Interview: Model Thalissa Tilemans (Belgium)
Interviews / Stories
Can you tell us a little about you?
Sure! My name is Thalissa Tilemans, I’m 26 years old and I live in a small village in Belgium called Herenthout. I work as a crisis counsellor for children between the ages of 12 and 18. Apart from this full-time job and my modelling work I like to stay in shape in the local gym.
If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
My height. I’m about 1m67cm and I would’ve liked to be a couples of inches taller to increase my chances in the modelling world. Being a finalist in the ‘Top Model Belgium’-contest, for instance, I need to partake in the ‘Model’-category because I’m too small for the main ‘Mannequin’-category. But that’s the least of my worries in what is otherwise an amazing experience and exciting challenge.
How did you start modeling?
Gosh, I agreed to the occasional photo-shoot during my college years, but things really took off when I went to a ‘Models on Stage’-casting in Antwerp in 2016. I was a bit nervous considering I’ve never stood on a catwalk before, but they told me I wasn’t bad at all. That gave me the confidence to enlist for the ‘Top Model Belgium 2018’-contest. I screamed when I got accepted, never even remotely considering the possibility of making it all the way to the finals! (laughs) So now I’m really expanding my portfolio by doing these photo-shoots with wonderful and talented photographers, giving me the experience I need for the big show of the finals in Paris next year.
What do you think of the work as a model?
I think it’s great! Honestly, it’s fun to do. You meet all these nice and interesting people who do your hair for you, put your make-up on, dress you in these amazing designer clothes, take care of you and coach you during the shoots, … But functioning and learning to navigate in this new world is definitely a wonderful way to get to know yourself even better too! And don’t even get me started on the results of these wonderful collaborations… I’m taking good care of these pictures so I can proudly look back at them with my little family in a couple of years’ time (smiles).
What is your beauty regimen?
I’ve grown to appreciate the advantages of a healthy skin even more in the last couple of months. It’s really crucial to remove your make-up and to thoroughly cleanse your skin before bed. So I have quite a bit of crèmes and masks in my bathroom cabinet… Other than that I try to work out a couple of times a week and consciously choose the things I eat.
What are your personal qualities which distinguish you from others?
I’m a very passionate, caring and socially motivated person. When I’ve set my sights on something, I really go all out. A nasty by-product of this is my tendency to go too far in my pursuit of perfection and becoming too self-critical. There’s also a lot of beauty to be found in life’s imperfections!
What are your plans for the future?
Non, really. I’m just enjoying the things that cross my path and that’s pretty much it. You have to be realistic as well; the ship towards any sort of “international breakthrough” has kind of sailed by age 26 for a woman these days. I’ll see what the future brings… I just hope I get to be a proud wife and mother who can reflect with satisfaction on this period of my life.
What are some of your favorite experiences so far?
It’s not necessarily the biggest spotlights that give you the most satisfaction, if that can serve as an advice to all you aspiring models. I recently did a fashion show in a neighboring village with only local designers and shops, and it was just a wonderful experience. Helping these people out while having fun and feeling the gratitude of the community made for a truly unique moment where I couldn’t help but count my blessings.
What would you like to do as a model?
I’ve never really did a shoot at an exotic location… so… (laughs) That’s still a dream, really. Aside from that I hope for my Instagram-page @lisstilemans and my blog to continue on their current path of success. Since I’ve been doing this modelling work I’ve gained thousands of followers on social media, resulting in these brands sending me all sorts of exciting products in exchange for some publicity. It’s really sweet.
Do you have any advice for those who want to start modeling?
Stay true to who you are and always firmly indicate your boundaries as a model. You, and no one else, decide the things you do and everyone is going to have to live with it. It’s really about respecting yourself. That’s so important in any development in life, not only modelling.
What do you think of the magazine?
It’s such a fun and inspiring magazine! Honestly, I feel so honoured and humbled to have been asked to feature in it. Thank you so much!