ODILE, MODEL, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, GRAPHIC DESIGNER & ACTIVIST
Welcome to the Cercle des Créatrices Inspirées where I meet sunny women to discuss creativity, art, self-confidence and entrepreneurship.
Margaux : It was on the cover of an issue of Marie-Claire magazine that I discovered Odile Gautreau and her magnetic aura, which immediately attracted me.
A few weeks later, I had the opportunity to chat with her in her Paris apartment. She told me how after training in graphic design and art direction, she was chosen to pose for the cover of Paulette Magazine as a reader - which marked the start of her modeling career.
Today, she has worked with big names such as L'Oréal, Nike, Zalando, or even Ester Manas.
Also active on the networks, she is one of the French faces of the "body positive" movement and fights for self-acceptance and inclusivity, and against racism.
Over the course of these exchanges, Odile tells us how she managed to surpass herself and gain self-confidence, and talks about those moments that help her to be bold on a daily basis.
I hope that these moments shared with Odile will bring you, too, the keys to personal fulfillment !
Margaux: Can you introduce yourself?
Odile: My name is Odile, I grew up in the Paris region. I have a background in graphic design, and then I trained in art direction. I started working, but I stopped to dedicate myself to modeling full time.
I started modeling almost ten years ago now. Friends subscribed me to Paulette magazine, and they were already asking their readers. I tried, I was selected and I did my first shoot.
Margaux: You often talk about body positivism and self-acceptance. What relationship do you have with your body?
Odile: When I started modeling, I didn't have a very cool relationship with my body. It helped me see myself, and it wasn't something I used to do before - or rather in pain. I grew up in an environment where I had no references to accept who I was fully - like in relation to my African origins for example, or to succeed in accepting one's frizzy hair when one is in an environment where everyone has straight hair... It's hard to accept who you are. Now it's better, but it's true that it's a job that is done over time.
Margaux: You are very present on Instagram, a platform that is often controversial in terms of its impact on self-image and the perception of others. What relationship do you have with social networks?
Odile: I find it more difficult to post on Instagram than a few years ago, because we are in this constant relationship to image or perfection. I try to be spontaneous, not to take my head, to post things that inspire me and to be as real as possible.
The virtual world is more inclusive because there are more representations, while the rest of the images that come from brands or magazines still carry standards, codes, trends.
It also confines because there is always the relationship to the body which is shown to be perfect.
I think it's easier today to find yourself in other people's homes, and understand that we're not alone, and that there are people who look like us and who are going through the same experiences as us. .
Margaux: I discovered you through your cover for Marie-Claire magazine. Can you tell me about it?
Odile: It's very rare to have cover projects for magazines like Marie-Claire, an institution in the French press. It was one of the first projects where I was asked to express myself, to talk about my relationship to the body, to my identity. And it's not every day, as a model, that we are asked to express ourselves on our convictions.
Margaux: Model and active on the networks, you are highlighted and very exposed to the eyes of others. What helps you find the strength to step out of your comfort zone and be bold? How did you develop this self-confidence?
Odile: I project the image of someone who has self-confidence, but in reality, I step out of my comfort zone with every project I do. What I really dreaded in modeling was fashion weeks and shows because it's a oneshot.
It's the type of project that I'm happy to do, but I'm scared. So I try to refocus, to breathe, I like to make jokes. I share the moment with the other models who are on the project so it helps me to tell myself that I am not alone, that others are also afraid but we know we are capable of it. It is this sorority that helps me to cross the course.
Margaux: What are your dreams?
Odile: Over time, I learned to detach myself from the idea of dreams. When I look at where I am today, my dreams have come true but never in the way I imagined them. I would say that I just want to be fulfilled, and that what life has in store for me is centered on what I like to do. Me, my dream is just to have no regrets and to be at peace with everything I've put in place in my life.
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Margaux: According to you, what is your strength?
Odile: Love is my strength. I try to let myself be carried away by this emotion on a daily basis, and I have the impression of being more at peace with myself by letting love prevail in my relationships.
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Jeanne Perrotte for photos and video shooting - editing ŌKAN STUDIO.