Over the years we have come across many instances where people have defied their age and done amazing things. We all remember China’s hottest grandpa, Wang Deshun, who walked the ramp, bare-chested at the age of 80. Similarly, we recently came across Mandy Priestley, a 53-year-old woman who has almost just begun her career in the model and glamour industry, right after spending years typing up patents and trademarks as an office job.
Let’s get to know more about Mandy straight from her in this edition of WORLD MODEL HUNT magazine. Hey!
We know it isn’t good asking a woman her age, but just to verify we’ve mentioned the right one would you like our readers to know your age.
Sure-53. Born March 1966
Tell us about yourself what’s the story behind you modeling at this age? Is this a career rest or just a hobby?
I did a little bit of modeling (photographic and runway) in my spare time when in my late 20’s/early 30’s. After I left my home country modeling was knocked on the head until summer last year when my partner picked up photography as a new hobby with a lesson from a professional photographer based in the UK. During the lesson, I was the model, and we both found it a great experience and learned a lot, and in fact, were both inspired to pursue it more seriously.
From that point on I have been Alan’s guinea pig and I guess his inspiration (and muse) as he’s been developing his skills and mine. We practice often and our experience comes in useful as we have quite a few clients that are unsure how to pose. However, my main role in the business we have set up is as a makeup artist, and this is something I trained in last year. We are finding that the in-house combination of makeup and photography works well.
Tell as shout your education. Have you had fashion modeling courses? What red courses or studies have you taken?
While living in South Africa 20+ years ago a friend of mine suggested I try out with a local modeling school. There I was schooled in the model “walk” and how to pose. Since then I haven’t had any other formal training. Just lots of practice in the last year, and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
You have a very well-maintained body (Thank you!). What’s your routine to keep that up and how long have you been working for it!
I have always been a bit of a “gym rat” and became an aerobics instructor at 18 after 2 years of attending classes. After running aerobics classes I would push myself to do circuit training, and eventually got into weight training, and haven’t looked back since. I’m finding that it is more difficult the older you get with more aches and pains- but it’s also a positive mindset that you need to have. If I can inspire younger women to take up exercise (or even some older ladies out there) then it’s worth it!
What are your goals as a model? How do you see yourself progressing in this field?
My main goal is to use my experience to help models that come for a photoshoot whether that’s doing makeup or helping Alan during a photoshoot itself. Quite a few of our clients are doing a photo shoot for the first time, and so have little to no experience. This is where I can help put them at their ease and be an example to them. In terms of progressing, I am sure that being in a magazine like WMH will open doors for me. And although modeling might be considered a younger person’s game, clothes and fashion for example aren’t just for the young so why not have older ladies on the catwalk?
You are also a makeup artist. What are the new techniques that you play around with or experiment with?
Although I’m a relatively new MUA, I am rapidly gaining experience and love helping women to feel great about themselves. Alan and I were discussing the other day that we often get China’s taking selfies of their makeup, or a laptop screen during a photoshoot We both found it a bit frustrating at first until we realized that we are all gorgeous in our own unique way and they just wanted to let the world know how much they liked their look and the results we were getting during the shoot. I guess the immediacy of social media is driving this too
I am constantly inspired by well known MUA’s on various social media channels, but do like to experiment with make-up and looks myself and it helps when I can get a willing participant We have also started to push the boundaries recently by using latex paint, UV paint, body paint and so on.
What’s your preferred diet?
I am following a restricted diet now due to a new fitness regime, so mainly chicken or fish with lots of salad and vegetables. There are occasional days when life gets in the way, but it’s about getting back on the path as quickly as possible.
You are an English woman, why move to Dubai?
I am South African but moved to England in 2001. That’s where I met my other half a few years ago. He got a transfer with work and I followed. I had spent many years in an office job typing up patents and trademarks. When the opportunity came to move abroad, I grasped it. Let’s face it, Dubai weather is generally warmer than English weather! Though to be fair I still love the weather in SA, and it will always be home.
If given a chance to change one thing in this world, what would you change?
For people to learn that we are all different. These differences are what makes the world what it is. If we can accept that, then we are on a better path to living in harmony, no matter one’s culture, religion, ethnicity, whatever. We are all human after all, and mistakes do happen. Accept it and move on.
How do you spend your free time?
As Alan and I have recently started our make-up and photography business, a lot of our time is taken up with that; editing and networking to get our business off the ground. When we get free time, I love to read and we both enjoy the cinema for some escapism. And of course, being outdoors… as we enter the next six months in Dubai the weather will be perfect for desert trips (and photoshoots) and the like. I also like being active and socializing with friends and family. I don’t want to become stagnant but to constantly inspire and keep looking forward.
Mandy, we would just like to tell you that you are an inspiration for many, things get hard with age and harder every day. The basic concept behind enjoying your life with people you love and doing what you like doing and inspiring people along the way is the most amazing thing that one can do. We wish you the best for all your future endeavors.