Professional model who was raised in care aspires to open an orphanage
London based professional model Roxanne Micheals has fully dedicated her modelling career to raising funds for military and children’s charities.
Roxanne, 43, is a mother of two (Christopher, 24 and Victoria, 20). She was born in Mauritius and is a mixed race of Chinese, South African, and Indian.
When she was nine years old, she was placed in care after her mother walked out on her, her sister, and two brothers. Roxanne’s father was unable to care for them full time due to work commitments. She resided in care for seven years, and it was during this period that she decided to become a model.
Roxanne chose to become a model because she loved the glossy magazines which displayed pictures of beautiful models, mainly fashion models. “Being a young girl of 12 years old at that time, I suppose I was taken in by the glamorous lifestyle, and probably all of the pretentious notions that accompany most of the showbiz world,” she recalls.
Roxanne says it feels good to be a model, yet sometimes bad at the same time. “My reason for this is that it’s a profession in which you’re either successful or you’re not. There doesn’t seem to be any ‘in between’. For example sometimes there will be plenty of work, and there can be long spells where I can attend many castings, and not get a single job,” she says.
Roxanne has had a very challenging life. At the age of 19, she conceived her son Christopher.
Having left school with 5 GCSEs, and 2 O’levels, she felt she needed to go for further studies. “I enrolled on a Psychology Degree programme, and studied at night, as days were kept free for modelling assignments. I was a single mum, therefore knew that I would have to undertake further education if I was to make ends meet for myself, and my unborn child,” she says.
Roxanne soon met the man who would be the father of her daughter Victoria. He had been married previously, and had two sons. The youngest, Nicky Mason, enlisted in the army, and served the Queen and the country for seven years.
Unfortunately in 2008, Lance Corporal Nicky Mason of 2 PARA was killed by an IED (improvised explosive device) while clearing a dam in Afghanistan. His death, and the deaths of many other Roxanne’s military friends who were serving in Iraq, and Afghanistan, have made her dedicate her life to raising funds for military charities. She does so “in memory of Nicky and of all our fallen heroes,” she says.
Roxanne is extremely beautiful but she is too humble to admit it. “I don’t see myself as beautiful,” she says. “I’m a very down to earth woman, and am not into the whole diva style pretence.”
Apart from modelling, Roxanne is also a vocalist and song writer. A track from the album she wrote in 2006 is currently on YouTube. We’d like to encourage all our readers to visit Roxanne’s YouTube Channel - roxmicheals (http://www.youtube.com/user/roxmicheals#p/a/u/1/5fiyTkYPkUA) and listen to the track. By mid September it will be possible to download the track for a small fee of £2, and all proceeds will go to the military charities. “I warn. It is a very raunchy track,” Roxanne says jokingly.
Roxanne has decided that all monies earned from her future modelling assignments will be donated to various military and children’s charities.
She also walks to raise funds for the charities. Roxanne is currently undertaking a 723 mile charity walk which commenced on 16th August in Leeds, and will finish on 16th September in Leeds.
She is walking with friends Wayne Foster and Oliver Mitchel who are ex TA soldiers. All are welcome to join them. To find out where they are, please log on to www.walksforourheroes.co.uk, or follow them on Twitter (http://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=walk4heroes).
Roxanne is using this walk to raise funds for the following charities: 2 PARA (this was Nicky’s regiment, therefore close to her heart), Afghan Heroes, a charity set up by mums who sadly lost eight sons in Afghanistan.
She is also raising funds for Garrison Girls, a charity supporting soldiers and their families. The charity sends parcels out to the troops.
Roxanne is also raising funds for The Soldiers Charity (formerly the Army Benevolent Fund), a charity which helps the soldiers (ex and serving), as well as their families with housing, and grants for things such as furniture, and so forth. “The last charity I am raising funds for is The Mark Wright Project. Mark was a soldier with 3 PARA, and was serving in Afghanistan at the time of his death. His parents set up The Mark Wright Project in his memory, with a view of raising funds to build a Centre for the wounded soldiers. I’d like to help them to achieve this dream,” Roxanne says.
Having been a professional model for several years, Roxanne has some advice for the youngsters who wish to become models. “They should be aware that ‘all is not always as it seems’, there are many unscrupulous individuals out there who promise the earth, and also take vast amounts of money from innocent wanna be models. Very often these so called ‘model agents’ are nothing but charlatans,” she warns.
She also advises them to always make sure that they are grounded, and level headed. “Do not be taken in by agents who tell you that you require a portfolio, and they will ‘shoot’ it for you. Often these agents are just a ‘front’ for a photographer. Furthermore if you are approached by a talent scout, always check out the agency first. Check if they’re listed with the Association of Model Agents (as reputable agencies often are),” she adds.
The thing Roxanne likes most about herself is her ability to empathise with others. She says: “I believe that empathy plays a great part in life, as we should always be able to put ourselves in another person’s shoes.”
Asked to share with us fashion and beauty tips, Roxanne says: “It’s important to consume plenty of water every day. This is good for the skin. Do not wear too much make up as this ruins our skin. The natural beauty look is always good.”
And what are the qualities of a man who can win Roxanne’s heart? “My ideal man has to have a good sense of humour, as I love a man who can make me laugh. However he must know when to be serious. Integrity plays a big part in a relationship, as well as loyalty,” she reveals.
Now, to you photographers and casting directors, please offer Roxanne shoots for magazines, ads, and any other modelling assignments so that she can raise funds for the military and children’s charities.
“Due to the fact that I was raised in care, I’d like to make enough money, and open an orphanage. This way I could give those children who have no parents love and attention, as well as help underprivileged children,” Roxanne says.
HOW TO DONATE TO THE CHARITIES
The Soldiers Charity
2 PARA (The Parachute Charity)
The Mark Wright Project
By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a