At 21, anthropology junior and Austin-based model Schuyler Dale is older than the average model and keeps a busy schedule that prevents her from being fully immersed in the profession, but she doesn’t feel edged out.
The Austin modeling scene is more relaxed and supportive in comparison to those of bigger cities, according to Dale.
“You’re not just disposable like how it is in New York and LA and other big cities,” Dale said. “Everybody really does care about everybody. It’s fun going to a [modeling] event because you know the people in the crowd want you to succeed. None of the other models want to see you fall on
Dale models in photo shoots and walks in runway events, and is managed under ButterFly Entertainment, an event production company created by UT alum Brianna Fleet.
“I was introduced to [Dale] at one of our events by a mutual friend,” Fleet said. “She was supportive and worked well with the other models in a competitive atmosphere.”
After being signed to the production company in December 2012, Dale participated independently in the Top Austin Model 2013 competition. She ended up making the top 10 and was chosen as a Top Austin Model All Star. As an All Star, she helped train inexperienced models participating in Top Austin
Dale said she had low self-esteem while growing up because she thought she was the “tall, lanky kid” in comparison to her peers. It was through constantly being photographed by her mother that Dale began to appreciate her physical qualities.
“[My mom] was really big about being comfortable in yourself, so she would always just help me with my self-image and tell me to love who I am,” Dale said. “She was a big advocate for loving my pictures and what I look like. It helped me a lot just growing into myself.”
In college, Dale used her height to her advantage and joined the UT women’s club volleyball team her freshman year. Shortly after, her coach suggested she get into contact with Fleet about modeling.
“A lot of people think that modeling is so shallow, but really it’s helped me a lot,” Dale said. “It helped me love who I am because I used to not really be very confident in myself. It helped me build myself up and almost forced me to be confident because you have to be confident in a picture. It just translated to being confident.”
While Dale said modeling is time-consuming with Sunday runway events and magazine shoots for national publications, she’s been able to incorporate modeling into other aspects of her life. In November 2013, Dale hosted a fashion show and silent auction to fundraise for her participation in Texas 4000 and was able to raise $700 toward her goal of $4,500. Dale said she will ride for her friend Makenna Loerwald, who passed away this February after fighting Ewings Sarcoma for five years.
“I didn’t know [Loerwald] personally but just seeing Schuyler in the pain that she was in really hurt me and the team,” Texas 4000 teammate Alex Webb said. “We wanted to be a support system for her because that’s what this organization is about. We wanted to be a rock for her because it’s so hard to
When she graduates next year, Dale plans to join the Peace Corps to complete the masters of international public health program. While she doesn’t see modeling as a prominent activity in her future, her time in front of the camera has sparked an interest in the role behind it.
“I want to document people’s lives,” Dale said. “I’ve grown up with my mom having a camera in front of her face. When I graduate, I don’t think I’m going to take [modeling] anywhere because I have other ways I want to take my life, but I know that I want to take pictures of other people.”