Model Scout, Lynsee Gonzales, keeps it real and centered
Updated: Jan 30, 2019
I moved to Greensboro, NC three years ago this April for a job offer with Directions USA, a modeling agency. My family—including dad, mom, sister and her two children, brother and his wife and three children and all my other relatives—live on the West Coast.
I went to high school in Roseburg, OR, after moving from Northern California (which is where my parents and family are all from) to Idaho and then finally Southern OR. After high school, I went to George Fox University, a private christian college in a little town called Newberg right outside of Portland. I was a two sport athlete in high school and college, playing volleyball and tennis. After my first year and a pretty severe car accident, I lost my sports grants due to injuries and transferred to Oregon State in Corvallis, OR.
In the middle of my college years, I decided to pursue modeling full-time and my agency in Portland shipped me off to Singapore. I remember being too scared to tell my family who doesn’t travel farther than driving distance, especially not to the middle of SE Asia. I finally broke down and called my mom from a payphone in Hong Kong and confessed that I was chasing my dreams and already there. She was horrified, as any parent would be, to see her youngest daughter (and definitely most naive child) alone in a foreign country. But I was determined and that adventure ended up opening up the chapter of my life that would span the majority of my life.
After traveling the world modeling, I decided to focus on finding what else The Lord had for my life. During modeling, I learned that there was more to life than being really, really ridiculously good looking. (Zoolander joke).
I had seen so many friends suffer from focusing on their appearance, trying to get ahead anyway they could. It ended up being a huge wakeup call that lead me to pursue a job as an agent- to try to be a positive influence in the industry, being a role model demonstrating inner beauty is more important and much more attractive than outer beauty. I took a job as a New Faces Director for a small agency in Portland, OR and changed my career path from studying biology to Fashion.
Where are you from?
What was your upbringing like?
Very conservative family: my mom is the director of corrections in Lincoln County and my dad works in sales for a distribution company.
What is your education or training background?
I studied Biology in college but I have been signed for modeling since I was 15. Life experiences outweighed education in my career!
What is your occupation?
IMG Models scouting and development
What are your hobbies?
I am very active in my church. I run everyday and I love to read, as well as hang out with friends.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about travel. If I could find a job traveling full-time, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
What causes are you involved with?
I travel and talk to models about how to keep your faith in this industry. My passion, other than traveling, would be to offer inspiration for women who struggle with beauty.
What do you love about the Carolinas?
I love how much there is here! It reminds me of home- the ocean, the mountains and lots of good people.
Where do you vacation?
I typically fly home to see my family. This year I plan on going to Scotland, Paris, and Australia.
What are your proudest accomplishments?
Overcoming a need of wanting people to see me as beautiful and finding my inner beauty through my walk with Christ. Modeling can warp your perception of what beauty is. It took me looking at who I truly find beautiful and what made them that way to shift my perception.
What outdoor activities do you participate in and where?
I love to run, typically about four miles a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. I love hiking as well—I got to hike Yellow Mountain in China when I was modeling in Shanghai and that is one of my favorite memories. I grew up fishing, camping and hiking!
Favorite spot in the Carolinas to visit?
Charleston, SC! I have my second family there: the Caldwells, Marianne and Kenny, have been a huge part of my life.
What events in your life or family's life have impacted you?
My nieces and nephews being born… life just comes so much faster than you think it will. Seeing them grow up from afar has its challenges, but I try to facetime everyone often.
Have you had a life changing event in your life?
So many: a car accident, moving to Asia, moving back to Asia, experiencing traveling, helping my sister raise her kids, living with models that have family dying back home and that is why they are doing what they are doing, to send money back so they can eat, doing a reality show (huge wake up call).
If money wasn't an issue, what would you do with your time each day?
I would be a full time missionary or embasador. I would love to help people and love on kids that need someone.