Gerren’s Really Got It Together!

Gerren’s Really Got It Together!

By Numreen Khan

Breaking records. Smashing boundaries. She is the youngest person to ever model in New York’s Fashion Week, the first African American model featured in a Marc Jacobs ad campaign, and a star on the hit TV series Baldwin Hills. To top it all off, Gerren Taylor is one of the most grounded young women in the spotlight, even after getting her start at just 12 years old!

Vervegirl caught up with the young model and actress, and we find out how she got to where she is today, and what continues to keep her grounded.

VERVEGIRL: How did you get started in the modelling industry?
GERREN TAYLOR: I was with my mom when a woman approached us, handed my mom a card, and asked if I ever thought about modeling. My mom said no, that I was too young and we left. I begged my mom all the way to the car to let me try out. She finally gave in thinking that it would be a quick learning experience.

We took some pictures with a disposable camera, got them developed at a 1 hour photo, and went to one of the top modeling agencies in Los Angeles with a hand full of pictures and me and my crooked teeth :).

I won the first round, and lost the second round, but they signed me anyway. The moral is never give up on what you’re passionate about!

VG: What was your experience like being one of the youngest models to partake in New York’s Fashion Week?
GT: Wow pretty much says it all. Everything was so exciting. The beautiful clothes, hair and makeup, celebrities, paparazzi… was a fairy tale. Now that I look back on it, it’s all really incredible. As a woman, I now see just how amazing it all was, but at the time I was a girl playing dress up; I got paid for it, got a lot of nice clothes, met great people, and took a lot of fun trips.

Gerren’s Really Got It Together!

VG:  How were you able to balance your childhood and professional life?
GT: For starters, my mom never let me get caught up in the hype. It’s all glitz and glamour, but it’s not the real world. It’s a fantasy, and that’s what I speak to young girls about now when I talk to them about self image and self esteem. What they see in magazines and even on television has been air brushed, photo-shopped (to the point that it no longer resembles the person sometimes), “flaws” camouflaged, tucked, etc.

We can’t get caught up in it. I want all girls to know that they were created with no mistakes. They are perfect just as they are!

I also continued doing the things I did before I started modeling. I was in regular school and homeschooled for only one year when I started traveling often. I continued volleyball, and our team even went to the Jr. Olympics. A spiritual foundation was and is still very important. My mom kept my feet firmly planted on the ground. She was always by my side, so I never got caught up in the drug scene or any of the other scenes that sometimes tempt those in the industry.

VG: How has your modelling career affected your personal relationships (friends, family, dating)?
GT: My modeling career hasn’t really affected my personal life. I have the same friends, although I have met other friends along the way. It is really important not to forget where you come from, and who has been there for you and with you before and after the modeling. Careers come and go, but real friends and family will be there for a lifetime. Dating gets hard sometimes because I travel quite a bit. I love to travel, see new things, meet different people, but I do get homesick sometimes.

VG: What was your support system in dealing with the pressures of working in a fast-paced, competitive industry?
GT: My mom and grandmother were my backbone and support system growing up. My mom kept my head on straight, never let me lose track of reality, and taught me the importance of being humble and caring about others. Feeding the homeless, doing charity events, and speaking to young girls about body issues, self esteem and loving themselves was and is just as important as any runway show or photo shoot.

I never felt the competition because my mom taught me that if I didn’t get a job, it wasn’t meant for me.

VG: Tell us about your experience landing a role on the hit TV show, Baldwin Hills.
GT: Baldwin Hills was fun. A friend of mine was trying out and he told the producers about me. I tried out and got the job. My friend didn’t. A tip: Never take your friend with you on a casting before you are chosen. However, I had a great time on the show, and my manager is looking over some other reality shows that I have been approached for to see if they will be good for me.


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