The month of March has been dubbed Women’s History Month in the US, the UK, and Australia (there was only a Women’s History Week prior to the 1980s). To kick off a month of celebrating women and their achievements, the FSU Women’s Student Union and Diverse World Fashion Magazine teamed up to host a seminar with Amanda Gullickson, a model from Season two of Oxygen’s reality TV show, The Face. Gullickson came to the FSU Ballrooms on March 4th and delivered an empowering speech, allowing time for a Q&A and a meet and greet after.
The name of the event, From Rebounds to Runways, was a play on the fact that all throughout high school, Gullickson dreamed of being in the WNBA, but wound up being a model in a top modeling agency. Basketball was her life, but she had to change her intended career path after a sports-related injury caused college recruiters to stop paying attention to her. All Gullickson’s friends had told her she should be a model, so she decided to give it a try. Why not with a face like that? She started modeling with an agency in Charlotte, NC. After winning a talent competition in Orlando, she was signed with One Management in NYC. She graduated high school early and moved from Charlotte to Miami to New York City to Los Angeles all by the age of 18.
Gullickson’s speech outlined the flaws in the modeling industry, including rampant eating disorders and drug abuse. Her main focus was that women should always be themselves and should never censor or change any part of their appearance or personality for anyone. Despite having a figure most girls would kill for, Gillickson was considered the biggest girl on her season of The Face. The other girls would constantly tell her she needed to lose weight if she was ever going to make it in the modeling world and that they would be embarrassed to be her size and call themselves a model. Gullickson would just laugh it off because she was already a successful model signed to an agency those girls could only dream of working with. She faced similar size-based discrimination from higher-ups in the modeling industry, but she was never willing to go on extreme diets just because someone thought she needed to lose 15 lbs. She also discussed her experience on the show, giving a great deal of insight about the secret side of world of reality television.
After the speech, audience members were free to ask Gullickson questions. Some asked about the modeling industry while others asked about her personal life and her experience on The Face. At the end of the event, people could take pictures with Gullickson against a Women’s Student Union and DWF backdrop. The FSU Women’s Student Union has many more Women’s History Month events planned, so keep your eyes peeled and don’t miss this season of The Face, only on Oxygen!