard, done your research, gotten out of your own head. I also like learning how to do things myself—like, I learned to create marketing decks so I can pitch people ideas directly. I’ve started to take matters into my own hands.
What has that done for your state of mind?
It’s done wonders. I’ve had modeling agents since I was 15… but I really know my own worth at this point. I know how I should be treated and spoken to. So I chose to not be in a toxic environment that was not serving me anymore.
How does social media play into mental health for you?
On the one hand, since I started modeling over ten years ago, I’m so over getting my picture taken! And trolls are dumb, obviously. But on the other hand, Instagram helped me take control of my own business so much, because people would reach out directly with job opportunities. It made me realize I could control my own value in a very real way.
Some days, we’re all lucky just to get out of bed. How do you get through a tough time and take a step forward?
Defining my goals and dreams clearly has really helped me. I make a lot of lists, and they’re like, “Send one email to one brand you want to work with. Finish one deck for one live event or one brand sponsorship.” Be kind to yourself, but hold yourself accountable for one thing a day.
We should probably mention that your mom is a famous model and your dad and stepdad are rock stars.
What do you think the relationship between privilege and progress looks like?
I talk about this all the time. It’s a massive thing… I obviously had a huge head start breaking into fashion. People were like, “Oh Atlanta, her mom is this, her dad is this, she’s cool.” On the flip side, I was getting sent [home] from shoots because the clothes didn’t fit me. I was 18 and I had hips… oops? And you can be famous, you can be pretty, but if you’re told you’re not “good enough” every day, it’ll f*** you up. And that experience, combined with how young women are often taught to hide their feelings and their strength, or starve themselves to look like someone else’s idea of a good body, that’s given me purpose in my work now.
A big part of what I do right now is give a voice to people with other struggles through the podcast! If I have a platform, how can I use it to amplify other people’s voices? That’s my job now—asking other women, “Hey, what’s your experience?” I think we can lift people up by connecting them.
Fill in the blank: the makeup item most vital to my well being is…