EcoWalk. Interview with Cover Model & Miss Eco North America – Jody Marie
“With or without the crown, I will continue to use my voice for what I believe in!” – Jody Marie – Ms. ECO North America
Jody, can you please briefly introduce yourself, what do you do and what are you passionate about at the moment? As a published fashion model, actress, raw foods chef, environmentalist and speaker, I strive to make the biggest impact with the smallest footprint. I am passionate about being a resource for the community and using my talents to make a difference in the world.
What motivates you to get out of bed every morning and how does your day usually start? Life motivates me. When you do things you love every day, you are not “working”. I have worked hard in my life to get where I am and to be able to wake up in the morning knowing you are going to do great things is an amazing feeling. My mornings always start with self-love, gratitude, and lots of snuggles with my partner Ken and rescue pup, Foxxi.
In your own eyes, what was the most exciting moment of your career and what does your career do for you? The most exciting moment in my career was when I was featured 15 times in a music video for a famous Latin Artist. It currently has over 40 million views. At that moment, I knew nothing could stop me. At the end of the day I can look back at the beautiful art I created and know that it took a lot of work and dedication to get there!
How did you become involved in Miss Earth pageant? What do you feel you got out of such an experience? I have been doing pageants for 3 years and when I found out about the Miss Earth USA Organization I was ecstatic. I love what the Miss Earth USA Stands for and am so thankful to have been surrounded by empowered women who stand up for our Mother Earth. I signed up for the state pageant and used my title to make an impact on my community and nationwide. Although I did not take home the crown, I won Miss Congeniality 2018 and was featured many times in the pageants promotional material. As Elite Miss Nevada Earth, I have been able to reach thousands of people to influence them to reduce waste, go vegan, and support their local economy. With or without the crown, I will continue to use my voice for what I believe in!
You are an expert in Naturopathic Nutrition and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, you are also raw food chief, teacher and community speaker for health and environment. How did you discover what it was and how you knew it was what you wanted to do? After suffering with two incurable diseases for over 12 years, I was able to get my life back through raw foods. It took me being on my death bed to realize that my purpose is to serve people and the community and to let them know they are not alone. I love being a resource because I am very relatable and understanding. When I was at the worst point in my life, I met Ken Murray, a Certified Detox Specialist at Art of Detoxification. I have learned so much about fruits, raw foods, and herbs through him. Not only is he my healer, he is my life partner!
What can we as human beings do to reduce waste and keep our environment healthier to live in? Where should we start at? Refusing single use plastic, as best as possible, would be the best place to start. Since use plastic is completely unnecessary and there are so many resources out there that are cheaper and better for your health and the environment. To give you an idea, over 500 million straws are used daily worldwide! Plastic straws cannot be recycled, and any plastic ever created is still on this planet today! My mission in life is to encourage others to reduce waste, go vegan and support their local economy. If everyone implemented one aspect of each of those topics, our world would have a drastic change!
What are some poisons we have at our homes not realizing how hazardous they are? What should we avoid using/having in our daily routine for example? Almost all commercial products are toxic is some way but specifically items that we use in our beauty routine are outrageous. Women are exposed to an average of 168 Chemicals from cosmetics. Organic products that are plant-based are best but at least stick with the plant-based cosmetics as they are the best for you! Skin is our biggest organ and if we are putting chemicals on it daily, our body cannot eliminate it at the rate we are putting the chemicals in! It is best to either make your own, buy local and stay away from plastic containers.
Can you tell us if there is any coherence between our eating habits and our mental health? Can food quality affect our physical and psychological well-being? Absolutely. Food directly has a play in our mental and physical health. The saying “you are what you eat” is the perfect way to think of it. We as humans are not meant to eat processed foods, yet majority of people only eat processed and/or fast foods. Processed foods make up 70% of the American diet and that is why we are seeing such an increase in health issues. We are the only animals on this planet that does not consume food for health or need, but for want.
What is “raw food” and why it is important? Also, shortly explain, why plant based diet is better than eating synthetic food? The Raw foods I teach are plant-based foods that are not heated over 118 degrees. The reason behind this is that cooking destroys enzymes, nutrients and raw foods are detoxifying and healthy for you! Foods are eaten fresh or dehydrated. It is estimated that 60% of disease is caused by the Standard American Diet. As we become mindful about what we eat, we can start to make choices that promote our health over illness. The building blocks that our bodies need are enzymes, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, protein, essential fats and fibers. All of that can be achieved by consuming raw foods. Plus, raw foods are the original fast food!
What is your beauty regimen like? Do you have any beauty secrets or products you swear by? I do not wear makeup unless I am doing a photoshoot or a film. Nothing feels better than being in my own skin. I wash my face with warm water in the morning and evening. I carry a homemade face toner around to keep my face fresh and hydrated since I live in the desert (Las Vegas, NV). It is a mixture of Kangen Beauty Water, Fresh Rose and Lavender. I absolutely love Pacifica Beauty because they are 100% vegan & cruelty-free and have a wide range of beauty products from skin care, nail polish, makeup and more! My best secret would be to consume a diet high of fresh raw fruits and vegetables because gut health is a main contributor to bad skin!
What are your thoughts about natural organic beauty products? Have you ever tried any? Organic is always best but not always practical. That being said, there are several organic products that I use and love, but I also use non-organic products that are vegan and eco-friendly. Zuii Organic is great as they have a certified organic and vegan beauty set for makeup.
What is something every woman can do to make her feel better, more beautiful and more balanced? Take care of your body! When you feel good, you look good. If you eat fast foods and/or processed foods, you feel tired and groggy. When you eat raw foods, you feel full of life. Eating well and being mindful will help you feel better and look better. Your skin will improve, you will slim down, your hair will look better and you will be full energy! It is also important to be surrounded by empowered women who pick you up and motivate you, not envy you!
If you could have any person as your mentor for a day, who would it be and why? If I could mentor anybody for that day it would be Tyra Banks. Tyra is a huge inspiration to me as far as the modeling industry goes. Tyra herself has defied her critics and conquered the modeling world, both at high fashion and commercial level. I love that she mentors and guides young women to follow their dreams in the modeling industry and not let anything get in your way. I have applied to America’s Next Top Model every year since they allowed us short girls and I know one day I will have the honor of meeting her!
What is going through your mind when you are modeling in front of the camera? Modeling is art to me. I am thinking of how I can create something unique and different. Beauty is not being perfect but being different to stand out. I put a lot of thought and dedication to my photoshoots to go above and beyond. Of course, I have the typical thoughts like “was that a good angle for me” or “I wonder if my baby hairs are showing” but in general it is always very positive and exciting.
In your opinion, in what ways have your social media made an impact on your career and business so far? Social media has been the biggest impact in my career so far. Referrals and word of mouth have been so good to me. I am professional but also a lot of fun and I notice people what that type of environment on set. Photographers and companies I work with will pass my information on to their friends, and that is how I get in business. It is also a great way to connect with link minded individuals in the Fashion and Modeling industry. I am self-managed but have still been able to book amazing gigs and opportunities.
What would be your tips for non-models on how to look good in front of the camera? Practice in front of the mirror. Find the angles you like and use those for your advantage. We all have angles we don’t like but you want to make sure you are aware of that before going in front of a camera. I used to practice for 20 minutes in front of the mirror every day for many years to practice expressions and body movement! Also, take criticism deeply but lightly. Don’t let someone’s criticism break you! You will never make every single person happy so just keep moving forward. For example, I have been told I am short, fat, ugly, full of scars, scrawny, lankly etc. so just realize everyone has their own perspective of what they are looking for and don’t take it personally!
Do you feel Photoshop has created a skewed perception of the ideal body image? In your opinion, how does it affect a woman as a being in general? Yes and no. We need to teach young men and women that it is just an art form. We need to show them the behind the scenes of photoshoots to see the before and after makeup. I see it like this, my face is a canvass and it is up to that make up artist to decide how they want their art to come out. I personally like the more natural look but when I get hired to do a shoot for a company, ideally, they have an image in mind and they are creating the art work. Doing pageants and modeling, you realize that nobody is perfect and we all have things about ourselves that we are not fond of.
Is there anything you would like to do in the future, someone you would like to work with or something you would like to accomplish? There are several opportunities I have on my vision board that I would love to see come true. The top one would be winning the International Crown for Ms Eco International next year and use my voice to help bring the fashion industry and Mother Nature together. Another one would be being accepted and winning America’s Next Top Model. I have a lot to offer and want to show the world. Being featured in a well-known horror movie would rock my world!
Jody, what does it feel going against the system? Who are your biggest supporters and how do you handle negative comments that (if) appear on your social media? It feels amazing to be who I am, no matter what society thinks I should be. My friends and family are my biggest support system and they encourage and motivate me in everything that I do. If someone leaves me negative comments on social media, I try my best to give them more love because they obviously need it. If I know for a fact I didn’t do anything wrong and I am still getting attacked, I let it go in one ear and out the other. You are always going to have haters, but it is best to just keep being you no matter what!
When you are having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better? Surround myself around people I love and people who motivate me. A lot of people like to be by themselves when they are having a bad day, but I want to be surrounded by people who are doing great things in their life. I feed off other people’s successes so that would defiantly pick me up!
What is something you have always wanted to try? I have always wanted to live in a foreign country for a couple months. I believe it is important to experience different cultures in a first-hand experience. I do see that happening in the near future and makes me very excited.
One thing that bugs you about humans is that…? People who do not do their own research and believe everything they see online/media bugs me most. It is important to do research before you buy a product or try something new. It is important to compare multiple studies because there is so much misinformation out there. For example, people do not realize how veganism is the single most important thing you can do for our mother earth and all living things on it because there is so much misinformation out there.
What is something you want more of in your life? More travel time with my partner, Ken. When we travel, I am the happiest girl in the world. We are both very busy growing our businesses and we both are succeeding, which is amazing! We try our best to take a trip every month, even if it is just camping! When we travel, not only do I learn about myself, but we grow together. Thankfully, we both have careers that we can travel and still do what we do!
What is one thing that you are obsessed with that people might be surprised to learn? I am obsessed with fruit! 80% of what I consume comes from fruit. I can eat pounds of grapes in a day or a whole watermelon by myself.
Thank you, Jody Marie.
Originally published in print issue of 2018 August/September Vol I: BUY NOW