interviews 
 

Elle's Angels
Elle UK preview issue, September 1985

YASMIN PARVANEH
Agency: Models One (London), Elite (Paris, New York)
Age: 20
Height: 5ft 9in
Weight: no idea
Statistics: 34-25-36
Hair: dark brown
Eyes: dark brown
Star Sign: Scorpio

Yasmin is always described as "sexy."  She has an amazing body and an extraordinarily beautiful face.  She also has personality, intelligence and strong convictions.  All this is tempered with a wry, self-depreciating sense of humour.  Small wonder that she is the hottest property on the modelling circuit right now.  Her half-British (she comes from Oxford) half-Persian lineage accounts for her sultry, dark good looks, and her close relationship with her family and friends for her uncommon good sense.  Her view of the modelling industry is like a breath of fresh air.

"It's difficult not to get obsessed with looks in this job.  You see people change after a couple of years.  They become insecure.  They worry about growing old.  I've never really thought of myself as a beautiful woman.  I spend most of my time gawping at other models, thinking how beautiful they are.  I go up to girls on the street and tell them they should take up modelling.  When I look at myself in magazines, I know it's not me.  In fact, the more I model, the more I shy away from the notion of glamour.

"I eat carefully.  I'm a vegetarian.  I jump around a lot to keep fit and my personal style verges on the casual.  I never wear make-up if I can avoid it and I'm not that interested in fashion.  I'd like to move into an area connected with art, to do something to help young artists.

"A photographer said to me the other day, 'Oh, I really like the way you look.  It's a pity you're not still 15.'  I could have throttled him and all those agencies and photographers who start real babies working.  Many of them are very naive and find it all a bit too much.  When I left school I really didn't know what I wanted to do and was just bumming around.  My mother and sister suggested modelling.

"It is certainly a way of meeting interesting people but you can have too much of a good thing.  I try to stick to that old saying, 'Everybody's friend is nobody's friend."  I rely on my family and old friends a great deal and keep in constant contact.  I can't see them as much as I'd like but just thinking about them helps.  If I'm having a really tough time on a session I close my eyes and think of them for 10 minutes until I feel calm and get things into perspective.

"That old prejudice about models being stupid is still widespread but in this job you can't afford to put people's backs up, so I just keep quiet.  That's why I like working with the ELLE photographers.  They treat you like an intelligent woman and ask for your opinion.  ELLE is about youth, vitality and strength.  It's not about taking yourself too seriously and in the fashion business, that's rare.

"My love life?  It saddens me that national newspapers have nothing better to do than report on one particular couple's private life.  I have the same problem as others: you sit by the phone with a diary making plans to see someone you ought to be with all the time."  (In Yasmin's case her boyfriend, Simon Le Bon.)

 
    contact