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The Inside: Staying Safe As A Model


Women always have to be on guard, this is just a fact of life. I often have people ask me if I am afraid to travel abroad on my own. Some even ask my mom “ How do you let her do it, aren’t you worried?” The thing is, yes I am nervous, and am always very aware and cautious, especially when I’m alone, but I won’t let that stop me from living the life I want to live. Being a model and getting to travel is my dream, so it is unfair for me to lose out on that because of something that has nothing to do with me.


There are plenty of times that I could be in danger while travelling, whether it’s a test shoot with a stranger, going out to parties, travelling in taxis and airports, and even just walking down the street. And while yes, I have had some pretty upsetting and scary experiences in each of those scenarios, it is entirely possible for bad things to happen no matter what I do. Each country is different, but in some of the countries I’ve visited, I’ve felt much safer than I do back in Canada. I think we tend to have this opinion that Asia is underdeveloped and dangerous, but the reality is, most of the world is dangerous nowadays, and Asia is full of amazing and respectful people.

I would say the country I felt the safest was definitely Korea, which I’m sure isn’t a surprise. The people there really just mind their own business. Of course there was a lot of staring, which happens everywhere in Asia, but it is fine because no one bothers you. Most of the other countries I’ve been in I felt less safe, but never like I couldn’t go outside. There were a lot of problems with taxi drivers, especially in India, but it is super helpful because we have agencies to help us out in those situations. As foreigners they tend to try and scam extra money out of you, but if you’re aware of that and strong willed, it’s usually okay. I won’t go deep into details but there have definitely been a few incidents, specifically in one or two test shoots or when going out to parties that have been upsetting. Nothing crazy bad but things that stick with you for sure. Of course I wish none of those things happened, but sometimes they can be a good lesson in strength and confidence. I won’t ever stop doing the things I enjoy because of some bad people, I just make sure to surround myself with good people as much as possible. It gets easier to read people and protect yourself.

There’s a few different things I do to keep myself safe, and I try to help others do the same when it’s possible. Like I said, being aware of your surroundings is very important, but it isn’t always enough. I always bring friends with me, having some girlfriends to stick with makes me feel much safer. I also like to have some guy friends I trust around, because unfortunately it makes people leave you alone a bit more. Especially at clubs or parties, not being alone, and not leaving your drink alone are some pretty simple but effective ways to protect yourself. One thing I don’t like doing sometimes is having to censor what I wear at times. Of course people are pretty open depending on the setting, but in some of these countries it is important to respect them and also to keep yourself safe by dressing within reasonable guidelines. When meeting strangers, it is important not to give too much information away, and always best not to go alone before getting comfortable with the country. If you have a test shoot with a photographer you don’t know, ask the agency or some friends what they think and figure out if you’re comfortable if you’re shooting one on one. All of these situations can be complicated, and it’s sometimes hard to be strong but it is important to know how to defend yourself when possible. Your safety has to come before people’s feelings.

Safety is not something that we can always control. Sadly, solo travellers, especially women, really have to work to keep themselves as safe as possible. It’s exhausting, and makes things more difficult. But in my opinion, a life lived inside of our comfort zones is not worth living. Every challenge I’ve faced in the past year has taught me a lot and I’m grateful for all of it. Don’t waste time and opportunities because you’re afraid to do something, you may regret it someday. Until next time,

Sammie Taylor

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