Veronica Gibson grew up in Longmont with four older brothers. She often felt she had to prove herself, which affected her self-confidence. As she got older, she found modeling, a career that has helped boost her confidence. Now a model with Beautiful Distractions Models, Gibson hopes to empower the world's women to experience self-confidence and strength.
"I want to encompass strength because we're still struggling as women to have rights and to be free and express ourselves without any limitations," Gibson said. "I have two daughters. I feel like it's so important to teach them strength, and not to feel like they can't do something because someone has told them that and made them feel insecure."
Modeling provided such an opportunity for Gibson. When she was 17, a dance teacher in the area produced a runway hair show. Gibson had spikey purple hair at the time and was invited to participate. While she was nervous, she had a great experience. It was at that show that she was approached to become a model. She figured she should give it a try.
"I'd never done anything like that before, so I was kind of nervous, but it worked out well," Gibson said.
Now that she's more experienced, Gibson uses the self-confidence she's built up to encourage others.
She said, "I hope that young girls and women see me as an example of being confident and that by seeing confident women it inspires other women to strive for their own confidence in what they do.” She also makes sure to support other models when they're nervous before heading out to the runway and reminds them that they are where they are because of their talents.
Additionally, she takes part in and lifts up women supporting women in the fashion industries.
"There are women fashion designers putting their creations out there, collaborating with hair and makeup to bring the whole canvas alive on the model. It is the model's job to keep that vision and creation alive for the photo or runway which empowers women to express their creativity and themselves in their own way," Gibson said.
Years later, Gibson needed stability and work that would support her family as she and her husband, Dustin Hastings, started thinking about getting married and adding children to the mix. Her modeling career was on pause as she worked for IBM in various roles, eventually landing on IT project management as her career goal.
After she had children, she once again switched career paths to being a stay-at-home mother but hasn’t stopped working on growing in her previous paths.
Gibson is advancing both her career in project management and modeling. She recently got a certificate in project management and will begin studying toward her MBA this spring. She's also starting to book modeling work again.
“I think that it's important for people to always grow, change, adapt and learn. I believe people should push their boundaries to become a better person," Gibson said.
As an artist, it's crucial for her to express emotion and depth during runway shows and photoshoots. As the mother of two daughters, 5 and 2, she wants them and other girls and women to know it's okay to express themselves.
"People love the arts because it makes them feel. We're so programmed not to feel natural emotion, not to show people when we're upset about something. A lot of people apologize when they feel. Society has made us feel like we have to apologize for feelings," Gibson said. "it's kind of silly. Why should we apologize for failing and being human?"