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Kristena Seedwell Talks Modeling and Becoming Her Own Role Model

Like so many, Kristena Seedwell seized the opportunity to launch a new career during the pandemic. “It was a really big shift. I tried to do modeling in Bali, but the industry is so different there. I ultimately decided I’m stuck in Australia because of the pandemic and I’m not gonna be in Indonesia. So I just wanted to start it here.” Australia had real potential in terms of offering outlets for her creative pursuits. “If I moved to Australia, I’d probably have more opportunities in the workforce and career options because it’s a more developed country. You can do anything you want here in Australia and it’s really limited what you could do back in Bali where you probably work at a restaurant or open your business, but here you could do so many cool things that you can’t do there.” Now, she works through her agency, Chic Management Brisbane. Kristena is a brand new face in the modeling world, but she’s loving every second thus far. “I’ve been in the industry for about six months going on seven months, so I’m fairly new to it. I think the best experience I’ve had is just meeting so many new people and getting new friends, because I have a hard time finding friends. When you’re put in an industry where you have pretty much the same interests and career as everyone else, you get along with people really well. I really like being able to make new friends and connections with people and also traveling. It’s a bummer to travel around and waste your time sitting in a car for seven hours. Ultimately when you arrive at a shoot, you’re kind of tired and groggy, but when you’re done with the day, it just feels so satisfying.” The job allows her to embrace a new chapter. “Not long ago, I went to Melbourne for a photo shoot. That’s just another place in Australia, but I had to take a plane for the first time by myself and that was pretty fun. I had to stay at the hotel and  get around on my own. I felt independent for the first time ever, so it teaches me a lot. I’ve never been this independent before in my life!” 

Kristena is also openly bisexual. “I remember as a kid, I used to think everyone was beautiful. I just realized that I would always be staring at beautiful women when I was a kid. Then when I was around 12, I discovered this whole world of the LGBT community online and that it was actually possible to like more than one gender. I thought that it was only exclusively, either you’re homosexual or you’re straight. I didn’t know that there were more options than that. I was in a lot of confusion at the time.” This revelation could have been quite combustible in Bali. “Where I grew up, it’s a pretty conservative country, especially in Indonesia where being gay is not really normal. Gay marriage is still illegal and it’s not really accepted within the community, so I never spoke out about it. The internet was the only place where I could sort of figure things out.” Luckily, her big move ushered in a shift in social climate, although there’s always online hate to deal with. “In Australia, it’s so accepting. Everyone is open to LGBT people. It’s not really that taboo here. You actually have a community and you can actually be open about it. Because I have a pride flag in my IG bio, right? Sometimes people will comment and DM me about stuff like that, sending me homophobic slurs. That’s just something that I’ve been going through for the past two years.”

Finding your niche is a struggle Kristena knows well. “I’m still going through a bit of an identity crisis. At the moment I still haven’t figured it out, but I’m pretty sure I know what I’m doing. I have this thing where I don’t really feel connected to either culture. Here in this country, I love it, but I’m just not connected to anyone really. And when I go back to my country, I don’t really feel connected to my culture either because I’m sort of pushed out. It’s either I’m not Balinese enough or I’m not white enough.“ She encourages everyone to resist the pressure to conform and celebrate their own uniqueness. “I want to step my foot out there, make a name for myself and make sure that everyone knows that they can actually do whatever they wanna do. You don’t have to be labeled. You can just create your own label.”

She wants to serve as an example to her younger audience. “I do realize that I have a lot of LGBT followers. I have a thing on my Instagram where it tells me where my audience is from. A lot of my audience is from America and a lot of them are females. I also found out that a lot of them are part of the LGBT community and I want my platform to be a safe space, you know? Cause I remember when I was younger and I was on the internet, there wasn’t really much you could find. If I could have someone that I looked up to that was also similar to me, I feel like that would be really cool.” She strives to be authentically herself. “I try not to be the same as anyone else. I’m trying to be my own person and let my personality get out there because I feel like it’s just boring if everyone’s the same, especially if you’re forcing yourself to be what society wants you to be. That’s just so bad for you.” Her end goal is to potentially become a YouTuber (in addition to modeling) and formally establish herself as a voice of wisdom and comfort for LGBT adolescents. “I feel like I would reach a lot more people and express myself a lot more if I had a YouTube channel. I could reach a lot of people like teenage girls. I know that being a teenager is hard and I’m still going through it. I also feel like I can also help people that are just discovering themselves as part of the LGBT community. It was such a weird road for me trying to figure it out. If I include anything on a video or make a video just talking about it, I feel like I could just help somebody that’s trying to get through it.” Kristena will be happy to shepherd the next generation into a brighter, more colorful future. 

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Kristena Seedwell Talks Modeling and Becoming Her Own Role Model. Photo Credit (in order): Carlene Raschke and Ben Adams.

 

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