What is VARG you ask? According to the IG page of Therese (or any of her social media accounts), it means VIVIDLY AWARE, RIGHTFULLY GREAT. When I first read those words, it was a reminder that each and every one of us has something positive to offer the world, you just have to listen to what your heart is telling you and not always the voice inside you head. Lets find out more about this inspiring model and her views regarding animals and what it means to be compassionate.
New York, NY (Originally Sweden)
When I mastered the skill to name a spider (the one animal that actually gives me the creeps) in order to give it personality so I could save it instead of stamping it to death, I knew I could crown myself The Queen of Empathy! I just find every life to be worth equally as much, and my hope is, through my art and modeling to be able to share this message with the rest of the world. I became a model with the sole purpose to speak my truth and values, and I’ve tried to ever since tailor my career in that direction. One of my modeling highlights was definitely when I showed up for a work during New York Fashion Week having no clue what I was actually there for, only to find out that my job was to ride around town promoting that it’s cool to adopt cats! That was honestly the first time I really felt, omg it’s so much fun to be a model.
Therese: My journey to veganism was fast and pain-free. Out of nowhere, having eating animals my entire life, I suddenly started feeling deep inside that something wasn’t right. I don’t know why but I started questioning why we actually meat. A few documentaries and a couple of books later I was convinced, and from the day I started to implement one meat-free day a week to becoming a full-time vegan it took me three months. I’ve sticked with my decision ever since and I haven’t questioned it even once. I’ve been vegan almost two years now and I honestly felt like I was re-born. The better skin, slimmer body and increased energy simply came as a bonus, as did all the new amazing foods I started to eat. I’m actually pretty confident to say that I wouldn’t be a model today if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m now vegan. The confidence, the energy, the look and the youth just came crashing at me all at once, and I’m gratefully embracing it till this day!
Therese: I definitely feel like the industry is heading in the right direction. People are becoming much more aware and alongside increased number of organizations, people, and information out there all speaking up about animals and their rights, we are slowly looking at a more compassionate future. People do care, and they do want to do what’s right. The issue so far has been that we’ve all been kept in the dark about what is actually going on and how it’s affecting the lives on this planet.
MSA: Why is it important for models to use their voice and speak out?
Therese: Models are finally given a voice, especially in this new era of social media, and it’s more important than ever that we use it to speak up. We are the influencers, the role models that young people look up to, and it’s time that they have some decent values to follow and respect. Models today have the power to make an important impact and a huge shift in social consciousness, so it’s vital that we use that power to speak up and become advocates for positive change.
MSA: If you were a spice, what would you be and why?
Therese: Cayenne pepper, for sure. First of all, it goes into all my cooking, and second - I probably add the same spice to the mix. I’m a typical fire sign and I always come in with a lot of ideas and fire, but I also realize that so much of me is enough. I guess my energy and optimism can be a little bit too much for anyone to handle at times ;)
MSA: What is your astrological sign?
MSA: Morning or Night person and why?
Therese: Morning, definitely. I’ve always found mornings to be filled with some kind of indescribable magic, and I love to be up and catch it before the rest of the world wakes up. An early morning walk followed by coffee and some creative writing is right down my aisle, and if I ever wake up a little later I feel as if I’ve missed out.
Therese: “You can’t start a fire without a spark”. It’s tattooed on the inside of my left bicep and it comes from a song of the Boss of all times - Bruce Springsteen. Back to the fire but I just love everything about this quote, and it’s also how I’ve chosen to live my life. You can’t get anywhere in life if you never find the courage to start. So just take one step and get going, right now - Set some spark to that fire!
Therese: Coffee, My phone (unfortunately), My planner (and all my accompanying notes, sorry for killing trees…), Water (I know this is a literal survival fact but seriously, I’m quite addicted to water), My self-love and positive attitude (Loose that and I wouldn’t be living, I’m so grateful for being me:)
MSA: Name your favorite animal and why.
Therese: Oooh, tough one… But lately I’ve been very drawn to cows. They’re so curious and cute, and you can’t help but look at them and just feel at peace. But my dream is to be eye-to-eye with a wild elephant one day, and then I’m pretty sure I’ll be in love.
MSA: Name your favorite cruelty-free products.
Therese: Literally all vegan foods. I know it’s a boring answer but I just happen to love food and the ability to eat with a good conscious is what puts a smile on my face everyday!
MSA: What celebrity would you most want to meet and why?
Therese: Hehe, well, hey Leo! He’s just doing so many incredible things for this planet right now and I can’t wait to see his new documentary that comes out end of this month (October, 2016). Put me next to Leonardo DiCaprio one day and my life is complete. Well, him and Bruce Springsteen, of course…
MSA: Why is being a part of MSA important to you?
Therese: Models and other artists need to find each so that we together can help better this planet. Together we’re strong, and it’s a true honor to be represented by something as cool as MSA!