Fashion Week is many things, but relaxing it ain’t. So what happens when you add menstruation into the mix? You might have seen our interview with Victoria Cain (below) on what it’s like to get your period at fashion week: it's been featured in Cosmopolitan, the Independent and Teen Vogue recently. Read on for the full interview.
Over the past three years 19-year-old Vicky has landed campaigns for L’Oreal, Rimmel, Toni & Guy as well as gracing numerous magazine covers. She reveals all about period cravings, leaks and bitchy girls.
“The first time I realised periods could be a problem was at a photoshoot where I was the only girl. I got a surprise attack in the middle of the day and didn’t have anything on me. I had to fake a cigarette break and go to find a shop. All I could think was, ‘I can’t leak on the clothes.’ It makes me stressed just thinking about it.
I’ve leaked a few times during castings though. This industry is so fast paced – you’re running around and it’s hard to find 5 minutes to do what you’ve got to do. Luckily in the past I’ve been wearing black jeans – you wear all black to castings – but it’s horrible because you can feel it and you can’t go to the toilet because you lose your spot.
Sometimes there are hundreds of girls and you’re waiting an hour and a half in castings. The girls are really petty – if you don’t know them and ask them to save your spot they’d be like, ‘No, go to the back of the queue, bitch.’ There’s a lot of that. You think, do I lose a possible job or wait for another half an hour? So you just put up with the leakiness.
My absolute worst nightmare would be leaking on the runway. I always make sure I tuck my tampon string in when I’m on a job – walking down the runway with the string hanging out would be a super embarrassing moment. You have to wear thongs on a job because otherwise you can see your underwear through the clothes. So pads aren’t an option – it’s tampons only. Luckily my periods are really light and only last around three days.
That’s also one of the main reasons I’m on the pill. If my period will interrupt a show or a job, I’ll just keep taking my pill – it makes life so much easier. Lots of my girlfriends do the same. Of course, it doesn’t stop those funny half periods where you’re like 'what is this?!' and you bleed out of the blue for two days. I always keep one of those little bags from Pink Parcel in my bag. The chances are if I don’t need it, there’ll be another girl frantically looking for a tampon and I’ll come to the rescue.
The thing that stresses me out most about getting my period during fashion week is my acne-prone skin. It’s like my period is smack bang on my face. It’s got so bad I won’t even go to castings when I have my period. It’s absolutely lost me jobs. You get picked for your face. Sure, Photoshop is a thing, but they’re going to pick the girl with clear skin over the girl with spots every time.
Last fashion week was a classic. I’d just had my period and my face had broken out. The make–up look was wet look. They put oil all over my face which made me break out even more - the concealer covering my spots was literally slipping down my face. I was like, ‘There’s no way I can walk down the runway looking like this!’ I saw the pictures later and the lights were so bright you couldn’t tell. I think I bigged it up in my head - but it’s hard when you’re in a room of 25 other girls with pristine skin.
Cravings Got Me Like
I get seriously bad sugar cravings too. Normally I eat healthily: fruit, veg, no dairy, no meat. But when I get my period I can eat for England. I can get through a whole box of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. I eat bread and chocolate which bloats me. The more I eat, the more bloated I get, the more I feel angry and annoyed at myself and it’s a vicious cycle.
One thing a lot of models do is drink lemon water in the mornings. It really helps bloating. You squeeze half a lemon into a mug and pour hot water over it. It flushes everything out. I do it every morning but on my period I’ll drink three cups or bring it with me in a flask and drink it over the day.
I don’t think I put on weight but my stomach doesn’t look as flat. But if I’m booked for a show I just have to wear the clothes the casting director booked me for. They’re all fitted to your body shape so if you decide you don’t want to wear something the designer would freak out. I’ve had changes made to my clothes five minutes before the show and everyone’s crying and stressed.
Usually if you’re busy, you can do three shows a day for a week and then castings and fittings in between. It can be exhausting – especially if you have your period and you don’t have time to eat properly. I use Spirulina for combating that. It’s like powdered algae and it’s super healthy. Whenever I feel tired I’ll mix it in some water and drink it and it sorts me right out.
This fashion week I'll be trying not to binge - that food baby is definitely not welcome - until the week after, at least!"
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