"Someone once told me that your purpose in life can be found where your passion and skill set meet a world need; the first thing you have to do is find your passion."
-Sarah DeAnna, Model, Speaker and Author
Can you give us a brief overview of all the various things that you do?
Professionally speaking, I’m an international fashion model, a bestselling author, a writer, speaker, health coach, mentor, and a personal empowerment professional.
Tell me more about your career before starting your work as an author, coach and speaker?
Before I became any of those things, I was an international fashion model traveling all over the world and modeling for some big names and brands in the industry.
What inspired you to do the work that you do today?
I love the way you worded that. What inspires me is exactly what ‘inspired’ me and continues to inspire me. I have always been fascinated with health and fitness ever since I was a little girl. And given that I had a rough childhood, I know a thing or two about how someone’s upbringing affects them mentally, physically and spiritually. So it has been my personal mission to help others become the healthiest, happiest and best version of themselves, despite where they came from or what misbelieves they hold about their body or their life. I refer to this person in my book as their ‘supermodel self’.
How did you manage writing your book Supermodel YOU, building your profile and coaching work alongside your modeling career?
The book idea started off because I used to coach and mentor other models I was living with and traveling abroad with. Many of these girls today are Victoria’s Secret models, sports illustrated models and high profile supermodels. We were all really young and had no idea what to eat or what to do to stay healthy and in top model shape. I was a little more used to taking care of myself than many of the other girls since I’d been responsible for feeding and taking care of myself from a young age. I made a lot of mistakes which is how you learn, but once I started modeling and offering advice to others and being seen as the ‘expert’, I knew that I had to make sure that what I was advocating was not only going to work, but that it was also healthy! That’s when I really delved into educating myself on everything regarding the body, health and fitness and all the various things that affect our bodies, our looks and our health. I was and still remain extremely passionate about these things, so doing the work, writing, reading, studying, and drawing my own hypothesis about these things was fun to me.
I soon realised that it wasn’t just models that needed this advice but millions of women and girls. People needed to know that you really can have the body of your dreams and still be healthy. Plus, I was tired of everyone saying and believing that the only way to have a body like a supermodel was to develop an eating disorder, drug addition or some other type of unhealthy behaviour. It’s certainly not the case and people need to know that. Most models today have healthy behaviours and habits – you’re more likely to find them with healthy addictions to kale chips, green juice and yoga! That’s how the book Supermodel YOU came to be.
What’s been the biggest highlight?
People ask this question a lot. I’ve had major accomplishments in my life and I have done and seen many things. I am extremely grateful for all of these. But I don’t believe we, as humans are ever truly satisfied. We always want to do more, achieve more and have more. I actually think is a gift because otherwise we would quit once we peaked and so our creation and growth would cease. Ironically, it’s not my magazine covers or my runway show appearances or even my bestselling author title that I am most proud of or would call a highlight. For me, my biggest highlights to date would be graduating from high school and getting my book published. I grew up in a small town with a really high dropout rate. Most of my friends dropped out of school, became addicted to drugs or got pregnant. I was the first and only kid in my family to even graduate from high school and as normal as that sounds to a lot of people, it wasn’t normal to me at all. It was a huge accomplishment and means more to me than my college degree. The next big highlight was not only having my book published but having it published by Hay House. To me Hay House is the best publishing house in the world. I truly believe in what they do, the books and other materials they produce and in everything they stand for. It’s an honour to say that I’m a Hay House author and part of the Hay House family!
What’s been the biggest challenge?
Life is a challenge. I don’t think anything in my life has ever come easy or been easy. Career wise, I struggle today to balance my modeling career and my book and brand work. In many ways I walked away from my modeling career to write and work on my book and also, on my personal self. I kept modeling but not at the level that I was. My hope was that once my book was a success the two careers would have a more cohesive relationship, but thus far the two have been quite separate in many ways! I think that’s because as a model look-wise, I am very high fashion and edgy which doesn’t immediately seem to go well with my positive empowerment message. But I am optimistic! The industry has changed a great deal and has really begun to embrace models of diversity – many of whom have a message and who are more than just a face and a body. I love this – it makes me very happy!
Supermodel YOU made it on the Amazon Bestseller List and you’ve had some amazing PR having been featured on the likes of WWD and NY Daily News. What’s your secret?
I truly believe that we are our biggest secret weapon. Sure I had a PR team when my book launched but honestly most of the best PR I received I got myself, by myself, for being myself. I wrote a book I believed in. I worked really hard on it. I’m proud of it. I know it will help people. And I want to reach as many people as I can with this message. When you want to help others and reach them in a selfless way, people are so much more willing to help you get that message out there. Being a model has also opened doors to people that I otherwise probably wouldn’t have had access to and because of that I am extremely grateful. But access never guarantees anything. I had plenty of people say they would help me who ultimately didn’t do anything. And that’s perfectly okay. At the end of the day, don’t waste your time waiting for people to help you. Still know and realise your value if they don’t. Your secret weapon is owning your value, honouring that and staying true to yourself.
What advice would you give to other women who dream of starting their own business or going for their passion?
Someone once told me that your purpose in life can be found where your passion and skill set meet a world need. With that said, the first thing you have to do is find your passion. What makes you tick? What do you love to do? What interests you? What would you still do even if you weren’t being paid for it? It’s not always easy to find your passion, but once you do it’s the biggest gift life can give you! Once you know what you’re passionate about it, act on that! I am passionate about health and fitness and in empowering people. Once you find your passion you have to figure how you are going to share that passion with the world and how that passion is going to help others. I actually don’t like to write at all and never say that I’m a writer; I prefer to be called an author. It was the research and knowledge that I love and for me the best way to share that information was through a book. There are so many other ways to share your message and your passion so don’t hold back. Writing was how I chose to do it but some people prefer social media, face-to-face interaction, YouTube or some other medium. Regardless of how you decide to share your message and passion, share it! No matter how silly you might think it is, if you’re passionate about it, people will resonate with that. Trust me! Passion is one of the biggest keys to success.
What’s next for you?
I have so much I want to do with Supermodel YOU. For me, it’s more than a book. It’s a brand. It’s a lifestyle and it’s something I want everyone to embrace for themselves. So there are a lot of exciting things in the works with that. I also do a lot of charity work and I’d love to be more actively engaged with a brand or a non-profit company who shares the same vision. I also plan on writing more books.
What’s your favourite quote?
There are so many I truly love, but I often find myself referring to Rumi’s quote, “What you seek is seeking you.” I believe that everything we desire in life; the job, the love, the body, the health, and everything else we might want is out there looking for and waiting for us. Never lose hope on that. In my personal life, I have seen how powerful this quote is. The secret to attracting what you’re seeking is in knowing what it is that you truly want. Don’t be ambiguous about it! That’s why we get things that only ‘sort of’ fit, but not quite. The clearer you are in what you are seeking the better it is for those things to find you.
Overcoming childhood poverty and personal tragedy, Sarah DeAnna graduated high school with honors, then put herself through college, graduating early with an International Business Marketing degree. After college, SarahDeAnna went on to become a successful international high fashion model. Sarah, author of Supermodel YOU is fascinated with nutrition and health and is also committed to compassionate living and spreading the message to women and young girls that beauty radiates from within and that self-love, confidence, and a commitment to health are what make every woman just as gorgeous as any supermodel.