Lauren Knowles

Lauren Knowles

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Based in Toronto, Canada, but originally from the Bahamas, Lauren is an aspiring journalist passionate about sharing the stories of underrepresented voices. A storyteller at heart, Lauren knew her path as a woman from a very early age, and we're so excited to have her as part of our Good Squad.

What is the new beauty ideal?

To me, it’s everyone feeling comfortable in their own skin. I think there is this stereotype of what beauty is in the fashion and modeling industries, but I think now we’re really working towards embracing what you have and not trying to change that. To be comfortable with yourself. So, I think natural beauty is definitely in.

And what’s missing from the fashion and modeling industries?

Oh my god. There's such a lack of diversity. Not only within the models themselves but within the teams behind the scenes. I think there are a lot of things that slip out that wouldn't happen if we had diverse teams behind the scenes to be like, “Hey, that's not okay and this is okay.” I'm in journalism and I'm doing a minor in fashion studies, so I’m really passionate about being one of those members who are diverse in the team and kind of have this voice.

I think what Good American is doing is amazing. The main message is that the other modeling agencies and fashion industry need to jump on board with a more inclusive and diverse range of shape and height, and everything that has been standardized. I think we really need to move to a more realistic kind of industry.

What made you want to go into journalism?

When I was little I always liked to write stories. I would literally take a blank piece of paper and fold it and draw my own cover and write my own stories. My mom has this obsession with magazines. She always had so many magazines in her house, and my sister got into the print industry. She had her own magazine as well, so I just feel like that was something that came naturally. I love writing and photography, so journalism fits those two quite well. There are so many voices that need to be heard, and I feel like your main role as a journalist is to be a storyteller and give a voice, especially to those who don't have one. You can be your own storyteller and that is so important to me.

If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?

It would be that anything you want to do, you will be able to do! Especially how the social media world is taking over nowadays. It wasn't as big as it is now when I was 12, but I think that has given everybody so much opportunity to put themselves, be whoever they want to be, and put themselves out there. Kind of, be their own boss.

What 3 words describe Good American to you?

Inclusive, diverse, and family.

You got to come by the office and visit us for your fitting. How was that?

Especially now being a part of Good Squad, when I came for my fitting I was so nervous. Then I got there and I instantly felt a strong sense of community. I felt so comfortable, and all the girls looked so different. I didn’t feel like, “I don't look this way, or I'm on the shorter side of what models typically are.” I felt totally comfortable and I love how the brand embraces that.

How was the Open Casting and call back experience for you?

I felt so nervous, but I felt so comfortable seeing how diverse it all was. I was like, “It's okay I got this”. That went really well because I got the call back for the next day. There were a lot less people there, but still so many, and everyone was gorgeous. Everyone looked completely different, which I really love to see, and that made me feel a lot better. When I went in, I talked about myself a little bit, and then when I walked out I was like, “That was so crazy, I can't even remember what I said.” I went home and put both of the stickers that they gave us on my wall behind my bed and I'm like, “I’m going to manifest this. I’m putting it out there in the universe, I'm going to get this because I really want it.” And it's so surreal now, seeing that besides my bed because here I am. It’s so crazy.

How is a GA casting different than the others?

I think it's so special because of how inclusive it is. Stereotypically when you go to castings, It is very specific in what they are looking for and that makes it super nerve-racking. But there’s such a comfortable, inclusive environment when you go [to GA Open Casting]. It gives everyone a sense of confidence like I can definitely be myself. I don't have to conform to the ideals that the fashion industry kind of wants everyone to fit into. So it's very comfortable and I think that is what makes it so special.

Who are the women in your life that you turn to?

My family is supportive, and my friend group has always been supportive. My mom and sister are two really strong women that kind of made me feel that I can be confident. Everyone has their insecurities, but I think having that strong sense of community and good vibes, good people around you, it just helps. I was insecure at certain times, of different things. Especially when you're a teenager, everybody has those moments. I think building a strong sense of community really helped with that

Now that you and the rest of the Squad are together, do you feel a bond?

I really think that we have created a family. We made our own separate group chat so we can all keep in touch after this. We’re all from different places, so anytime I go to Chicago or London, I'll definitely hit up any of the girls. I'd love to keep in touch with them.

Where were you when you got the news that you’d officially made it into the Good Squad?

You know, everyone looks at who's viewing their stories, and I saw that Jamie had looked at it, and I think I clicked by accident. It [his account] said Good American, and I was like, “What does that mean?” I thought emails would come out later on, so I wasn't expecting it. The rest of the day, it was on my mind, and then I was sitting on the streetcar and I was constantly looking at my email. And I saw Good American, but I thought it was just a promo email. I clicked it and I was shaking. I was so excited. I called my mom and she was so excited. I was just in a state of shock and even being here now it's so surreal.

How has the day of the campaign shoot been for you?

I’m feeling such a sense of relief, knowing how comfortable it all is and how it's going so well. We don't have to try to be the models you see on Vogue covers. We get to be ourselves. It's all really comfortable, I'm just so grateful. I'm still in a state of shock even on the plane ride home. I'm going to be like, “What did I just do? I can't believe that happened." It's just been so much fun. I was kind of nervous because I don't have any professional model experience with posing or anything, but everyone’s been so helpful.

Was meeting with Khloé everything you’d hoped?

Oh my god! She looks gorgeous. I was so excited! She’s one of my favorite Kardashians, she's so funny. My sister met her a month or two ago, so it was like a full circle, haha, my turn.

Now you can officially say that you’re in the Good Squad!

Oh my god, even just hearing, “You're in the Good Squad” is so crazy. I'm just so grateful and so thankful. Even being from the Bahamas growing up, I knew I wanted to get into some type of creative industry, whether it was writing or photography or something like that. So, this opportunity is special to me because we're kind of coming up. There are a couple of us being represented in the fashion community, and the modeling industry more and more. Being part of that movement, showing others growing up in high school, and trying to figure out what they want to do, that this is totally attainable. Even though you are from this little island, you can go out and do anything.

Follow Lauren on Instagram