I’m sure when you read ‘gorgeous model’ you don’t immediately think, ‘grounded, philosophical and empowered woman, loving mama and wife, and poet.’ We’re here to shatter stereotypes, because Amanda Booth is all of that and more. Amanda is an LA based model and mama who simply put, awes us with her beauty, strength and wisdom. It’s hard to put a finger on what makes Amanda so amazing. She has a witty sense of humor and neat knack for writing rhymes and poetry. Her heart and her smile are both big and beautiful. She truly is a lovely and talented human being. Some might call what she has the ‘it’ factor, and while that may be part of her charm I think, at least for Amanda, it has a lot to do with how she believes in herself - because, since she believes in herself, the whole world believes in her too.
Story and Interview by Miwa Sakamoto
Where did you grow up?
I was born on an Army base in Watertown, NY. We moved a lot (30 times before I was 18) but a home base was always Pennsylvania for me. My grandparents and dad lived there, so we would always end up back in PA.
And where do you call home now and who is family?
My family and I just moved to Los Feliz! Home is where the heart is, and my heart is here! My husband Mike, our son Micah, and my mom MaryAnn live here with me, along with our three pugs (Petey, Jack, and Jasper).
How did you find yourself in the fashion industry?
I had always dreamed to be a model / actress, but I thought you had to get discovered. I didn’t realize there were other ways to work for it, and since that hadn’t happened to be (why would it in middle of nowhere PA?) I went to college for a sport. When that didn’t work out, I decided to pack a suitcase and drive to NY until I made the modeling thing happen for me! If it wasn’t for meeting a girl named Nicole, who set me up with her friend Nicole and a floor to crash on- I don’t know if it would have happened! It took me two months of open calls to get signed with an agency, and that was 11 years ago!
Woah! It takes a lot of courage to pack up and move to a new city to pursue a dream like that. Do you remember those first moments in New York? Do you think all the moving around as a kid helped you adjust?
I am certain that moving as a kid set me up with the right tools to adapt to new situations as well as I had. I remember accidentally taking a train to brooklyn, and crying. I was a hostess in Manhattan when I first started and was staying with my friend in Long Island. One night after leaving the restaurant I fell asleep on the LIRR and I went very far past the stop. I also cried then. It was 2am. Every agency turned me down, saying I was too old (I was 19). One agency said they’d represent me if I got a nose job. Turns out my crooked nose is why I book most of my jobs... I kept trying, eleven years later here I am.
The fashion industry is notoriously judgmental and aesthetic-oriented, how have you personally navigated these difficulties?
I had it really hard at the beginning. Eleven years ago NYC you had to be deathly thin. My agency wanted me to lose a lot of weight, and I just didn’t go for it. I’m not sure if it’s the punk rocker in me who doesn’t care what people think, or the strong women in my life, but I’ve always had a good grasp on my sense of self. I know that every job I book is because of me, and every one that I don’t is because I am not right for it. There’s a difference between being not right, and ugly/fat/short/too skinny/crooked...whatever you can come up with if you think too much!
That’s such a graceful way to understand not being ‘right’ for a job and also such an empowering decision that appreciates rather than denies the sense of place and self-worth. Has being a mama changed or influenced the way you see the world?
I think that my world is what has changed. I live to breathe in Micah. All of my choices are filtered through a giant mesh called “Micah’s Happiness”. I love it! I feel like my life is really deep, worth living, and I want to be as healthy as I can be so that I can be in it with him forever! (Even though being a parent is incredibly difficult when you care so much.)
Can you share one piece of advice on love?
It’s okay and necessary to put other people ahead of you, because if they’re good, they’ll do it back to you. Then everyone ends up on top!
What are your feelings about social media?
It’s a love/hate relationship. I understand its importance for my job, but I really much rather use it for personal connections. I hate “having” to make posts...but I’m working on it. I appreciate it on another level now, after having Micah, to be able to connect with so many families experiencing the same thing that we were / are. It’s been a very important tool for us.
It is so wonderful to hear that you’ve been able to use social media to make personal connections and build a community with other families. What about blogs? Do you have one or do you have any favorites?
My husband and I are going to start a blog with Micah’s pediatrician actually! Our Dr has been incredibly hands on with us from the get go, using plants, vitamins, and minerals to help his body thrive. We have seen incredible results with Micah’s progress, and we want to share what we’re learning with everyone!
That’s awesome! Keep us updated. Micah is now signed with the same agency as you, how do you feel about being a model mama of a model? Do you think that Micah modeling will affect the current standards and expectations of the industry and society?
I think that Micah loves to be the center of attention, and if we can get him to explore that through modeling - then great! If he’s not into it I don’t intend to push it on him. I understand how the industry works, and whomever will relay the message their brand represents best will be in their advertisement. I hope that if Micah’s beauty fits into that, that he not be counted out because he has Down Syndrome.
Are you a morning or night person?
I am definitely a morning person! And thank goodness, because Micah and pappa are early risers (5am!).
Do you like poetry?
I have always loved poetry, very much! When I was a little girl I found a book of poems that my mom was writing by her bed. I loved to read them, even though I didn’t know what they meant. It became an easier way for me to express how I feel than to just say it at times. I even wrote a poem for my vows!
Can you write us a little poem? pleeeeeeease!
Can you write us a little poem? pleeeeeeease! ;) It sure wasn’t easy at the start, but I gave it a good go. I feel like I still have so far to go. If I can just hang on, carry on, and be strong, I’ll get there before too long. Though the there may have changed, now that I have you. I’d give up the world, and just float along with you. So my eyes will stay open, I’ll be aware of it all. Every passing day, will show us the way. In each moment I’ll stay, as we drift and dream away. I’ve figured it out, without a doubt, my dreams have already came true. I have you. Micah Q.
That’s amazing! Thank you! What is your guilty pleasure?
SUGAR! I eat dessert every single day. I love sugar, candy, ice cream... I love it all!
In a past life you were...?
Most likely a Panda bear. Sleepy, cuddly, furry... yup!
hat’s your sign and how do you feel your personality lines up (or doesn’t) with the typical traits of that sign?
I am a Cancer to the T. I LOVE to be at home. I LOVE to take care of people. I am so sensitive - I cry over most commercials...
When is the last time your cried laughing?
The other day my mom and I took these wellness shots from a juice place by my house. Neither of us are really “into” the whole thing, but didn’t want to catch what was going around. Needless to say, the oregano oil and cayenne burned the crap out of our mouths, and we were laughing about the whole experience for a while. I guess you had to have been there...