On a very public and global stage it is easy to lose sight of oneself. International model and digital media sensation - Mara Lafontan - shares how she has struck the perfect balance between adapting to new adventures and remaining true to herself.
Typically, French women have an air of mystery that makes them so alluring. Mara Lafontan’s ever so sociable personality is her biggest asset for tastemakers around the globe. The multinational muse is based in Paris, but is currently soaking up as much sun as possible stateside in Los Angeles during the Covid-19 pandemic. Mara’s career has taken her to the farthest reaches of the world and back again, as she has made memories in every café across Europe and lived in almost every fashion capital. However, Mara has a special place in her heart for her past domicile down under. “My whole career peaked when I lived in Sydney and still today it remains one of my favorite cities. I still consider it home. Lately, I have been feeling more homesick for Australia than France,” shares the model.
Mara’s career has flown her across the world and she has collected more than just passport stamps from each country. “I am lucky enough to work on every continent in the world and fashion is not the same everywhere,” notes the social media siren. Keen to take in culture style cues from every place she visits, Mara developed a knack for adapting her own personal style towards the locale’s overall aesthetic. “I am influenced by my surroundings whether I am in Paris, London, or Los Angeles,” says Mara. “My identity remains, but I play with accents. For makeup, in London I never step out without a liner; Paris will see me wearing red lips; and in LA barely anything – except sun kissed skin,” says Mara. Her ability to adapt to her surroundings is a tool she developed to show an understanding and respect for the culture, but Mara always ensures that her style and beauty looks always ring true to her. “You would not see a French woman wearing anything she does not feel like her best self in just because it’s what everybody else is wearing,” states the model.
It is hard to believe that at one point the leggy brunette’s professional life would not include modeling, yet: “I did not plan on becoming a model, but I did not think twice when handed the opportunity,” laughed Mara. Her start in the industry derived from a desire to have a creative outlet for self-expression. At first deciding that photography was the perfect medium, it became very apparent that people wanted Mara in front of the camera rather than behind it. Initially, modeling was a part-time gig that earned the self-made social media sensation pocket money while she pursued an education in literature in France. Now, it is her livelihood that has opened the door for a variety of other opportunities and adventures.
As a French woman, fashion is quite literally in her DNA. French culture and style have been a mainstay for fashion connoisseurs for what seems like a millennia. Mara did not have to look far for fashion inspiration. “I was always sensible to the world of fashion – my mom being a great fashion icon for me,” shares Mara. “Fashion is obviously a big deal in France, and I have vivid memories of thinking about what my clothes were saying about me as early as middle school. It’s always been a great tool of self-expression for me, changing with my emotional weather and what I want to feel like on a given day.”
Self-identity is a key part of Mara’s style choices, both in fashion and in life. Through her Instagram, it is easy to identify exactly who she is. Upon first look, the model’s Instagram looks perfectly curated. An immaculate grid of warm toned portraits. However, a deeper dive into her account exposes Mara’s authentic and intentional story. As she would say, a picture is worth a thousand words. “It’s so empowering to be in control of how you want others to perceive you. I feel like the CEO of the company I want to create – the company being myself,” says Mara. Her account tells a story of a woman who is self-empowered and strong. She is femininity and self-confidence embodied. That feeling is exactly what Mara wants to convey to everyone she meets. That headspace is how she approaches life and she wants others to feel empowered in the same way when they approach her profile. Further stating, “it is indeed a tough exercise to remain true to oneself when feeling the constant pressure that you could be better, prettier, skinnier, edgier. As I grow older, I realize how much I carry within that is unique to me and only me, so I pushed in that direction opening myself up to my truth and sharing it. I saw a big change in my career and opportunities as well as the people I was attracting along the way,” says Mara.
As her profile rises, the model-influencer works diligently to stay true to her identity. “Having genuine relationships with people, old friendships and newer ones, is the only way for me to stay grounded,” heartens Mara. “Being in harmony with my friends and chosen family is what consistently helps me understand where my priorities are. At the end of the day, does it really matter if you have nobody that loves you deeply for who you are and not for what you can do for them?” During this global pause, the starlet is being dutiful in taking time to reconnect with friends and family, as well as to internally reset through deep thinking, reassessing personal goals and aspirations, and truly learning how to be a better friend to herself. As inspiring as she is beautiful, Mara leaves us with these words: “Whatever life brings our way, we can always choose how we respond. We have all the time in the world to grow into who we deeply are, yet it is crucial to eagerly look for beauty every day.”