Amy says life is all boring if we don’t expand our horizons. Not being a stagnant person, she is on a ride to learn more and have fun trying new realities.
Passion, Pilot & Fitness are the three words that serve the taste of fit and fabulous Amy Taylor, who grew up around research and academia, but was wonderfully intellectual, curious, and open-minded to explore the expanding realities of life. From becoming a quintessential part of the modeling industry, holding her ground, to embracing the coming of age concepts of fashion and beauty in its truest form, Taylor takes us through her incredible journey in an exclusive interview. Edited excerpts follow.
From receiving an undergraduate degree in Berkeley, MBA in Los Angeles, and then a commercial pilot’s license in Arizona to a published model, tell us about the change and how it all began? What was the motivation behind your decision?
I just absolutely love to learn. If I had the time and money, I’d probably just keep getting degrees and mastering other tasks. I feel alive when I master just about anything new and complex. For me, it’s really fun to solve a problem and try to understand something new, particularly if it’s technical (I guess I have a geeky side, or perhaps it’s just in my blood; I come from a long line of academics and researchers). Life is boring if we aren’t expanding our realities, and I never want to be a person who’s stagnant. There’s definitely so much more I want to learn; I won’t be able to do it all in this lifetime, but I’ll have fun trying! Making it big in the industry and the covers of international magazine are never easy.
Tell us about your experience so far through the world of glamour and the hurdles that you have come across.
Well, there are a lot of sleazy men in this business, sadly who prey upon models particularly when they perceive us to be young, single, naive and poor. They try to use power and masculinity to psychologically dominate such women, which is a huge hassle. I don’t allow that, which has certainly made some men in this industry very angry. They aren’t accustomed to women demanding power. However, things are changing a bit, hopefully, for the better. There’s also a total lack of regulation and protection for models, so there are no uniform procedures to develop a career, ensure one is being treated fairly in all ways, and generally manage things in the best way… Often, the learning curve involves a lot of mistakes. They’re good and bad agents, publishers, editors, photographers, crew, producers, and others… one just has to try to be smart since there are few unions or other labor protections. Certainly, there’s a ton of room for reform of the workplace abuses and general business headaches that occur. That said, being around creative people, having worldwide adventures, and living life on my terms has been worth all the hassle. I’m not sure everyone would want to choose the same, but for me, it’s been a fun ride, even with the hurdles!
There are a lot of sleazy men in this business, sadly who prey upon models particularly when they perceive us to be young, single, naive and poor. They try to use power and masculinity to psychologically dominate such women, which is a huge hassle. I don’t allow that, which has certainly made some men in this industry very angry.
Share with us a bit more about your multi-faceted lifestyle and how you combine it all?
I have a lot of spare time since I didn’t ever get married or have children. Most women’s careers are derailed by wifehood and motherhood; me choosing to do neither of those frees up a lot of time, energy and money to chase my dreams. I’m easily able to combine flying, modeling, writing, traveling, and all the fun stuff, including dating, friends, family and charity work. To be honest, I pay others to do the wifely duties. I prefer it this way…for me, life is fun when I put myself first. Selfish? Maybe. But most certainly a lot of fun!
Since we are all currently stuck up in our homes owing to the global pandemic caused by Covid-19, how are you staying on track with your fitness goals?
Luckily, I belong to a gym that has an open rooftop and an outdoor area on the beach, wherein I’m able to work out while socially distancing myself from my trainer. She instructs me from a good 10 feet away, everything is sanitized, there are zero safety issues, and therefore things are fine. I also practice yoga at home and have added running on the beach to the list. Thankfully, our government has allowed this realizing that they can’t lock people down so much that they go crazy, and that fitness is part of the solution to health, not the problem. Fitness is as vital as anything else; we’ve all managed to stay on track even in these nonsense times.
You have always been a fitness enthusiast. Gymming is one of your favourite pastimes. What exercises comprise your fitness regime or workout routine?
I have a trainer and she helps me doing functional training with weights a few days a week. I have also added jogging, bicycling, yoga, pilates, and interval training, all perhaps one day a week or so, to round out nice several hours of fitness every week. The variety keeps her from getting bored and keeps muscle groups more evenly worked and relaxed. For me, it’s playtime, not a chore but a luxury. Nothing matters if we don’t have health, so it’s a non-negotiable in my life to take care of my body as best I can.
Are you into some special diet to remain healthy and physically fit?
Not at all! I eat whatever I want, as per my cravings. Luckily, I enjoy relatively healthy food, and the style of food in Southern California is generally fresh and heavy on vegetables, low on fat and sugar. So it’s pretty easy to eat, delicious and healthy! I’m sure if I lived in other parts of the country that would be more difficult.
“With an insatiable desire to unravel the new age concepts of beauty and fashion, Taylor encourages you to be ethical, learn from the bumps and always trust your guts. She says, “Life is boring if we aren’t expanding our realities.”
You are a woman of confidence and high self-esteem. Share some motivational words to the budding models who like to follow you and want to know the secret to the ladder of success in this field.
I’m not sure if I have such high self-esteem (She laughs!). People seem to ascribe that to me, without being psychic, so I must give off that impression. Indeed, I’m not really focused on the negative (waste of time), so perhaps people think my life is flawless. But that’s untrue. I just don’t air them to the world, when not necessary. To budding models who follow me and want success, I suggest them to work hard, be 100 percent ethical, stay very clear of those who don’t do both of those things and just keep plugging away. The hardest is the beginning, but as you learn and prove your worth, you’ll deal with better people, become a better person yourself, and end up with a successful career and likely a healthy salary and life. There will be bumps in the road for sure, but use them to learn and improve. And when people tell you who they are, good or bad, believe them and stay or go, accordingly. Your gut is almost always right.
You have earlier been on a tour to India. Being a part of the fashion and modelling industry, what are your views on Indian couture?
I have been to the North of India. I badly want to go to the South as soon as I can! From what little I’ve seen, India is a magical country, with people I absolutely adore. I was enchanted by its fashion and culture and fell in love with it when I visited. The couture reflects the legendary complexity of Indian fabrics; like India itself, its designers are varied in heritage, materials and technology. I’m pleased to see India valuing minimal and sustainable culture; it’s vital that the fashion industry work to reduce its damaging footprint on the planet. I know several Indian designers already gearing up to do this for their collections to be released next year. I’m excited to see what they do in couture!
Aside from fitness, what else is keeping you busy?
Right now, travel. I’ve been staying near my home for the entire year, and I just can’t anymore. So I’m about to go to the Maldives and Dubai for most of the next month, and I’m quite happy to get away. I’ve been careful and safe, but I’ve got to live my life. So right now, I’m busy packing and being excited! Despite being a model who is always on the go with a busy schedule, you have visited around 45 countries across the globe.
Where would you like to go next, either on a junket or a vacation?
I’m leaving for the Indian Ocean in a few days. Following that trip, I’ve still got Africa, the Middle East and Antarctica on my bucket list. I just have to figure out good times to do both. Since my family is European, I’ve been there so many times I’m sort of over it. I’d like to spend the next few years exploring more of the rest of the world.
“Indeed, I’m not really focused on the negative, which is a sheer waste of time, so perhaps people think my life is flawless. But that’s untrue. I just don’t air them to the world, when not necessary.”
Share a quote from your favorite author that defines you.
It’s by Christopher Hitchens, in “Letters to a Young Contrarian”: Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.
Share with us your Top 5 Beauty Tips to get flawless skin
- Never go to sleep with your makeup on
- Eat your vegetables and drink lots of water
- Get plenty of sleep
- Let yourself love
Tell us something about your future projects. Is there something you are working on currently?
I’ll be on a few other magazines and podcasts this next year, discussing a variety of topics (my industry, political activism and models). Stay tuned!