career in art or music. “But then, growing up
being so influenced by media, by television
with my parents, I have been subjected to a
lot of that kind of stuff, and I’m used to it
now,” she muses, acknowledging the
possibility of a stab at TV down the line.
“Presenting is something I would consider.
But I know I’d just mess up so much. But
then again, you have to start somewhere. I
thought I’d mess up modelling. I suppose I’ve
done so far, so well.”
For now, she plans to model full-time
after school. “I realise now that that’s what
I want to do. But I do want to go to college.
And have as much of a normal life as
possible. And I don’t want to become that
kind of model, that skinny girl who’s
obsessed with herself.”
She’s a student in the Teresian School in
Donnybrook, an exclusive private school.
Holding down work, social life and a
boyfriend can be trying. “It is difficult for me
to tell the girls, ‘Oh, I can’t really do that,’”
she says. “I think it is difficult to socialise with
modelling. You get tired easily.”
Her friends are “incredibly supportive.
They laugh when they see me in papers,
because, you know, I’m not a real pose-y,
angular girl. I’ve got my chubby cheeks, my
big frizzy hair. My friends know me as the
awkward long girl who falls over herself all
“I don’t even know half of their friends that
they’ve made this year. I would only really
go out on big nights. I’d be tired a lot. I’m still
trying to fine-tune what’s the best thing to
do. I’m getting there.”
The school work is “sick, it really is. I’ll
come in to school and I’ll realise I’ve got three
tests. I might have been told about three
weeks earlier, but I’ve completely forgotten
because I’ve been going from school to a
Brown Thomas fashion show, or to fittings.”
Sitting down to school work can be hard
after the excitement of her model life. “It’s
not as interesting any more, because I’ve just
been modelling which means I’ve had
cameras and people all crowding around me.
And then I come back to sit at home, with
a page in front of me.”
She met her boyfriend, Anthony, through
mutual friends, before she became Thalia the
model. He’s a first-year college student from
Clontarf. “So I took after my mum,” she
says; a Southsider who went for a Northsider.
They’ve been going out a year and a month.
And a bit. She says she’s a “commitaphobe.
I kind of get claustrophobic with boys. Bad
experiences with stupid boys. And with
Anthony, it was different. The good thing
about him is he’s known me since before I
started modelling. So I know that there’s
nothing weird going on at all. I’d be afraid
of, ‘You know my girlfriend’s Thalia
Heffernan? You might know her from
magazines?’ He’s not like that at all.”
They see each other a couple of times a
week. “It’s great that he drives,” she says,
“because otherwise I probably would see him
about once a month.”
She’s planning a trip to London for
go-sees with agencies in the next month, that
will bring a “whole new set of nerves”.
“I’m a good model,” she says, almost
reassuring to herself, “but I still don’t know
a lot about the modelling world. I’ve been
very, very wrapped up. I’m covered in cling
22 | LIFE | Sunday Independent | 22 April 2012
film and bubble wrap. No one has really tried
to hurt me. I’ve had an article written about
me saying I’m anorexic. That kind of came
and went. And I became bigger than the
article. Things like that affect me a little bit,
and I get over it. But when I go to London
it’s a big world. Dublin’s tiny. I’m a big fish
in a little pond here. But over there I’m
gonna be a tiny fish in a huge pond.
“It’s gonna be a new challenge. I think
maybe at this stage, after a year of modelling,
I’m ready. Go over and see what they think
of me. I’m ready to try. I’m ready to be
rejected, 100 times. That’s fair enough,” she
“I have a little bit of a plan. But at the same
time, I don’t.” L
Top, T by Alexander Wang, Harvey Nichols.
Shorts, Sandro, Brown Thomas.
Shoes, Kurt Geiger London,
Contents and page 21
Dress, T by Alexander Wang, Harvey Nichols.
Shoes, Gucci, Brown Thomas
Shoes, Kurt Geiger London, Brown Thomas
Dress, Sportmax, Harvey Nichols.
Shoes, Stella McCartney,
Brown Thomas Dublin
Photography by Sarah Doyle
Assisted by Cait Fahey
Styling by Liadan Hynes
Assisted by Chloe Brennan
Make-up by Paula Callan,
assisted by Michelle Effie,
Brown Sugar, 50 Sth William St, D2,
tel: (01) 616-9967
Hair by Paul Davey,
23 Drury St, D2, tel: (01) 611-1400
Shot on location at Carton House, Maynooth,
Co Kildare, a stunning private estate, which is
steeped in history, with exquisite decor and
unrivalled food, tel: (01) 505-2000,
or see www.cartonhouse.com