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Self-Made Model - Christie Gabriel | Chicago, Illinois PDF Print E-mail
Angels - Interviews
Written by Khalid "Bless Theangels" Bey | Editor in Chief | As Seen in the NY Times Bestseller: Rat Bastards   
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With so much occupying our minds these days, a good conversation where both parties are truly heard is heaven on earth to me. For the many that bravely follow my narrative and these beautiful angels who create the context, our exchanges themselves are examples of good conversation. No judging though criticism is expected. What else would we expect from public discourse? Still, honest questions provoke honest answers and a dialogue is formed out of a need for self-expression. “Hearing about how other people express themselves through art in its various forms is very interesting to me,” says Christie Gabriel, a stunning and erudite model from the Chicago area; a perfect balance of beauty and brains. I think I’m in love.



Largely because of their beauty, readers are fixed to the stories told, ideas revealed and the individual ways the girls each express themselves. All combine to give a more encompassing view of their beauty. “I believe there are three necessary factors to beauty,” explains Christie. “Confidence without arrogance, generosity without ulterior motives, and optimism in the face of negativity. I feel that the physical beauty of a person possessing these traits will be perceived to be at a higher level than if that same person did not have these inner qualities.”



The idea of heaven on earth changes from person to person. “I believe that the solution to having a perfectly peaceful planet is quite simple,” Christie informatively states. “If everyone would keep religion out of their governments and let the people be who they are without judgment and believe what they want without pressures and condemnation, so long as it doesn't hurt others this world would be so much better off. When has any country greatly benefited from tangling into their government systems?” Continuing her with her own synopsis of heaven on earth, she adds. “Also we should get rid of automatic flushing toilets. Those things are a bit too over-enthusiastic about their job resulting in such a large and unnecessary waste of water. People can only dream of clean water in many parts of the world and we’re literally flushing those dreams down the toilet, over and over and over again every time we get within three feet of these poorly designed glutinous contraptions.”



With obvious well-grounded beliefs, it becomes clear she has a mind capable of intense thought and empathy. A mindset she would like to pass on to her son. Speaking on what she is most passionate about in life and the example she would like to be for her son she says, “I want him to grow up knowing how to be independent, successful, open-minded and nonjudgmental of others.” She talks of her son often, a devotion permeating select words that would make any boy dream of one day being a king. “Watching my son grow up to be an intelligent and free-thinking individual,” says Christie of her daily joy. After a long day of work, there is one ritual that relaxes her every time. “Cuddling with my son and a cup of green tea for story time,” she says. “I’m such an animal, I know!”



Christie wasn’t always such an animal. “I was a quiet kid,” she says of her childhood. “For reasons I can’t remember I didn't talk to adults until I was six years old. I would spend the entire day exploring outside, often getting myself lost far from home. I guess you could say I was the quiet, intuitive and curious type.” Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago where she still lives today, Christie has transformed herself into an outspoken model and industry authority. She has written and published a book called “The Self-Made Model” which addresses freelance modeling, modeling techniques and setting yourself apart from the competition.



“A strong desire to explore the world” led Christie into a modeling career. Add on the urge to “bypass college” and determination sets in. “I love that I get to travel the world and explore other cultures while at the same time having a job that allows me to immerse myself in creative expression.” There are a few brands she would love to lend her talents to. “In fashion,” she says, “I would love to represent Alexander McQueen, Chanel and Guess/Marciano.” Becoming a model was just the beginning. “I used to want to become a household name…,” says the self-made model, “but nowadays, that doesn't take much as evidenced by Snooki, The Situation and Honey Boo Boo. I just want to get to a place now where all the real movers and shakers of the fashion/modeling industry know of and respect me.”



If for once it is allowed to judge a book by its cover, The Self-Made Model knows a thing or two about how to make it in the modeling industry. “Hard work and humbleness,” Christie outlines. “If you approach modeling with a diva, know-it-all attitude you won’t get far. Instead, you need to open your eyes and ears to the seasoned veterans of the industry and use their knowledge to advance yourself.”  For her, modeling has held its memorable moments. “It includes one secluded mansion in Saint Tropez overrun for a week by 8 – 10 wild models,” she recalls, “and one famous female photographer shooting us for a book. Far too much Rose wine and well…” she pauses for effect, “I guess that’s all I should say about that.”



Clearly Christie Gabriel is a bundle of interests and convictions that reach far deeper than her physical beauty. A lover of artistic self-expression, she even shows a little self-deprecating humor when speaking of her own. “I used to love singing and dancing, but then I realized my tone deafness and lack of rhythm made it painful for others to enjoy my efforts,” she says causing a smile to spread across my face. “Now I just stick with painting and writing.” Artistic expression aside, Christie’s keen mind is never idle. “As I mentioned before,” she says, “I am insatiably curious about the world we live in and therefore can never get sick of exploring it.”


The world she loves, a world that offers so much for her mind to take in, is a place where beauty thrives. Though superficially, its effect on people is anything but. “People are often nicer and much more accommodating to physically attractive individuals,” Christie observes. “However, it is often hard to tell if this happens because there may be ulterior motives at play or not.” You never know, as life has taught us both, what lies in the hearts of others. “I always assume the best of people,” she says, “and give them far too much credit from the beginning. I’m working on being more skeptical and learning when to distance myself from individuals and situations that are more toxic than healthy for me.”



Both health and culture here in Angels Playpen are key elements of beauty. Christie has established healthy habits for staying in optimal condition, like eating slowly. Eating slowly, she says, “…gives your body time to realize you’re full before you mindlessly consume three times the amount you really needed.” American by birth, culturally her beauty is upheld by “equal parts French, Irish and Polish” genes. With an equal part of French accounting for a third of her beauty, it’s no surprise she loves to visit France. “Paris is my all-time favorite place to visit. I've been there several times and with each trip, I fall more in love with it.”



Regardless of where she goes, there are certain items that always travel with her. “A hoodie or jacket as even in the dead of summer in Chicago my body will find a way to justify making me feel cold,” she says, her words a little cold themselves. “And also business cards; ‘cause every day I’m hustlin’!” I love it. “I’m big into decorative belts right now,” says the lithe model who favors shopping at Bebe and Guess about her favorite fashion accessory. “They can add so much to an outfit and also help create the illusion of curves on a boyish figure like mine.” She speaks of her thin frame so many high-fashion models are known for.  She describes her style as “jeans and T-shirt” but “for fancier occasions, I gravitate towards a more classic/chic style: think neutral colored pants or little black dresses.”



Being the crybaby I can be; I internally whine as I come to close out the interview.  “They aren't robots so of course it’s ok,” she says about men crying. Besides, “a sense of humor and the ability to not take themselves too seriously” are great qualities in a man she further notes. Her hidden treasure, something I truly would not have expected, is that she is extremely low-maintenance. “I have traveled through three countries with nothing more than a small shoulder bag.” She would make an ideal travel partner for a destination hopping trek. She loves Paris as we know but also New York and Chicago. Last but not least, our angel’s ‘guilty pleasure’ is… Nutella. “On average, I consume an entire jar of Nutella in just over a week’s time,” she confesses. “I’m pretty sure I need an intervention at this point.”




Model Mayhem

Self-Made Model

Photography: T H Taylor | Duke Morse | H. Weidmann