Model Laura Shields: IQ in the top two percent of the population

Posted by Liza Elliott-Ramirez July - 22 - 2012
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Laura Shields

Laura Shields has had a successful modeling career, has traveled the world working, and has even had a stint on the show Deal or No Deal. However, she has somehow found a way to remain grounded and appreciate the little things in life. Her beauty is truly more than skin deep, and her accomplishments extend beyond modeling. She belongs to the elite, online academic organization Mensa, which only extends membership to those with an IQ in the top two percent of the population. She also has a chemical engineering degree. As a pregnant model she is getting ready to open a new chapter in her life and start a family. Below she shares intimate details about her childhood, career, and excitement for motherhood.

The Stork Magazine: How did you get your start?

Laura: I have the typical model story of being spotted as a young girl. I was actually 15 and out shopping with friends in Manchester, England (my home town) when a scout from Elite model agency ‘found’ me. I was signed with them shortly after and when I had free time from school I worked in London – closely supervised by my mum!

The Stork Magazine: What are the highlights of your career?

Laura: For me the best part of modeling is getting to travel so much, I’ve lived in Tokyo, London, China and now America for work. I think one of my career moments that stands out is working on the TV show ‘deal or no deal’ holding case number 22 for season 2. I had no TV aspirations so that was a whole different world for me and I actually booked the job whilst I was on holiday in Los Angeles so it changed my life as I decided to stay. I now call LA home and have lived here for the past 5 to 6 years and got my green card shortly after making the move permanent. That’s the fun and crazy thing about being a model you can end up anywhere!

The Stork Magazine: You recently did a shoot for Fit Pregnancy Magazine. How was shooting for them?

Laura: It was great shooting for them and I got to travel to a part of California I hadn’t visited yet. We shot in Ojai and I fell in love with the place, beautiful scenery and so relaxing. I’ll definitely be going back.

The Stork Magazine: How is maternity modeling different from mainstream modeling?

Laura: So far I think modeling may be the only job that gets easier with pregnancy! The clients and agency are more understanding on time demands and getting rest or that you are not as available (all those doctors appointments etc) the main thing is not worrying about what you eat though! I definitely ate healthy before and am continuing to do so but it’s nice not to avoid things that make you bloat before a shoot – in fact I have even been told to eat lots before pregnancy shoots and castings which is great!

The Stork Magazine: What was your childhood like? How has your European nationality shaped your experience?

Laura: I’m very lucky to have grown up in a loving and close family. My parents are still very much together now after 42 years of marriage which is something I aspire to. I grew up around horses and this was my main hobby and passion. I spent every weekend and spare moment from school looking after my horse Lucky and I think that responsibility definitely kept me grounded. My mother loved to travel and at a very early age I went all over the world with her. We traveled throughout Europe, Egypt, Maldives, Africa, and America. This allowed me to see many different cultures and different ways of life.

 I was a bit of a geek growing up, I loved school and learning and reading was one of my biggest past times. Science was my favorite subject and even now I love reading discovery magazine and keeping up to date with the latest physics research or watching science documentaries. Being from Europe made me appreciate culture and history.


The Stork Magazine: Did you always want to be a model while pursuing academics?

Laura Shields: I never thought about modeling but when I got in to it I surprisingly enjoyed it. I decided to keep doing it so long as my grades didn’t slip. I loved the travel and picking my own hour. I made more money than other student jobs so that was nice!

The Stork Magazine: We hear you’re a member of Mensa and have a chemical engineering degree. Are people ever surprised to learn about your intellect?

Laura Shields: I think it’s more about having a science degree as a girl that’s the  big shock. It’s usually such a male dominated subject. It’s definitely nice to have something to fall back on and it also stops me from being stereotyped. I don’t feel like I have anything to prove to anyone especially as I get older, but it’s always nice to have the credentials.

The Stork Magazine: What inspired you to achieve your outstanding accomplishments in both your modeling and academic career?

Laura: The modeling thing just sort of happened and I’ve had lucky circumstances. I think keeping grounded and being nice to people gets you far. I also don’t do drugs or drink alcohol and I keep healthy and active which affords me to have a long career. My parents are a major influence on my academic career. Modeling was allowed because I kept being a straight A student. Having a passion for learning and science went far towards me accomplishing my degree and I’m proud of it because I worked hard for it.

The Stork Magazine: You’ve proven yourself to be a highly capable woman in modeling and intellectually. Is there anything you want people to know about undermining model stereotypes?

Laura: People today or at least the ones I’ve met don’t have model stereotypes. Most people see that some models have their own side businesses or use it as a platform for other things. I think, unfortunately, a lot of girls miss out on an education because they start modeling at such a young age and it seems to be getting younger. This saddens me and I would love for there to be a minimum age brought out. I would definitely have to think long and hard about allowing my daughter into the industry at 15. The other thing people have to remember about models is that even if they don’t have a formal education most have amazing and rich life experiences and an education only traveling can bring. They know so much about different countries and cultures and many speak other languages so there really shouldn’t be a model stereotype.

The Stork Magazine: What is your favorite thing about fashion?

Laura: I’m a girly girl and I love playing dress up! My favorite part of going to dinner or out is actually picking my outfit and feeling good. I don’t follow trends, I just wear what suits me and what makes me happy. I think fashion makes me confident and it’s fun!

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