How to become a model in Seventeen Magazine — like my daughter!

betty ming liu Inspiration, Relationships 77 Comments

Hey, guess what — my baby’s in the April issue of Seventeen Magazine! Look for her on page 82! She’s in the upper right-hand corner of the “pretty prom styles!” photo layout. That’s my Gabrielle, the dimpled cutie with the elegant updo!

Sorry for putting you through all those exclamation points. But we’re just so excited! Gabi loves fashion and dream to model just came true!

This moment is also a breakthrough for another reason…

When I launched my blog two years ago, Gabi was 14 and wanted her privacy. So I never showed photos of her face and rarely wrote about her. If I mentioned her in passing, she was simply identified as “The Princess.” But now that she’s ready to be a celebrity (haha!), I’m very proud to have you meet my only child on her terms.

Gabi’s first-ever modeling experience felt like being in a very glamorous movie.

The adventure began with an early morning drive from our home in the suburbs to Manhattan. Our destination was the Hearst Corp.’s fancy W. 57th Street headquarters.

We reported in at 8:30 a.m. and stayed until about 2:30 p.m.

During those six hours, we were dazzled by the meticulous work involved in pulling off a fashion shoot. Hair genius Damian Monzillo sculpted the ‘do. Makeup artist Keiko Hiramoto was amazing. So was stylist Chrissy Lloyd.

The actual photo shoot was mesmerizing. Photographer Peter Rosa and digital tech Angus Oborn were constantly in motion. And all that expensive digital equipment — wow. After it was over, Gabi took a few photos of the studio on her cell phone. Then she changed into her regular grrrl clothes.

Getting into the elevator and leaving was kinda sad. It had been such a crazy, over-the-top day. Of course, Gabs is now hoping to do more modeling. If you have a potential gig, let’s talk. As a novice stage mom, I could use good advice too.  ;-)

A big thank you to the wonderful folks at Seventeen Magazine. Beauty Assistant Molly Ritterbeck guided us through the day. Bookings Editor Alicia Bridgewater was so supportive through the entire process.

And of course, a huge hug to my former NYU student, Seventeen Magazine intern Laxmi Rodulfo. She was the one who directed us to Seventeen’s Facebook page and told us that the magazine uses teen readers as models. Note: Seventeen’s Facebook page currently has info on its “Real-Girl Cover Contest.”

Btw, as a concept, Facebook pages are a gold mine. They’re a completely different category from the individual profiles that we each have. The pages are public places for sellers to mingle with potential buyers. These days, it seems like every store, chain, business and political cause has a public page where customers can get the scoop on special deals and projects. In fact, if you’re marketing anything — any kind of product or service — creating your own page makes sense.

P.S. — Want to read about more about Gabi’s modeling adventures? Then go to this 2012 post about her second gig: “My kid get to model again in Seventeen magazine.”


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Comments 77

  1. Sarah Kim

    I literally got butterflies when I received this post in my inbox this morning. She looks absolutely stunning and I personally think you don’t have enough exclamation points!! This is so exciting. And I absolutely love how much time it took to her get her ready when the magazines are always selling these hair-dos as fast, easy, and simple. Congratulation and best of luck in the future! Now all your past journalism students can live vicariously as a NYC model through her!!

  2. Isha D

    Betty, this was so exciting to read! Gabi looks BEAUTIFUL and her energy really shines through in the pics!! Also, I love the dress she was wearing– she looks great in it!
    Random side note: It’s funny… when I was interning at MC, they took us on a tour of those studios. Must have been so exciting to be a part of all that activity!

  3. Post

    thanks, y’all! so glad that gabi’s first experiemce was in seventeen because it’s such a classy, smart, age-appropriate venue. this gig was an eye-opener for me re just how demanding the fashion/beauty world is. takes real drive & strategic intelligence to make it. getting lucky helps too.

    also learned a lot about branding. how brilliant of seventeen to use reader models. It builds reader loyalty. the girls aren’t paid, which is a money saver for the mag. and the girls are thrilled by the self esteem-building experience.

    btw, I have some outtakes from that day which I will post to my fb page later. They are among my fav pix but they didn’t fit thefocus of this post. Hope this comment reads ok…I’m texting this on my phone while walking through grand central station! Xo

  4. Julia Morpurgo

    Congrats, Betty!! Your daughter is stunning and I’m so glad you got to do the “Hearst Experience” together! What a fun bonding day!! Miss you!

  5. Theory

    Congrats Betty, how exciting! She is beautiful and with a smart mother like you I’m sure she will go far in any field she chooses – although modeling suits her well.

  6. Stephanie Fisher

    Oh my gosh Betty you’re daughter is so beautiful! Congratulations!!! That’s SO exciting for her. Good luck on future shoots :-)

  7. Shirley Bubbles

    Wow, Congratulations!

    Time flies! The FIRST time and the last time I met your princess while you were helping me with my graduate thesis in the restaurant. By then, she was a few years old girl! LOL

    Gabi was a lovely girl and now she has become a gorgeous young model!

  8. M. Skye Holly

    Your daughter is a knockout!
    It is so cool to finally ”meet” her…on her own terms and everything. Through the blog, it was kind of like watching her grow up (only technically not seeing anything, but maybe a finger here or there). This is kind of like watching a favorite child star in a sense (the ones that turned out right, anyway, like Keshia Knight Pulliam a.k.a “Rudy” from The Cosby Show or Rick Schroder from Silver Spoons and NYPD Blue.
    Your Princess has long stimulated our minds with her intelligence, wit, extracurricular activities and cool sets of friends. I’ve loved reading about her troupe stuff, trips to NYC, Nicki Minaj concerts with her hip mama, and of course, anything vegetarian. She’s brilliant and brainy (is that a Liu thing?) and now Seventeen has the world seeing she’s beautiful on the outside, too.
    What a hottie! Definitely getting a copy of the mag.

    And, I’ve always loved the name Gabrielle, too.

    Any chance she’ll start blogging? What a way to come out of a shell! I thought I liked getting older, but maybe I want to go back to high school now. Do I feel proud, too? Or am I just jealous?!

  9. Post

    Oh, she’s BEAUTIFUL! I know you’re proud as hell!

    I think I might just buy this magazine…perhaps Gabrielle can sign it for me someday! ;-)

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