Today we’d like to introduce you to Bella Basque.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I started modeling at ten years old when I was spotted at a modeling workshop. I had attended to just get nice photos taken, had no real intention in modeling! From there I added influencer work, acting, and most recently teen reporter for CT Fashion Magazine, pageantry, makeup artistry; and I’m also a part of the Fashion Support team and TikTok Manager for Bikini Beach Australia; Alex Abraham worked with me at Miami Swim Week at the ripe age of 13 in 2021, where she let me do makeup for her runway models The following year in 2022 she had me come back as an MUA, but also to intern beside her to learn the ropes of being a Fashion Designer. Here I got to work backstage which included styling and doing everything from running errands to everything and anything asked. I was also attending a design camp for Institute of Marangoni at the time, where Alex collaborated with the school bringing on seven other interns. After 10 days of long hours at Miami Swim Week, I was the only intern offered a paid internship. Outlasting all other seven grown adults. I then finished my design camp winning for Top Design, letter of recommendation from Marangoni, and an offer to attend their Under Graduate program in the Fall. I am graduating High School early with honors and will be attending the top design school at sixteen years old.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
No not at all actually. The first few years were more of a hobby. Once I went full-time, I encountered a lot of online bullying, mostly adults to be honest, a lot of underhanded sabotage by competing mothers of other models, and all of this still continues to this day. You really need a thick skin in this industry and not only that but I delt with a very dangerous photographer whom I battled in court and with law enforcement. I hope my story of how the dangers of social media, predators, and child exploitation is a major issue in today’s digital era can help other families.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I spoke a bit about my work and current situation, but I’m probably most known for my video social media presence. I love modeling but I think my true personality is what sets me apart. I am always being noticed for Tiktoks, my livestreams, reporting/Hosting, and vlogs. I always say I’m more than a pretty face. I take pride in being the goofy, nerdy, SMART girl who isn’t afraid to show my vulnerable side with constant bloopers and not trying to look perfect in an industry were looking perfect is pushed.
However, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, I’m known for NEVER GIVING UP and standing up to bullies. I have been told so many times, I don’t know how you’re still here, but you are! I now use the hashtag #stillhere as a constant reminder that many tried to get me out and did not succeed.
I have girls and moms who write to me to help them battle bullying, creepers, and sometimes just advice on staying motivated when others try to bring you down. I often get asked how to grow your pages and that’s not my goal…nor was being “famous”
My last piece of advice I gave to a mom, who wrote to me on how to grow her daughter’s account, I started out with “I can give you all the dos, but I feel it’s better to give you the DON’TS, so you can keep your daughter SAFE!” It’s a very tricky world to be a teen who’s a social media influencer, where you have to keep your pages public for brand deals and growth but remain safe.
I’m most proud of how I overcame all the adversity this public fight with a predator photographer ended. Most thought my career would end, and it almost did. I kept my eye on what was important and kept fighting that big battle, all the while not giving up on my own dreams. Truth always prevails and quitters never win. These two cliche quotes sum up my life now. Now that the big battle is almost over, I have finally returned to concentrating on my artistic creative side. I want to focus on design. Makeup artistry, more editorial artistic shoots, and finding my niche in the world of video and return to acting or reality TV even.
We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
I learned career wise I was very lucky that I already knew how to use videos to reel in an audience. I know many from different walks of life struggled in finding a way to work if remote wasn’t an option. Like many during covid, people turned to the internet for entertainment. I was very lucky that I had a built-in audience and knew how to stay creative and monetize. I already homeschooled due to my work schedule, so that wasn’t a big transition either. I did however struggle not having cheerleading in my life during covid. I was a competitive cheerleader for ten years and this is where my friends and real-life social connections were. Our coaches did weekly zooms for us to work out together and practice together best we could so we wouldn’t lose our skills. That was a depressing time for me as a teen. The decision by my coaches to do this and also using social media to stay connected kept me sane! Our generation likes to text and snap to stay in touch. Covid taught our generation the beauty of real-life calls and FaceTimed and appreciation for voices and faces of friends and loved ones.