Meet RatedR Models, Mason’s reign modeling troupe that promotes self-confidence and self-expression.
BY KAYLYN BARNHART, CULTURE EDITOR
Most people believe there are set standards to becoming a model. The idea of a model is thought to have a specific body type and attitude. RatedR Models says that being yourself with your own style and personality is all that it takes to become a model.
Mason’s first Reign Modeling Troupe, RatedR Models, is a student organization established in 2015. Its mission is to promote high self-esteem, self-confidence and to give the ability to brand one’s self through performance-based modeling and fashion.
RatedR does not have a specific fashion style for members to follow, instead, the style is based on how the models want to dress and express themselves.
Throughout each semester, RatedR Models organizes photo and video shoots to give models a chance to show out with their own distinctive styles. “When people think of a modeling troupe, they think of America’s Next Top Model where you have to be something specific. For RatedR, we want models to bring their own personalities to their walk,” Senior Nina Durham, President of RatedR said.
The photo and video shoots help models prepare for the spring show in the spring semester each year. Preparation includes members learning and practicing different runway walk styles and posing techniques while also becoming comfortable with themselves in front of the cameras on the runway.
“RatedR is my first time with more professional runway style modeling. It’s more lively than my other modeling experiences,” Junior Ian Joegriner said. “I’m a naturally energetic person, and RatedR allows me to incorporate that energy and personality into my walk and poses.”
RatedR is composed of first-time models, and those with previous experience in the modeling industry.
Junior Shaleyah McDowell, Vice President, is well versed in the modeling industry. She has been published in two magazines, one of them being Spellbound Magazine, and does freelance modeling in her spare time. McDowell uses her previous and current experience to teach models in RatedR through critiquing them based on her own knowledge.
With the walk, comes the clothes. For some, being a model for RatedR has inspired the exploration of fashion, and creativity with outfits.
“I started discovering who I am with my clothes and I wanted to do more with that. Fashion is definitely one of my favorite passions and pastimes,” Senior Ja’Corie Kinsey said, who joined RatedR as a first-time model in spring 2023.
Joegriner has been modeling for RatedR since spring 2021. He identifies as gender-fluid and the way he dresses is not defined as specifically male or female. “When I joined RatedR, it helped me explore more fluid styles,” Joegriner said.
RatedR is an inclusive team, and encourages those of any gender and ethnicity, shape or form, to audition and join, especially males.
“They [males] are scared to try out because they think it’s more of a girl type of team, but it’s not that…we want more males…we want more inclusion on our team,” Senior Savannah White, Co-Vice President said.
A modeling troupe might be intimidating to some, but RatedR is anything but that. “People should join because the environment that RatedR Models offers is very unique; it’s a family,” Durham said.
Students can follow RatedR Models on their Instagram and TikTok to see when their upcoming shows are. Students who have any inquiries or an interest in joining their team may email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.