Having grown up in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America, Nathalie Darcas was a jetsetter even before being scouted as a model. Since then, the swimwear model juggles her time between her fashion career and an education in nutritional medicine. We chatted with Darcas to learn more about her health and fitness philosophies and find out if her real life is really as glamorous as it appears on Instagram.
The Chic Edit: You’re studying nutrition and work as a full-time model; what drew you to nutritional medicine?
Nathalie Darcas: I’ve actually been interested in it for as long as I can remember! I remember sitting in year 12, applying for university courses, and deep down, I knew I wanted to do something in nutrition. At the time, I was hesitant because it felt too specific…what if I changed my mind? I actually ended up studying biomedicine to begin with instead. Finally, about a year in when I became a little bit more honest with myself, I made the switch.
CE: How do you intend to use your degree upon graduating?
ND: Honestly, my ideas around it are always changing. The most frequent one so far has been to maybe open up my own little holistic health clinic. That would be cool!
CE: How did you get into modeling?
ND: I was taking the tram home in Melbourne one day with two guy friends and someone came up to me and gave me their card. I was lanky with braces and had really never given modelling much thought. I was adamant about being an archeologist! Oh, how times have changed.
CE: You spend much of your time jet-setting between shoots; do you find it difficult to remain healthy, both physically and mentally, while on the road?
ND: Definitely. It can be a massive challenge. I really used to stress myself out about it, actually. Spending a week in a foreign country, far away from your normal fitness but also nutrition routines for sure can mess with you mentally. As I have become more used to it though I have just come to the conclusion, you can only do the best that you can, as cliché as it is. I’m the type of person that can’t function when they are hungry, so I’m always packing with me weird little snacks like nuts and muesli! That way, I know I always have something to fall back on if there are really no healthy options around.
CE: Do you believe in “cheat meals”?
ND: I have never really been huge on the idea. I believe in balance! If you have been working hard all week and feel like a pizza, have the damn pizza, just maybe recreate it with more nutritious ingredients!
CE: What are your favourite ways to stay fit?
ND: I really like to run, although it can be kind of hard in LA. I do a lot of Pilates and yoga and have recently started taking up some ballet barre classes. I get bored easily so I am always mixing it up!
CE: You grew up in Australia, France, North America…what nationality do you consider yourself?
ND: That is such a weird one for me. I guess I feel a special connection to all three sides in their own little way. When I am hanging out with my grandparents and cousins in France and speaking French with my dad, I definitely feel like there is a place for me there. When I am in the States working, I also feel at home there too! At the end of the day though, most of my best friends are Australian and I went to high school in Melbourne, so I guess culturally I feel more Australian in that sense.
CE: Aside from modeling and nutrition, what are you most passionate about?
ND: I am pretty passionate about the outdoors and staying active. I am also always trying to explore new places. I don’t sit still much!
CE: You’ve amassed quite a large social media following so far; do you find that being under such a public eye has had a negative or positive effect on your self-esteem?
NE: I really just try to see social media for what it is, and not take too much of it on board. That being said, it can definitely be tricky at times.
CE: Your life on Instagram enviably appears to be one giant summer vacation: is it as glamorous as it appears?
ND: For starters…no. I think what it really comes down to is that when I am feeling happy and inspired, I am definitely more inclined to share it—that’s definitely when I am the most active on Instagram. When I’m not feeling as good, whether I’m just feeling low or super drained, I’m more likely to work it through on my own, away from any scrutiny.
CE: There’s become quite a culture around swimwear models on Instagram. How do you feel you stand out from the rest?
ND: I tend to only post about brands I can identify with, brands I have actually shot for! That, and just documenting things that I find inspiring or that I am excited about.
Follow Nathalie Darcas on Instagram.