Being a model isn’t as glamorous as it seems. That’s the message Sasha Benz, founder of online fashion magazine All My Friends Are Models, hopes to get across as she launches her #LoveYourSelfie campaign this Sunday at her third annual Surf Ball. The stylist-turned-editor is still prepping for the exclusive event—complete with a performance by Anderson Paak—but took some time out of busy schedule to chat with Hamptons about her passion project and favorite spots out East.
What’s the inspiration for Surf Ball? SASHA BENZ: My online company called All My Friends are Models was created to show the other side of the model’s life and a world that is not so glamorous. The event is a hybrid of my two of my babies, the magazine and The Surf Lodge where I’m the Creative Director. It’s just bringing together a bunch of very influential people in the industry to support the mission about loving yourself, and talking about self-image and inner beauty.
Obviously, body image and mental health issues are very common today. What voice do you hope to add to the conversation? SB: A lot of young people see these models and this flawless Instagram world and think it’s such an easy life. But, I think it’s really important to highlight the untold stories of the industry. They face a lot of financial difficulties not knowing if they’ll book another shoot, have long hours, and lots of upkeep expenses. I think the biggest thing is there are a lot of insecurities behind people that have to be beautiful for a living because they are consistently being judged and that brings up a lot of deeper insecurities. A lot of people say that most models are snobby or hard to approach, but, for the most part, it’s just because they are shy and insecure and don’t have any confidence.
So, what’s the key to being confident? SB: It comes down to be grounded and having a really strong, reliable support group. You can be in the industry and hanging out with all of the fabulous people in the world, but they are not people you can trust and able to call at three in the morning when you’re feeling down. That is not the network you want to surround yourself with.
On a fun note, this event is taking place in Montauk. So, what are your go-to spots? SB: I obviously love The Surf Lodge, but when I’m not there I head to Crow’s Nest, which is such a beautiful venue. It’s a romantic night for me and my husband. Duryea’s Lobster Deck is great and Montauket are also great local, more casual spots. Those are definitely my go-tos.