Aga Wojtasik never saw a future as a model, though family and friends constantly told her that she should pursue that path. It all changed when an agent spotted her in a mall in Poland. She received a contract to work in Japan. Wojtasik always had a passion for travel and realized modeling would provide her with this unique opportunity, and open many other doors for her, so she persevered. The now 22-year-old model continues to build a following so that she can inspire and be a positive influence on others.
Q: There is a lot of competition between women when it comes to modeling. How are you able to build your colleagues up, as well as yourself?
A: I try not to compare myself to others. Instead, I strive to be the best version of myself. I also am constantly telling those around me that believing in yourself is the best way to succeed in this industry. I also tell myself and those around me to believe that we can succeed in this industry. If a fellow model feels defeated, I often suggest finding new representation that will be able to push them harder to succeed. However, I mainly tell my colleagues to believe in themselves and their worth.
Q: The modeling industry can cause women to compare and contrast themselves from the others; how do you avoid this?
A: It is hard to avoid, especially when going to castings where all the girls are compared to each other by the casting directors. However, I always look at other girls, and I find a way to be inspired by them. I do not copy or follow the crowd, but I do get inspired by others' confidence and style. Luckily everyone is different, and I try my best to celebrate my uniqueness, and I encourage others to do the same.
Q: What's the biggest challenge and opportunity you face daily in the fashion world?
A: Keeping authenticity is a challenge because of industry pressures. I try my best to stay positive and have thick skin to avoid letting the critics get to me. I tell myself it doesn't matter what other people think as long as I believe in myself.
The most significant opportunity is being able to be creative every single day and meeting people from all over the world.
Q: Who has inspired you the most for modeling? What about when it comes to empowering women?
A: Polish model, Anja Rubik, because she started modeling when she was very young, and she stuck with it. Now, she's an activist and has used her voice to bring about change like encouraging discussion of sexual education in Poland. She's trying to change something beyond her industry. I think when you have the platform and audience that is interested in what you have to say, you should do it, and that's why she inspires me.
When it comes to empowering women, Anja and Naomi Campbell are the two that come to mind. Naomi continues to be an advocate for dark-skinned women, and she paved the way. She is of constant support and has helped create diversity in this industry.
Q: What is your goal in this industry? What is your goal outside this industry?
A: Early in my career, my goal was achieving self-confidence, mainly because it was hard being told I was not good enough. Luckily I developed a thick skin. Now, my goal is to be able to gain a large following so that I can have a voice that is heard. I want to raise awareness of climate change and offer more help when natural disasters strike. I want to help save the earth by using my platform.
My goal outside of the industry is to be able to help my family back in Poland. I would love to be able to provide them an opportunity in the USA for the first time and to see me! I also would like to finish university because I see myself doing more than just modeling. For instance, I am very interested in cooking and personal nutrition.
Q: What has held you back in the modeling industry? What are you going to do about it?
A: Well, competition from other girls makes it hard to obtain jobs, and the pressure from the industry to fit the standard makes me hesitate at times. I continue to tell myself it doesn't matter, and it no longer blocks me as much as it used to because I know it's just all in my head. I do not hesitate to take opportunities anymore because I want to give everything a shot, so I do not regret it later. I will continue to take chances and push myself further in my career.
Q: How has this industry shaped you as a person?
A: I moved out of my house when I was 16-years-old due to my modeling opportunity. I feel that I grew up faster than others because I was totally on my own, even financially. Luckily, it has helped me become an independent and more mature person.
Q: What changes would you like to make to your respective industry?
A: A lot of times, the industry pays too much attention to social media. Social media can be a great tool for new talent. However, it should not be the most important factor people look at it. I think it’s getting to the point where passionate, talented, and hardworking creatives are getting overlooked. Too much emphasis is placed on peoples’ followers versus experience, drive, and talent. I think the industry needs to find a happy medium.
Q: What advice do you have for future models?
A: Stay authentic and be true to yourself. One should definitely listen to the advice from others, but take the critiques with a grain of salt. I would also advise them to stay open-minded and have thick skin. Lastly, be nice to everyone around you, because you never know who they are or how they could potentially influence your career. Positive thinking equals positive results.
Q: Would you want to mentor young models to ensure they follow the right path?
A: Yes, I would if I was given the opportunity. I often get messages from other models asking for advice, and I always respond. I love helping others succeed.
Q: What is your definition of beauty?
A: Someone who is kind, because I think beauty comes from the inside.
Q: How would you want to be remembered?
A: I want to be remembered for speaking up for others whose voices are not always heard. I want to use my voice for the greater good. I want to change major issues in this world.
To keep up with her day to day, follow her on Instagram @aga_wojtasik