Model has a mind to tackle mental health

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Pursuing a career in modelling had always been something that had interested Naomi Holt. It wasn’t until people started telling her that she should try it that she took a step towards the runway. At 15, her first validation occurred after finishing runner-up in a model search competition. From here, modelling was on and off, but she was forever striving ahead. Naomi has now modelled for Bonds, Cotton On, Target, Ozmozis, and Wanted Shoes, to list a few. The latter was an international campaign, which was a highlight for the 26-year-old.

The Mornington Peninsula-born and raised model has lived in Amsterdam and in Melbourne but always comes back to the Peninsula. A degree in marketing didn’t sit too well with Naomi because she knew it just wasn’t for her. It was time to soul-search. For a year and a half she fully embraced modelling. After reflecting that she enjoyed her psychology classes during high school, Naomi stepped into a university course in psychology. Having dyslexia, she knew it would be difficult with her learning disability — but Naomi believes “hard isn’t an excuse”. 

The course saw her study in Amsterdam for five months and graduate earlier this year. Before returning for her master’s degree, Naomi’s been traveling and combining her two worlds in an Instagram page and blog called Mind the Model. It’s a space where mental health, self-care and body celebration thrive. Psychology and modelling seem like very different fields, yet she’s amalgamated them perfectly to share not only her story but other women’s stories, from models to strong women sharing their mental health experiences.  

She’s a stunning woman with the kindest heart. Naomi’s giving back even more by volunteering at Jesuit Social Services as she completes one-on-one mentoring with kids leaving the statutory protection system. You’ll also find her working with the Leaving Care Program as she assists young adults to enter adulthood as they leave the system. As a survivor of domestic violence as a child, she’s flattered that she was asked to be an ambassador for the Polished Man Campaign this year. This movement is all about men and women painting one of their fingernails with nail polish to raise awareness of violence against children and to highlight that one child dies every five minutes as a result of domestic violence. 

You won’t be surprised when we tell you she’s got a five-year plan. Not only will she be a practising psychologist, but she’s envisions that Mind the Model will be a popular platform where people can speak openly about mental health and self-care. Planning to run workshops on self-care at schools is also high on the list because it’s something that isn’t taught in schools.

“Modelling has been amazing as it’s also allowed me to have a platform to have a voice and to use that voice in an interesting way,” Naomi says. “I don’t want it to stop. I’d love to become an ambassador for self-care, celebrating our bodies and caring for our mental health. Modelling is an exciting career, yet it doesn’t feed my soul enough.” 

With a freshly relaunched website, Naomi is offering a free seven-day challenge focused on celebrating your body and accepting who you are in an effort to reframe how you think. Visit www.mindthemodel.com and follow Naomi on Instagram @naomikholt and Mind the Model @mind_the_model

KATE SEARS

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