Bridget Blonde—model, cake eater, and pit bull lover—has been the cover girl of magazines such as Skin Art, Tattoo Energy, Garage, and Tattoo Society. Her work also includes countless magazine spreads, a centerfold in Rockabilly Magazine, and commercial advertisements. You may have also seen Bridget featured in The Black Keys’ music video for their song “Next Girl.” Her work isn’t slowing down, either; she will be the model for a one-month promotional campaign for upcoming VAR magazine. Her featured photo is by Rebecca Handler, an accomplished photographer that is proving to be an up-and-comer in the counter culture scene. Photos featured in the campaign are by Steve Prue, Ellen Stagg, and Chris Ewers. So, what else could a busy model put on her plate to add to her versatility? Well, she recently took her from the camera and to the streets with The Blonde Locks, a streetwear clothing line.
“ I heart cheezburgers —Bridget Blonde ”
First, when did you know modeling was the career path for you? Were you always hamming it up in front of the camera or were you into something entirely different?
Well, I was always into sports growing up and anything where you’re putting on a show for an audience—whether dancing, cheerleading, in recitals, or for competitions. So I guess I was always a ham, but I never took it seriously until my first photo shoot.
How did you book your first photo gig?
I had a friend back in Houston who was a photographer, and she wanted to take my picture. She was a great photographer. She had a connection with Angel Jagger to do my hair and makeup. At first I thought nothing of it, because I didn’t know the business, but then I found out how amazing and well known Angel is. After that initial shoot, my eyes kind of just opened up and I got to see how the industry really worked. Before that, I was just bartending—just another pretty girl in Houston surviving, doing whatever, living day-to-day. In Texas, you kind of just make your money, and go about your every day. I never thought of modeling before that.
So, this whole experience really opened your eyes up to another world and experiences and new doors started to open up?
Totally! Then I just started pushing for it. Seven months later, I moved to L.A. and I just went full-blown into the industry.
Do you view modeling as a lifestyle, just a part of your life, or a career?
I really view modeling as more of getting paid to do my hobby and I am quite fortunate with that in my life. And from my experiences in modeling, I started a streetwear clothing line, The Blonde Locks. So not only do I model fulltime, but now I own a clothing line that I am building a whole other brand with. So I am doing it all over again.
Do you find the business philosophy and experiences you learned in the modeling industry to transcend into the clothing industry?
Well, there are always new things that pop up. Clothing is just a totally different world. In modeling, it is a really small world where everybody knows everybody. Then, you cross into this new world of clothing, and it’s another whole small world where everyone knows everyone, and I am saying to myself, “Well, I know zip shit.” All these people know each other and you are trying to fit your way in. It’s funny, though, how I even got The Blonde Locks started because I did some modeling for The Hundreds, Johnny Cupcake and Creep Street. The Hundreds, being the largest streetwear line for which I modeled, really opened my eyes to get The Blonde Locks started. At the time, my fan-base was so large, but it was a totally different niche of people who wore streetwear clothing. So I really opened up a lot of eyes in the market I thought Well, shoot, I can do this! It was just strictly out of my love for streetwear and my love for that lifestyle that got me to start my own clothing line. And my many thanks to The Hundreds who really helped me get it started and helped me with all of my printing. Those guys gave me a lot of advice and pointers on how to build my brand. But all in all, it is funny how my life has made this really fun career turn. I am still modeling fulltime, so I’ve been super busy.
What is your role in a photo shoot as the model? And how does the relationship with the photographer reveal the best possible images on camera?
To me, I feel it is that it is not really that difficult to take a really good photograph of myself. That is not to be cocky. What I mean is a photographer can make anyone look good on camera, especially if the photographer is a professional. Models know their bodies. They know how to pose and how to stand. It is easy to get an excellent photo. So for me, I feel my job is to get the person who looks at my photograph to feel a relationship between me and the photographer. But as for photographers, my favorite photographer to shoot with is Steve Prue. That guy opens me up like no other person on earth. The photos I take with Steve always seem to get me topping myself every time. I never think I can go that far and he finds a way to push me to a place where I have never been.
That must be a fun experience to re-live your life through the photography reel.
Exactly. That’s the best thing about modeling. I get to re-live almost everything that I do. That’s probably the coolest thing about modeling; everything is either on videotape or film. So, I’m truly lucky that in the future I’ll be able to show my family, or anyone who is interested, all of the cool stuff that I’ve done and for which I’ve pushed to get. This is especially the case with my new project, The Blonde Locks. It shows how I have grown in branding myself and how I have grown into a businesswoman. I most definitely do not take that for granted.
You describe yourself as model/cake eater/pit bull lover.
I have two pit bulls that I have rescued, and that I absolutely adore. So I am really down for the cause. I take my dogs running down at Runyon Canyon and I let them off the leash. People will say, “Oh my gosh, you let your pit-bulls off their leash at a dog park,” and I’m thinking that yeah, of course, because my dogs are dogs, and of course they want to get off their leash. I’m all about trying to have people change their opinion about pit bulls. You can’t go and live your life forming opinions based on what you have heard. So, not only am I trying to prove to everyone that a tattooed woman can be beautiful and happy, I am also day in and day out trying to prove to people that pit bulls are not awful and they won’t kill you.
Who inspires you on a daily basis?
I am constantly inspired by my mother. She had to figure things out for herself really fast and I feel that I am in the same boat. I’m also inspired by a different woman daily that is any strong-minded woman who has persevered while people were trying to push her down.
Does music have an influence during your photo shoots? Do you prefer silence?
Music is always cool but I don’t mind if there is no music. Music isn’t the thing that gets me going. The thing that gets me going is a photographer who is passionate and who is involved. That is the reason why I am so into Steve Prue and why he makes me feel so alive. He really tries to build you up. It’s really easy to get going when you have someone vocal. When you have a photographer who is not so vocal, it makes you begin to question yourself and your mind starts to go all over the place.
Do you take the philosophy of being vocal into your own camp?
When I go help out younger models—when I do coaching—I always make sure I am encouraging and make them aware that what they are doing is noticed. People want feedback. People what to know what they are doing is correct. Sometimes I go a little berserk, because yeah, I get stressed out and I’m a diva sometimes. But I know what I want, so I’m going to be vocal about it. I cannot do it by myself and we are a team to keep Bridget Blonde going. We are all in this together. It’s all about family. You keep those people close to you that believe in you, that push you, that love you, and will die for you. You have to let them all know that we are all equals and that there is no hierarchy.
Do you have any rituals you perform before a shoot? Or do you just take a casual approach?
I kind of just roll with it. I do like to have a coffee or an energy drink beforehand because there is a lot of sitting around for hair and makeup. But I do always make it a point to bring my own stuff. I always bring my own hairspray. I always bring my own makeup and little specific things that I like because you can’t expect people to have the things you like and I don’t want to get thrown off. I know my hair like no one else. If you don’t have a specific hairspray, shit just is not going to get done.
You do have quite a few tattoos and I was wondering if you’d like to comment on why you chose them.
My foot piece and my rib piece have a bit of an emotional attachment with me. I’ve only had one real relationship in my life, and I got my rib piece after the first time we broke up. I know it sounds kind of cheesy like, “You broke up and you got a tattoo,” but whatever. It was necessary. My rib piece is a black and white skull with a blue veil and above it. It reads “Love Harder” because those were the only words that ran through my head over and over after we broke I felt that I should have given all of myself to that relationship and not held back, that the next time I’m given this chance, I’m not going to hold back. That’s the reason why most things fail because when you hold back, you can’t move forward. I wouldn’t let myself give everything because I was scared. So, from then on, I decided to give 110% of myself towards everything that I do. And even though “Love Harder” came out of a relationship, it truly transcends and takes precedence in everything I do in my life. I don’t hold back. My foot piece I got the second time we broke up. We got matching tattoos reading “No llores porque ya se terminó… sonríe, porque sucedió” which is “Don’t cry because it’s over…smile because it happened” because we left on the good terms. We both decided that it wasn’t working, but we loved each other to death. It made sense and we are still friends. It is very important to remember the people who have an influence in your life. He helped drive me and push me to become the person who I am today and I do love him for that, even though it might have been something that ultimately drove us apart. It’s bittersweet.
Do you consider any consequences tattoos could have on your career as a model?
Tattoos are all about placement. They have to work with your body. I pride myself on being heavily tattooed, but not so heavily tattooed that I appear over-tattooed because I also appreciate my fair skin. I love the balance of the two. I think my tattoos are placed in such a way to accentuate my curves and portray the person I truly am.
What advice would you give to a young lady just entering into the modeling world?
Take criticism well and don’t ever talk badly about anybody at a shoot. Everybody will hear about it in a short amount of time because the modeling world is so small. So, a basic rule of thumb is if you have nothing good to say, don’t say it all. It’s an old saying, but it still rings true today. Talking badly about others is never a good look; no one will want to work with you. Also I’d tell them not to limit themselves. Try to do as many kinds of modeling as you can. Don’t let anyone try to pigeonhole you. Don’t let them tell you that you’re a swimsuit model, pin-up model, or a fashion model. I just had a photo shoot in Vogue, so you can’t tell me I can’t do fashion because I have big boobs and tattoos.
Do you have any exciting new projects coming up in the future?
Everything is always new and exciting! Modeling and The Blonde Locks are going full steam ahead. Between dealing with graphic artists and printers sending models clothing, shooting it, wearing it, and marketing it, it is all pretty much new, fun, and exciting. I get to run around talking The Blonde Locks all day, every day.
Promotional photos for VAR Magazine:
Style: Mary Dyann keys
Hair: Adriana Rodriguez
Makeup: Mandyjo Reinier
Check Bridget out at http://www.bridgetblonde.com.