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Reaching new heights
local Crook County High School senior is selected to be one of 12 national young people to model for the spring campaign for American Eagle Outfitters
Photo taken by Megan Malone.
February 04, 2013
Megan Malone is like a lot of teens — she likes photography, sings in a choir, and has her own personal style.
Like many teens, she also dreams of being a model. Recently, the Crook County High School senior has been able to see that aspiration become a reality, as she has been on three camera shoots for American Eagle Outfitters, a well-known retail for men and women’s contemporary clothing. The company sponsors a contest every year called “Live Your Life.”
Entrants were encouraged to submit photography, music, dancing, or a hobby or passion that demonstrated their personal style. To be considered as a finalist by the judging panel at American Eagle Outfitters, entrants had to be voted in to the top 200 in their category by other people.
Malone, who enjoys photography and owns her own higher-end digital Nikon camera, entered some candid photos — and waited.
“I checked the website, and I saw myself in the final round. I was not expecting that at all, and I was so excited,” she exclaimed.
As the contest narrowed down, she took first place in the skinny jean category and claimed one of the final 12 spots in the campaign. She soon flew out to Los Angeles, Calif., to be in a camera shoot, which was part of the contest.
Then, she got a call to go to Palm Springs, Calif.
“That wasn’t part of the contest at all, they just liked me.”
As part of the spring campaign for American Eagle Outfitters, she will model different outfits for the spring lineup. The company also arranged to have each of the 12 winners featured in a short video, which is displayed with their profile on their website.
In Palm Springs, Calif., and her most recent camera shoot in Pittsburgh, Pa., she found herself surrounded by other young people on the set — people like Jason Dydynski of Oklahoma City, Okla. Dydynski is a freshman in college and an origami artist. He said he worked with Malone in a couple of different camera shoots, and he was also very excited about the opportunity to be one of the finalists.
“Even though we were all nervous about modeling for the first time, they (American Eagle Outfitters) made us feel comfortable and were really great to work with,” commented Dydynski.
Malone said that she worked with professional photographers, makeup artists, and hair and nail technicians.
“I got my nails done by the person that does Brittany Spears’ nails and Cher, and a bunch of big stars,” she emphasized. Working with some of the big stars was definitely a highlight for her.
One of Malone’s makeup artists, Patti Bell, commented that Malone was very grown up and professional during the event, a quality that bodes well during the long days of the camera shoots.
“The best models are always the ones with a positive attitude and energy about them, as well as having the beautiful physical attributes, height, weight, and looking great in the clothing,” said Bell. “Megan had all of those qualities and more. She really has a clear picture of what she wants to do for a living and has such a great outlook on life, and follows her own creative, artistic path...it’s no wonder why she won the “Live your Life” contest at American Eagle. She really embodies the beautiful, carefree, fun spirit that American Eagle clothing personifies. I foresee a bright future ahead for her.”
“I just got done with my shoot today, it was about 10 hours,” Malone said of her most recent camera shoot in Pittsburgh, Pa. “I don’t think that people give models credit.”
Malone added that many people have the perception that models just stand there and look pretty, but she indicated that it can be tiring, hard work.
“So many people think modeling is a very glamorous job, but in reality, it is a job, and you are there to sell the clothes . . . regardless if you like them or not, or what hairstyle or makeup they put on you,” added Patty Bell. “There are so many creative individuals behind each and every ad, such as the creative director, the photographer, the wardrobe stylist, hair dresser, makeup artist, art directors and assistants galore . . . everyone has a job to do and an opinion about the shot and how the model should look.”
She also indicated that it means the model must be very mature mentally, and be able to handle any direction and constructive criticism that comes along with the business, and that takes a very special person to handle that.
“It gave me a lot of experience in modeling, because I’ve always wanted to go into the modeling industry. It is such a fun thing to do,” Malone said enthusiastically. “I love it so much. I don’t know why I didn’t start earlier.”
Megan will attend Central Oregon Community College in the fall, and pursue an Associate’s Degree in business. She later plans to attend the Art Institute to study photography. Her recent whirlwind of events for American Eagle Outfitters has left a lasting impression, however.
This opportunity has definitely changed my life and pointed me in direction of where I should go.”