Naomi Holt first rose to popularity as an Australian model, being a national finalist in the 2017 Miss Universe Australia. She then went on to study a Psychology degree, coming out with first class honours. Combining her love for both modelling and psychology led Naomi to create ‘Mind the Model’, a website that celebrates women’s bodies for everything they are and where the feeling of self-empowerment thrives! She mirrors these feelings on her Instagram account, showing herself everyday and in every way, not just when she’s feeling her absolute best. She is unapologetically herself, and helps others to realise they’re perfect the way they are, too. It was great to be able to catch-up with her and chat about all things mind and body, and how she’s been doing during COVID.
1. It’s certainly been an interesting year for everyone! What’s one new thing that you’ve started/learnt during COVID?
It’s definitely been an interesting year but I think the gift that COVID gave us all was a bit of time to try something new, for me it was painting. I really enjoyed having time to get creative and express myself, in saying that my paintings are definitely no Picassos but I found it such a mindful experience for me and something I hope to continue doing. I am also very excited to have started my own clinical hypnotherapy business named Modelled Minds (www.modelledminds.com.au).
2. How have you been staying active during COVID?
I’ve been staying active during COVID mostly by walking, I’ve also done some online Pilates classes and my partner has been teaching me how to play tennis, which has been very fun.
3.How did you first get into modelling?
I first got into modelling by doing a competition, it was one of those competitions that you do in the supermarket and you walk in front of everybody and they take photos, it was really fun and I was a runner up. I got signed with the agency on the day and started my career as a model when I was only 15. I did take some time off not much later to focus on my schooling but after I graduated I got back into it. I’m very grateful to be able to do it as a job.
4. What made you want to study psychology?
As long as I can remember I was always fascinated by human behaviour and had a strong passion for helping others, so not surprisingly psychology was always something that interested me. I didn’t start psychology until halfway through the year 11 semester, and I put off doing it at university because I was worried it was going to be too hard due to my dyslexia. I’m so thankful that I decided that something being hard wasn’t a good enough reason to not go after my dreams because it’s definitely where I meant to be.
5. Mind the Model is amazing! Such a fantastic idea. How did the idea to start it originally come to mind?
I really loved the idea of creating a community where people would be able to speak about mental health, self-care and body celebration. I created Mind the Model as a blog where I talked about those kind of things and I thought, you know what, it will be so much more powerful for this to become a space where everybody can share their stories and it can be more relatable for more people than just my own story, so that’s how Mind the Model in its current form was created. But to let you in on a secret, Mind the Model is about to undergo new changes. It will soon be transitioning into Modelled Minds and having added content on practical evidence based ways to improve your mental wellness. This is being done as the next step to being able to have a greater impact in this space, now I am qualified as a clinical hypnotherapist and soon to be a psychologist. So if you are looking for Mind the Model on instagram and cant find it, try @modelledminds.
6. Your Instagram perfectly reflects how you feel about self-empowerment. Was it hard to start posting the not-so-perfect moments of everyday reality?
Thank you, I’m definitely aiming to reflect self-empowerment as much as I can on my Instagram. I think for me it was a journey to be comfortable posting not so perfect images, as I did go through a stage where I felt the pressure to ‘alter’ my photos. Luckily, I came to the realisation that I wanted to be authentic and to show people the real me. I hope that by doing that I also would empower others to be comfortable to show their real self.
7. You’ve created a fantastic business with your partner called Tipsy Aunt Flo. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Tipsy Aunt Flo is profit for purpose wine label and we are passionate about periods! We aim to help end period poverty by donating 50% of all profits to @thecovaproject who work to supply menstrual cups to women who need them most. We also aim to end period shame with the Bleeders Club series. We have a Pinot Noir, Rosé and a Bubbles and we want to inspire people to drink with a purpose! If you want to support an awesome cause and get a little tipsy while doing it head to www.tipsyauntflo.com.au @tipsyauntflo
8. Where did the idea come from to focus on the empowerment of female menstruation?
My partner Nick and I knew we wanted to create a brand that could have a social impact but we also know we wanted it to be fun and sassy. When we started talking about ideas for causes we could get behind period poverty came up and it just seems so perfect. We have both always been passionate about education and for women in Africa period property has a massive impact on education due to not being able to leave the house when menstruating due to a lack of access to menstrual products. We love The COVA project because they saw this problem and found a simple solution for it, which was supplying these girls with the sustainable option of a menstrual cup that can last up for 10 years. This has a massive impact on these girls' futures and also on the future of the country because now these women will not be held back due to a natural bodily function.
9. You work on so many incredible projects! How do you find managing everything, and do you have any tips?
I definitely feel like I have taken on a lot this year but one of my tips would be lists, I really like to make a list each day of the things that I need to get done. I like to include little things even if it’s just shower or eat breakfast, as well as the work related things, because each time you cross something off your list you get a release of dopamine, so it’s like a little reward in your brain every time you get something done. If I could give another tip it would be to delegate when needed as nobody is an expert at everything so seek help when you need and don’t try to do it all yourself.
10. How do you find being such an online presence, can it be difficult?
Having an online presence can be a little bit exhausting for me as I feel pressure to be always creating, updating, expressing and interacting. Feeling like this hasn’t been fun for me so this year I decide to change things and have worked hard to set boundaries to not feel like I have to please and perform for people on the other side of the screen who I don’t actually know.
11. What makes you happiest in life?
The first few things that pop into my head that make me happy are potatoes, my partner, having an impact on other people’s lives, my family and friends, this really delicious chocolate and salted caramel ice cream I found the other month, reading and my cat.
12. Self love can be hard. What tips do you have for finding it?
Self-care can be hard, so when you are aiming to find what self-care looks like for you it is important to remember that true self-care isn’t about getting a massage or doing a facemask. Self-care is you taking time to care for you. So a facemask is self-care only when you’re putting a facemask on because you want to nourish your skin and maybe have 10 minutes of relaxing and switching off. Importantly, self-care is also knowing when to let go of toxic relationships, having hard conversations with yourself and others, it’s saying no, it’s meditating, it’s going screen free before bed and practicing gratitude. It's doing things for you that nourish and build you up.
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