#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

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#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

I tend to read the same book every night just to relax and put me to bed: it’s called "The Bhagavad Gita," which is ancient text and one of the earliest written texts. It depicts an epic battle and a conversation between a prince and one of the Gods — or Krishna as they call it. It explores relationships between God and men which is beautiful. The material is very succinct and straightforward, so it really puts you back in touch with humanity.

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

"Proteinaholic" is another book I'm reading. We’re destroying the planet at such a fast rate that we can’t seem to reverse. It’s crazy because the amount of food we grow and feed to the animals can cure poverty. There are some horrifying statistics I’ve been reading: the amount of water that you save from not showering for a full year is how much that goes into 10 hamburgers.

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

I like reading controversial books -- books that encourage you to seek the other side of the answer. I’m interested in religion and all religions — I wouldn’t say I’m particularly religious, but I’m so fascinated by what they are and where they came from. So many religions on America get a massive question mark because of certain actions of a small few radicals -- that inspired me to learn more about each belief and be more informed. And reading helps me.

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

"Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts is my all-time favorite book. It's really thick. but you burn through it so quickly because it’s THAT good. I started reading this in 2008 and I think I’ve reread it three times a year since then. This is about an Australian guy who escaped a maximum security prison in broad daylight and fled to India. It’s a story of his life and it’s mind-blowingly beautiful. I recommend it to everyone.

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

Nelson Mandela’s autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom" is absolutely incredible. He spent 21 years in prison -- I’m 23 and it’s like spending my whole life in prison! But he came out of it with such peace, no hatred towards anybody, which is super inspiring and just puts everything in perspective.

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

"Harry Potter" is my favorite book-turned-movie series! I even have a Harry Potter chest with the whole collection. I read the series as a kid obviously, but a couple of months ago I decided to re-read every single book. My fiancé Nathaniel hasn’t read them at all, which is mind-blowing to me. I was like, “What kind of childhood did you have?!"

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

It’s so nice to just sort of get lost while reading. There are so many loud noises in the city and it's nice to go into your own world. It’s almost a retreat.

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

A little-known fact about me is that I played Oboe for 10 years and used to play quite seriously. I went through a period of intense stress and one day I just couldn’t pick up my oboe anymore. Overnight I just developed these repetitive strain injuries on my arms. I couldn’t brush my teeth and it was very frustrating, because playing music was everything to me at the time. But then I learned about the Alexander meditation technique — it teaches you to use your muscles better and I got instantly so much free-er and more expressive when I started.

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

Being a model has influenced the way I dress for sure. Normally I wear a lot of vintage and bright colors and crazy patterns. But modeling has taught me the importance of tailored and crisp clothes, and the importance of investing in really good basic pieces like a blazer and a leather jacket. It has really taught me how to present myself well in any occasion.

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

I believe in a quality bag. Stella McCartney uses vegan leather and I have a couple of her bags, love them!

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

I’m pretty strict about my skincare routine. I’m trying a new line called Mad Hippie and it’s all organic. It’s important because everything you use on your skin gets absorbed into your body. I also believe in a good anti-aging serum, it's everything. Other than that, I brush my hair and just bought a hair straightener -- but that’s it. I want to keep it simple.

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

These masks that I got from New Orleans...they are magical. But I'm on their good side now so everything is fine.

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

If I weren't modeling...it’s truly something that’s come up a lot lately. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, but I do love classical music and I'd love to keep playing. I also love science, nutrition and health -- I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between diet, mind and body. There are so many entrepreneurial jobs that people are creating today. It’s very interesting compared to my parents' generation, when they were so happy doing just one thing.

#SocietySquad: Bridget Malcolm

With love... Bridget! P.S. Eat Plants! :)

ON READING 

I’ve always loved reading. I remember that as a kid, my parents used to punish me by taking away my books. I read so much — even when I was brushing my teeth and having dinner. Even now, wherever I go I always carry a book with me in my purse — right now I have three. It’s weird because I took English literature in school, and it was never my favorite subject. I love Shakespeare but I hate Jane Austen, haha!

Usually when I’m at an airport, I just go into a bookstore and pick out three books, and I usually read them all by the end of my trip. Or I discover new reads by listening to podcasts, like Rich Roll. His podcasts are long, freeform conversations, and he gets some of the most interesting people on. He’s a vegan and introduced me to Proteinaholic. It’s one of the books I’m reading, and it explores America’s obsession with protein and how it’s killing us.

I have three other books that I’m reading right now. One of them is The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. While reading it part of me feels like, “Ah, I’m part of the problem,” and then other parts of me think how far we still have to go as women. It’s pretty intense, so every couple of days I read a few chapters of this.

Another one is Thinking, Fast and Slow, which I just started reading and am really excited about. I’m fascinated by this because the culture in New York is always go, go, go — and I assume this book is about how we should chill out, slow down and live a bit.

It’s so nice to just sort of get lost while reading. There are so many loud noises in the city and it’s nice to go into your own world. It’s almost a retreat.

Two musicians who have biographies have really influenced me personally; they are Jim Morrison and Grace Slick. I came across them when I was in high school. I was growing up in Australia in the early 2000s and really had no idea what the world was like before then. Reading about them and hearing their music really opened me up to the world. Their attitudes to life are so inspiring as well, and I love reading about people who have done insane things.

Tim Winton is another of my favorite authors – he’s from Perth, Australia, which is my hometown. I studied him in high school and just recently re-discovered him again. He sometimes makes me homesick though, so I can’t read too much of his work.

ON A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

I meditate daily and I practice the Alexander technique — it’s another level of sensory awareness.

A little-known fact about me is that I played oboe for 10 years and used to play quite seriously. I went through a period of intense stress, and one day I just couldn’t pick up my oboe anymore. Then I learned about the Alexander meditation technique — it teaches you to use your muscles better and I got instantly so much free-er and more expressive when I started.

It also really helps bring me back down to ground and puts me back in my head; and I realize there’s such a bigger picture. It doesn’t matter if you buy your groceries at 1 o’clock or 2 o’clock, haha! It also helps me disconnect from negative people and their negative energy. I’m not as reactive to these situations or other people’s anxiety anymore.

I used to do yoga a lot as well, I like doing it at a place where it really resonates with me —I’ve done it in Jamaica and Costa Rican beaches and loved it. In New York, when you’re in a crammed studio with people wearing Lululemon and stretching and eyeing each other off, that’s just not for me.

ON FEMINISM

I think the answer to “What does being a woman mean today?” depends on what part of world you exist in. A woman in the Middle East has a really different existence than a woman in America, or in Asia or Russia. All the work of the Suffragette movement that took place in the US paved the way for me to have this amazing upbringing. But the fact that some women in the world who have to be worried about getting acid thrown into their faces or mutilated — it’s horrifying.

As a model I have one of the very few jobs that get paid more than men, and I never really thought about my position until recently and realized there’s still so much work to be done.

“I think as a woman in today’s society, we owe it to the world to do something and be educated about it, but we also owe it to ourselves to not be sucked in by these beauty notions like, “If you lose more weight you will get that raise.”

There are days when I wake up that I feel like I’m part of the problem — I’m making these products attractive to people. But I also think as long as models are aware of their role, and could potentially use their income in the future to help with education — that’s what matters. I always think progress means so much: celebrate the person who goes meatless Monday instead of berating them for not being a full-time vegan.

ON RELATIONSHIP AND LOVE 

I’ve been with Nathaniel for two years, but we had been friends for five years before that. And then one day, we were like “we should go out,” and then within a week we moved in together. It was the most done-deal thing in my life, and I feel so happy about it.

True love to me is pretty indescribable. When I first met Nathaniel I didn’t fall in love instantly. We were friends for a long time and then suddenly, we just fell in love.

I think when it first happened there were all these endorphins, but afterwards when it all faded, that was really when you knew whether or not you were treated the way you deserve to be treated.

Nathaniel is honestly just my best friend. We’ve had disagreements but every single one of them brought us together closer. When you respect someone that much, I think that’s true love.

ON SOCIAL MEDIA

I was very active on Tumblr for a while but a lot of the questions asked essentially were cultivating a eating disorder and I was like, “I’m really just born this way, I’m naturally thin!  I want to present a healthy way of living and lifestyle, but I don’t want to be in the position to educate people about something (staying skinny) like that.

Social media has really helped give girls voices and make them inspirational — it also really gives models a voice for once. But it also makes people feel bad about themselves, people forget about how much time goes into posting an Instagram picture — the editing, the filter, the caption. You look at the picture and think, “OMG this person is perfect!” And they forget they themselves are doing the same thing. It’s hard to keep it lighthearted and fun anymore; the fun has kind of gone from it.

I loved Snapchat but now everyone is on it. I don’t follow any models on it because all the snaps are “Just worked out. Just worked out again. Here’s a green juice!”
Instagram, I love, but it gets me down a lot as well.

“I have a personal Instagram that’s fun and private. I only follow my friends and a very small group of people. When I scroll through the feed I’m no longer seeing fashion, and my god am I happier for it!

ON LIFE

I’ve been modeling for almost 10 years, and I think it’s important to be flexible and comfortable because modeling is so last-minute and fluid. It’s taught me to stay calm when everything else is going nuts, and I think it translates into life.

“I don’t really believe in mistakes – everything you do in life leads you to this point in time and there’s a reason for it. Everything in life that’s been tossed at you shouldn’t be classified as good or bad, right or wrong. There were things that happened were really bad at the moment. But here I am.”

When things are going wrong and the world is against you, it’s taught me to know everything’s going to be OK. Everything changes and nothing stays the same, and that’s pretty much the only thing in life that’s a guarantee. Why get so attached to this moment or feeling when in a couple of hours, or days, it’s going to be totally different? It’s the freedom that life has taught me — in my 23 years of life, haha!

ON PERSONAL STYLE

Being a model has influenced the way I dress for sure. It taught me the importance of tailored and crisp clothes and how to present myself well in any occasion.

I believe in a quality bag and a good pair of heels and shoes for walking – I wear my Alexander Wang booties to death. The vegan Dr. Martens is great too. I buy shoes and I get them re-sewed or stretched at the Amish market in Pennsylvania. They have these shoe stores that take care of your shoes in a few hours for a few dollars. Once you find a good pair of jeans, stick with the designer. ACNE is my favorite. But I’m pretty low-maintenance and don’t like shopping very much in general. I do appreciate a really good bikini that stays on when I surf, since I love being in the ocean.

If I could pick fashion and beauty icon…Jane Birkin. She’s so low-maintenance and just beautiful. She seems like a lot of fun, too.

LAST THOUGHTS…

Australia or New York
Can I say both and neither?

A little late or way too early
Way too early. I’m never late — I’m always early, and if I’m not there’s a problem.

Have a dragon or a unicorn as pet
They both fly, right? But dragon!

Change the past or be able to see the future
Neither.

Live in the ‘20s, ‘60s or ‘80s
’20s in Paris, ’60s in California, ‘80s in New York.

Audrey Hepburn or Bridget Bardot
Audrey Hepburn, she had a pet deer and it’s awesome.

End hunger or hatred
Hunger, definitely.

Be gossiped about or never talked about at all –
Having been gossiped about, I want to say never. But I still want people to mention me for certain things at the end of the day

A lifetime supply of kale or avocado
Both of them at the same time! Avocado is pretty amazing, though.

Hear the good news or the bad news first
Bad news, because the good news would be significantly better.

Three words that anyone else would describe Bridget Malcolm?
Chill, kind, good-at-oboe?

Three words that you would use to describe yourself?
Open, relaxed, optimistic 🙂