We met a couple of years ago in New York and had the best time. She let me sleep in her bed -I mean, that’s love… And showed me around Brooklyn and other cool parts of New York. I even did a shoot on her rooftop (hello dream!). Later on she visited me in Amsterdam and I returned the favor of taking her around my city. Morgan Reid is a special kinda person. She’s a model, but to me she’s a free spirited artist. Her drawings and paintings are so dope. She lives big and bold. Like selling all your stuff and buying a plane ticket to travel through Europe. Morgan Reid, a girl you just have to meet -mic drop. So here you go…
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
“I’m still getting used to being 24, enjoying the start to my Kobe year 😉
I’m a model, living out a childhood dream with Wilhelmina. I also work with a non-profit organization dedicated to building and renovating basketball courts in Africa. I think it’s important to be invested in a few different passions/talents of mine. Modeling was always the dream, art has always been something that makes my heart happy and basketball was my first true love.”
‘To me, true confidence is being able to be honest with yourself. To know and accept when you’re having a tough time or struggling with your body image. Embrace it and live your life anyway’- Morgan Reid
Picture: Heather Hazzan
Have you always been body positive?
“I’ve definitely always had a lot of love for myself; for who I am beyond what I look like. I didn’t really start paying attention to my appearance until I got to 12 or 13. I had already reached 6’ tall by then and started to struggle with being taller than all my friends (and friend’s parents, ha).
The middle school days were tough, and everyone struggles in high school, right? I got teased a lot for being “bigger” and it really took a toll on my self esteem, but I had basketball and volleyball then and I really excelled in the sports world; that was my saving grace.
I always thought that becoming a model would be the end of all my insecurities, but it’s something that I absolutely still have to work on. I try to find time everyday to look back on all I’ve accomplished and how much fun I’m having living out my dreams; traveling the world, creating art, playing/coaching basketball, and modeling internationally. It’s a full load of accomplishments really, I have a lot to be proud of, and I try to let that be what makes me feel beautiful.”
Picture: Brandon Espy
Do you have a secret to (body) confidence?
“My secret is to love myself for what I’m able to do, and to love my body for it’s abilities instead of always focusing on what it looks like. One of my favorite things in the World is to just walk around without an agenda or destination. Just walk around and explore with music and a sketchbook or one of my favorite humans. I’m thankful everyday for the ability to do this; to walk and see, to take things in, to be able to draw what I see and how I feel in different places.
To me, true confidence is being able to be honest with yourself. To know and accept when you’re having a tough time or struggling with your body image. Embrace it and live your life anyway. Does that make sense? I think confidence is an outcome of truly feeling how you feel in all situations and not being afraid to live how you want to live.”
‘I use art to reset if I’m feeling a bit down or out of it. Drawing seems to offer an escape from thinking for me’- Morgan Reid
What makes you happy in life? And what do you do on the days you feel a bit down or less happy?
“Besides walking around with no destination? A lot of things make me happy, a lot of little things. I use art to reset if I’m feeling a bit down or out of it. Drawing seems to offer an escape from thinking for me. Reading does this for me too, and shooting around/playing basketball.
I admit buying shoes also makes me super happy and can be a really quick way to boost my mood on a crappy day. Haaa, I definitely have a shoe addiction.”
Picture: Brandon Espy
How do you make sure you stay in a good place with yourself?
“I’ve worked really hard to kind of curate this little life of mine. I put a lot of energy into making sure that the things that make me happiest are included in everyday life. I believe that our talents are really just obsessions; we’re good at what we work tirelessly on and the only way to be successful with something is to make sure you love to do it. We’re always talking about “making it,” about “getting there.” But if you don’t love what you have to do to “get there”…then I don’t think you’ll ever get there. I stay happy and in a good place by making sure I’m absolutely obsessed with my work.”
If you could have given yourself an advice as a young kid, what would it be and why?
“I would have spent less time worrying about the outcome of everything. I was afraid a lot as a young kid, especially in high school. I wouldn’t even tell people that I wanted to be a model. I was so afraid of what people would think, or that they would tell me I wasn’t pretty enough to model. I got the message at a good time though, I gave up everything to take a risk and move to NY at a really young age. I walked into a modeling agency and straight up introduced myself hoping to land a contract, when that worked out I realized that fear wasn’t going to be something I worried about anymore.”
Picture: Adrianna Favero
‘I just don’t see the point in depriving yourself; everything you want is out there’- Morgan Reid
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned body wise?
“Oooo, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to let yourself have what you want. I try to keep the balance, and I work out a lot. But if you want a piece of cake don’t torture yourself about it, eat the cake man! Enjoy it, food is amazing! If you want to travel the World, buy a plane ticket.
I just don’t see the point in depriving yourself; everything you want is out there.”
Best advice someone ever gave you when it comes to feeling good about yourself.
“My mom always tells me to focus on my abilities and remind myself that I’ve got a pretty amazing life! I like that advice.”
Picture: Heather Hazzan
‘It keeps me grounded and sane to not have everything be about modeling or the way that I look’- Morgan Reid
As a model you get a lot of feedback on your body. How do you deal with the positive and negative comments?
“This took some getting used to, the constant judgement of body. When I first started modeling I was told over and over again that I was too skinny, that my boobs were too small, that I wasn’t curvy enough to be a curve model. For some jobs I was too tall, for some clients I looked too American; as a model you have to know that you’re just not right for every job and understand that what someone else thinks or says about your body has no power over how you feel about yourself. It also helps me to be involved in other things; art, basketball, traveling…it keeps me grounded and sane to not have everything be about modeling or the way that I look.”
One of Morgan’s art pieces from her ‘We are all heroes’ series.
What do you hope to teach girls/women who look up to you?
“I hope that I can be an example of going after what you want in life. I try to live very true to myself and do the things that I find important. I believe that it’s a choice we have, being happy, I believe you can choose it. I hope my life will always inspire bold choices, taking risks, and choosing to be happy.”
Want to get to know Morgan even better? Follow her on Instagram and buy her art to help build and renovate basketball courts in Africa. You can check it out here.
Opening image: Adrianna Favero