08/30/2013 05:03 pm ET Updated Aug 30, 2013

Anne V: 'You Need To Have A Brain To Be A Model'


Models are often pigeonholed as being, well... not the sharpest eyeliner pencils in the makeup bag. But to make it through the cutthroat modeling industry, Anne V says, you've got to actually be smart and savvy.

Speaking to Fashionista, the Victoria's Secret runway walker said models need to be prepared to make it in the biz:

"You need to have a brain to be a model," she explained, emphasizing why it's important for models to speak up for themselves. "You need to have a voice because you’re not going to last in this business just being stupid."

Having a brain, Anne V suggests, means that models should stick up for themselves and be the ones in control of their careers, rather than allow bookers, designers or photographers to call the shots. The vulnerable position of models, particularly young ones, has been widely discussed; yet more and more incidents seem to arise, from the 17-year-old who was forced to trade sexual favors for a modeling gig to the 17-year-old who worked for days on end during Fashion Week without monetary compensation.

The message to speak up and, as Anne V put it, "have a brain" has been echoed by Coco Rocha, another strong advocate for her younger peers. "When I talk about it, people realize, 'She has a voice, she's going to say something, so maybe we should worry about that and worry about Coco's needs and wants instead of how she looks,'" Rocha once told The Huffington Post. "But the girls that don't say much, it probably still could be hard for them."

She added, "But I think it really is up to the girls to stand up for themselves and have that courage to do it."

Hearing this sentiment from more models like Anne V who have successfully "used their brains" -- and more importantly, voices -- is a good place to start.

Let them serve as inspirations:

Models Who Were Bullied

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