Yasmin Geurts on Unapologetically Taking Up Space

Photos by Alexandra Marzella | Courtesy of Muse Management (New York)

Yasmin Geurts is, in her own words, “the moody girl in the dimly lit oat milk bath listening to Pavarotti’s opera.” She also is one of the most groundbreaking, outspoken models on the market right now. From starring in Vogue Magazine videos to posing in Diane von Furstenberg campaigns – Yasmin holds both her pose and her mind with an effortlessly cool touch of confidence. Models.com sat down with Yasmin to talk about the pressures of social media, dealing (and thriving) with OCD, and how fashion (when done rightly) can be one’s most powerful armor.

Introduction and interview by Amanda Brohman | Edited by Irene Ojo-Felix

You were discovered on Instagram. Do you think social media has changed the landscape of fashion and modeling? In finding a new generation of models who weren’t previously considered.
For sure, social media has played a massive role in so many people’s careers who unfairly wouldn’t have gotten through the door otherwise. Now that the door is ripped off, it’s given everyone the option to have their own gallery, and if the art is good, the public is going to look. Of course, it’s still a blessing and a curse. It’s a machine that feeds off our data and stems from a lot of insecurity. It’s best to take many breaks and limit screen time; oh yeah, and try to not be a dick.

What are your favorites on Instagram? Anyone, in particular, you find especially intriguing or inspiring?
I find my friends the most inspiring, and I’m their biggest fan. Aside from that, I love getting lost in weird surrealist art profiles like @welderwings or finding new recipes from @thealchemistkitchen and @sunpotion. My go-to for beauty stuff is @patmcgrathreal, @intothegloss and @rescuespa.

What are your thoughts on being considered a “plus-size” model? And what do you think it will take for fashion, and the world, to evolve from having to label models and people in this way?
Lol sorry, I’m so sick of this question. You know, I’ve always tried to exist as I feel inside and not restrict myself, even though it’s not easy when people always make it a point to remind you you’re different. The act of unapologetically taking up any kind of space has always felt rebellious for me. I’m an onion, and there are a million layers going on beyond being “curvy.” I would like to see fashion continue to go deeper than just appearances—as ironic as that sounds. Can you imagine how impactful it would be if there wasn’t so much tension to stay in a certain box? The most precious beauty comes from someone’s inner being anyway, and we’re evolving to a place where we can see it radiate out through media. I think when we don’t feel the pressure to ask questions like these anymore, that will be a small landmark of change.

You have been vocal about struggling with anxiety and OCD. I also have OCD and am always curious to know how other people balance it with life. Have you found any ways of not letting it “dominate” your existence too much?
I’m glad you mentioned you have it too, discussing mental health shouldn’t feel so loaded most of us are going through it. After I did the Teen Vogue interview, I felt like, “damn, did I just give too much of myself away?”. But the overwhelming appreciation and support I received made it clear it was needed. Over time I’ve coped with OCD by doing ritualistic self-care like in-home spa treatments and just being super luxurious (while often keeping it organic and crunchy). I’m the moody girl in the dimly lit oat milk bath listening to Pavarotti’s opera.

I read that you once bought flowers, put on an all-pink outfit and borrowed your friend’s dog for an event – and that it made you feel strong and less anxious. In what ways do you think fashion is essential to our mental state of mind?
I believe clothes used smartly can be like alchemy for conjuring pretty much anything someone needs or desires. For some, fashion and ornamentation is the paint and brush for what defines them and can be the armor that they need to undertake life. Which is pretty chic in its vulnerability.

What is your favorite outfit – the one you look and feel the most YOU in?
Lately, I’ve been feeling in control of my life, so I’ve been wearing a lot of leather.

I also happen to know that you’re a gifted herbalist. Where did this interest spur from?
It’s always been a part of my upbringing, and my dad is very anti hospitals, so we did a lot of plant-based preventative care at home. My great Grandma was also organically gifted and passed down her recipes to my Grandpa Mati, who did herbal medicine during World War 2. He’s a big believer in the power of food. Like papayas! He calls them the miracle fruit for healing wounds. So yeah, it’s a thing that’s always been a part of my life. My ultimate dream is to have an entire house that doubles as a sustainable garden with butterflies like out of Murakami’s book 1Q84.

Do you have any tricks to balance the stress and pressures of a busy career in today’s hectic, multi-tasking world?
Having a solid morning routine has helped me so much. I do coffee & lemon ginger water with breakfast and take a million vitamins. Then I write in my two journals. I have a creative one where I put down ideas and my regular journal where I make poetry—or just use to vent and be dramatic. I try to do that every day, usually I’ll write in both at the same time…which looks pretty silly. Also, therapy is cool.

Let’s talk about the future! What are your plans? Do you want to stay in modeling?
Life is wild. I’ve always had so many things I’m interested in. But people are complex, and most of us have a lot of talents we put off because doing a lot isn’t as easy to digest in a world where we overly market ourselves. I think it’s important to try everything. That being said, I adore modeling, getting to meet new people who inspire me, and making art with them is what dreams are made of. I plan on doing it for a while, but I also tend to go with the river, so I’ve been taking acting classes; and lately, I’ve been passionate about making my own witchy concoctions. I’ll try to do it all, life is short, but it’s not that short.

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