VARAMODE: You had quite the career as a model, collaborating with some incredible talent such as JR Duran and Mario Testino. What was the catalyst for the transition to becoming a writer?
MICHELE: Well, when I first started modeling at 22 I was still in University studying journalism. Then back in 2016 – I had just left my position as a reporter at Band [TV Bandeirantes, a large station based in São Paulo] – I was out of work for about 3 months when I had the idea to write my own blog about love and relationships. At first I did it all anonymously, but within a few days it was working so well and growing so fast that I had to reveal myself and set up a website. I think that injecting my own self and personality into it really helped it to transform and grow. That first year alone I received more than 30,000 questions asking for advice! It was such an incredible start and very gratifying to be able to help.
VARAMODE: Any particular moments from that first year that really stayed with you?
MICHELE: I received so many requests that first year and so many of them stand out, but there’s one in particular that really impacted me. It was from a girl who just got out of an abusive relationship, but with the end of her relationship also came the loss of her self-esteem and will to live. We spoke for weeks, and slowly our conversations became like an injection of courage and love for her. I was trying to help her see that it was possible to start over, that she had so much to live for and still to discover. We discussed at length the idea of her traveling and seeing new things. She finally did and that was how she was able to move on.
VARAMODE: Speaking of travel – you have a few stories there, do you not?
MICHELE: Definitely! I love to travel, but sometimes when you do so for work it is a different story. You know, models often have to travel a lot but it is not always glamorous and exciting. I remember this one time, I was returning from a shoot in Bali and the plane that we had originally taken there broke down. The only plane left available was an old rust-bucket that fit very few people. It was so old that the pilot even had to crank the propeller by hand! I was so terrified of flying in it that I told them I would not go. The only other way to get off the island was a tiny old boat. It took 6 hours to get to the airport and was terribly unforgettable.
VARAMODE: It [modeling] was not all bad though.
MICHELE: Of course not! It is thrilling to get to see your work on magazine covers, editorials, billboards, etc. I remember when a campaign I did for Buffalo Jeans was on a huge billboard in the middle of Broadway – I was so excited! But more importantly, I’ve gotten to work with so much incredible creative talent. Mario, for instance, was a very special photographer to work with and I had the opportunity to collaborate with him a few times. He is fast, direct, and has a very clear idea of what he is trying to capture with each job. The work that I did with JR is also very eye-opening to me, as it mixed both art and photography. The results were jaw-dropping and he has such vision and knowledge of exactly how to bring a concept to life. I loved being a model, and now I love being a writer. They are different phases of my life, but I definitely draw a lot from my past experiences and what I learned from working in such a creative environment.
VARAMODE: Is that why you are able to coach others so effectively? Where do you draw your inspiration from when talking people through their relationship problems?
MICHELE: I’ve always had an personal inclination to help people. Counseling has really grown very naturally in my life from everything I’ve seen, heard, and even lived. Both through my previous work and life experiences I’ve not only gained confidence in myself, but also seen first hand how you can bring something beautiful and wonderful to life through force of will and dedication to your craft. Now that it’s become my job, I also decided to improve myself so I studied at one of the best coaching schools in Latin America. I wanted to add to the foundation that I draw from in teaching people, beyond just what I have experienced in life.
VARAMODE: So, what is next for you?
MICHELE: I am in the process of finalizing my first book, “Self Love”, which is a practical guide on how to achieve and maintain your self-love, both in and out of a relationship. It is very special to me and will hopefully be very useful for several girls. Love and respect is everything, and that is what I am going to teach to girls and of course…
MICHELE: Yes, Bella! Bella was planned, but sometimes I still can not believe there is this wonderful little baby in my belly. I’m in the process of organizing her life for when she arrives – everything from the nursery to the baby shower to all of her clothes and linens. This is a totally new phase for me to discover – it is indescribable and I am very excited to be there for her the way my mother was with me. My mother is such a warrior – she always told me to never give up on my dreams and to always believe in better days. Things are different these days, and Bella will be able to have it all! But primarily I just want for her to be very healthy and happy.
Discover more about VARAMODE member Michele Pin by visiting her profile.