Model and YouTuber Anna Grostina on Beauty Ideals and Becoming a Social Sensation

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e importance of social media is stressed for most up-and-coming models, but Latvian newcomer Anna Grostina has found a unique way to utilize the medium. Sharing short films and arty pictures via Instagram and YouTube, Grostina has developed a fan base by avoiding the trappings of selfies and self-promotion. With a show season that included turns at Givenchy, Loewe, and Miu Miu, Grostina is a girl in high demand, but it’s her online creativity that’s proved uniquely fascinating.

What made you want to start posting videos on YouTube?

I’ve been taking videos since I was small, and I just find it fascinating to make and edit them. You would think it is a typical day, but you can create something special just by walking down the street.

Has social media played a role in your modeling career?

I had an Instagram before I started modeling, and I would always post my photos just to show people the path my life was going down. My life has been one big adventure so far, so I’m just kind of showing and sharing how so many things in my life are changing. It’s kind of incredible. What I would like to do is really inspire people to just go for it, get out there, and start trying new things. That’s why I went with the name highhsoul on Instagram. I think a great video can really elevate you; it can introduce new perspectives and open your eyes.

What would you say has maybe been the most exciting thing that you’ve gotten to do because of your social media channels?

The most interesting thing is getting to meet and talk to people who come from very different backgrounds. I try to make videos that give people that feeling of being free, and I’ve had some very interesting people reach out to me via my Tumblr or YouTube. I try to respond to as many as I can, but lately it has been harder to do.

Would you say filmmaking is your creative outlet?

My roommate has told me how I’m always inventing these scenes in my head beforehand, but I think I’m more drawn to photography. I’ve been taking photos since I was 9, and I’m sure [filmmaking] is something I would want to do in the future, but for now I just really like making these shorts.

Was fashion something you were interested in, as well?

Not at first. I always struggled with the whole “trends” kind of thing and society having this ideal of beauty. It’s a really hard subject, especially now—and I’m struggling with the words—but in some ways I feel people have been misled. When you’re younger, you don’t judge people based on looks, but over time we’re taught that you have to look a certain way, you have to dress a certain way. So before becoming a part of fashion, I did struggle with those ideas and I still do, but at the same time you see that there are so many types of models now, so many different people working within this business. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but things are hopefully becoming more open. Society is actually embracing the weirdness and the funkiness.

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