Beauty Knows No Boundaries for MISSBISH Siobhan Atwell

Author: Ali DiEmidio

If you're not familiar with model Siobhan Atwell, it is our pleasure to introduce you. An NYC transplant by way of Toronto, Atwell left the farm in Nova Scotia to head for the Big Apple to pursue her dream career. We chatted with the big-hearted beauty about how she got her start in the industry (leaving her full-time job at Wendy's), the issues she faces as a transgender model, and some of her beauty and social media favorites (including Joanne the Scammer, of course!). Check out the interview below.

As a super in-demand model (and overall bad bish), you've been featured in magazines like Vogue and Paper, and have worked with some amazing creatives like celebrity hair guru (and Kylie Jenner fave) Tokyo Stylez. Can you tell us a little bit about how you first got into modeling and how the journey has been for you thus far?
I started modeling when I left my full-time job at a Wendy's and wanted more out of life. I sent my Polaroids to agencies in Toronto and I was signed immediately. The journey so far has been amazing, and I am at a level now that I never thought I would be in a million years. But I feel I have more to work to do and more levels to get to.

Starting off as a gender fluid model and now as a transgender model, what kind of issues do you face in the modeling industry and how do you persevere?
People in the industry always thought I was interesting, being gender fluid or trans. The only issues I find are getting clients to give me a chance to show them how much further I can go, what I can be, and what I will be. Diverse models, such as myself, have to work harder to help the industry look past the diversity and to look at the model's talent.

You're originally from Toronto, but you now spend a lot of time in NYC. What was it like growing up on a dairy farm in Nova Scotia versus living amongst the bright lights of the Big Apple?
I'm mostly grateful for growing up on a farm; I think it has kept me safer and more reserved than I would have been  growing up in a big city. Timing is everything, and when I moved to the city it was almost like I had lived there my whole life. I had no problems adjusting.

How did you meet Shayne Oliver of Hood By Air and what was it like walking in his NYFW F/W16 show?
I was requested for their spring show casting, and I was picked! Shayne and his entire team were very nice and I am grateful to have worked with them.

What's a typical day like for you?
My days are always very different. Some days I am busy working and shooting, or I'm traveling back and forth between Toronto, New York, and Miami for work, and also for vacation. But sometimes, I love to just be at home with a face mask on, doing Pilates and watching Sex and the City.

Do you have a usual makeup routine? What are some of your favorite beauty products and why?
I don't wear makeup on the daily. But when I do, it's for a night out in the city. I usually go for a bronzed tan look with a glamorous contour and smoky eye. My favourite product at the moment is the Tom Ford cream eyeshadow in Golden Peach. Also, what I love to spray on my face once everything's done is the Urban Decay All Nighter makeup setting spray to keep everything on point and in place.

“People in the industry always thought I was interesting, being gender fluid or trans. The only issues I find are getting clients to give me a chance in showing them how much further I can go, what I can be, and what I will be."

As a model, what are your favorite kinds of shoots/brands/jobs and why?
I love doing really creative beauty shoots and editorials, with really cool lighting, styling, makeup and hair. I enjoy making something different. My favorite jobs are beauty and runway.

These days, social media can play a huge role in growing someone's personal brand. What are your thoughts on managing your own social media channels, and what are some of your favorite Instagram accounts to follow and why?
Yes, I'm always on my Instagram, mainly for my followers to keep up with my recent work and adventures. I try to keep it a mix of business, while also giving them a glimpse of my life with a lot of lifestyle and travel posts. I would love to start doing a YouTube channel, but we will have to wait and see. I like Kylie Jenner's account - she inspires me in a lot of ways. Paris Hilton is another favourite, and I love love love Branden Miller. He's so funny!

In your i-D Mexico interview, you listed both Paris Hilton and Gigi Gorgeous as your inspirations for being your "best self." Who are some of your other inspirations and why?
I get inspiration from a lot of different people, and for different reasons. For starters, my parents for working so hard my whole life. Then, mostly other celebrities and models I can relate to for beauty, shopping, and fitness, and who help me stay motivated to keep working hard.

You post some amazing one-liners on Instagram, like "Only rule is don't be boring and dress cute wherever you go..." Can you share a few of your other "rules to live by" with us?
"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
"Everything happens for a reason."
"Always look hot and be humble."

You recently shot something for fellow Canadian Alessia's new music video. Are you able to tell us about it and how the opportunity came about?
I assume the directors already knew who I was, so they contacted my agent and told him that I would be a great fit for the music video. It's about diversity in beauty, and how you have to accept what is different about you and make that beautiful.

What's coming up for you in 2017?
Lots of stuff I'm keeping hush-hush about. Everyone will just have to watch my Instagram to keep up and stay up to date!

What does MISSBISH mean to you?
To be the baddest BISH you can be.

Photos by: Carmen Chan