I am so proud of Laya! I know I cannot put into words how giddy I am for her accomplishments and growth as a young lady. From working as my office assistant, to photographer, to modeling under my representation of JEA, I can proudly say that Im so happy and honored to have been involved with this gals journey! She has become a unique and confident young lady who knows who she is and is proud of herself. She is a major role model for the JEA models and others around her. We definitely would not be a big JEA family without her! We have now placed her with Aston Models in LA so there will be more to come of her journey! I cant wait to see who she impacts next. Love you laya! :) - Momma Jamie
Now, enough of my talk and take this time to read about her life and journey. Check it out and get to know Laya Jean Wyatt, Model of the Month!
HEY FRIENDS! If you are reading this, you better buckle your seat belt because its about to get crazy. Since you saw the title of this, you should know my name. But I will just repeat it anyway, so its stuck in your brain. My name is Laya Jean Wyatt. I prefer to just drop the Wyatt part though. (Last names are just so mainstream, ugh.)
I was born in Nashville, Tn in 1996. So that makes me, twenty one years of age. But I like to tell people I am forty five. Considering, I am quite the old soul. Anyway, I moved to Mississippi when I was four years old. And have been in and out of here ever since. When I was twelve years old until I was seventeen, I lived in a tiny town in California, outside of Sacramento. I moved there to be with my dad and his family. It was really cool, I basically grew up in a tattoo shop, which would explain my sailor mouth. I also am a clone of my dad, ask anyone whose seen us together. It’s scary. So when I was seventeen in the middle of my junior year, I moved back to Mississippi. Guess you could say I just couldn't stay away from my southern roots. Most people are shocked when I tell them I’m from the south. I think its because you can tell I am not your typical, Southern belle debutante. But I have learned to accept that being different is way better than fitting in. Even though I’m from here, I have never really felt right saying that. I like to just say I’m a floater, with an anchor here, for now. So thats my geographic back ground.
Ok, so on to the fun stuff. What got me into modeling? Well, a long line of events, a dream and a human named Sharon Coker. (And then another human named Jamie Ainsworth.) When I was little I was a tall, awkward, lanky thing. People always told me I should model, but I did not have the confidence to ever pursue it. Instead, I took to acting and singing. When I was in the sixth grade at Jackson Academy, I played the roll of Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. So, thats my name to fame with acting. When I got about seventeen, eighteen thats when I heard about JEA. I still never had to confidence to go to an open call. And at this point I was getting tattoos and thought I could never model because of them. So when I was nineteen years old, I met Sharon. I became her assistant and through that I met Jamie. I had pretty much pushed my modeling dream out and then one day, I came into the office without make up and BAM! Jamie gave me a contract. Which is funny because I used to be so attached to my makeup and the one day I didn't wear it, I got a modeling contract. (SO don’t be afraid to leave the makeup at home!! Its so freeing to not wear it, and cuts a lot of getting ready time off your clock.) From then on, I have shot with dozens of lovely photographers and am now signed with THREE agencies. Thats right I said THREE! These agencies include, JEA (obviously.) Surface Model Management in NYC, and I am newly signed to Aston Models in LA.
The funny thing is I never thought I would be able to go off and pursue this dream. I really just tried to see my contract as an experience and a way to grow as a photographer by learning both sides of the camera. I never saw myself on vogue, or going to fashion week castings. And even though I didn’t walk in fashion week, I am thankful I at least got to go to castings. If you aren't careful in this industry you can get lost in the darkness. I’ve been there. Comparing yourself to everyone, measuring your accomplishments by everyone else, and always seeing the negative sides of things. What most people don't see is the nitty gritty of this industry. The physical and mental work that goes into being a model. We don't just show up to jobs, get pampered, get paid lots of money and leave with free stuff. That honestly, doesn't happen much. It takes work to book jobs and then to work the jobs. People think its easy to just show up and put clothes on and shoot in them. Let me tell you if you think modeling is easy heres an experiment, tighten every muscle in your body, concentrate on your face being pretty, while wearing uncomfortable shoes and a dress thats way too tight, while your trying to focus on the photographer and what he's saying, oh and you barely get a break, and you'll be shooting for at least two hours. Yea, its a lot that goes into just a photoshoot, and thats not even the half of it. It can take a huge toll on your soul. Honestly, if I didn't experience this industry, I don't know that I would have such a huge sense of self today. It has taken me a minute, but I finally have been able to just be myself without worrying about other people opinions. And its not an everyday thing. Some days I get sucked back into the negative self talk and it can take me some time to get out. I think the thing people get caught up in is that loving yourself is a destination and once you’re there you love yourself forever. To me, loving yourself is an everyday process. Everyday I’m myself, unapologetically. But that doesn't mean I always, everyday love Laya unconditionally. Some days it takes extra work to feel that love. And thats okay. The key is realizing everyone has problems, no one is perfect. We are all flawed humans. Then you will be on the way to loving yourself and all your flaws. It takes a lot of growing to get to this place. (And a lot of tears, bubble baths, affirmations and prayers.) But you’ll get there!!!! The bottom line is, you can love yourself through anything. Through any darkness, you can be light. This industry isn't the prettiest, but I love what I do.
Ok, so now onto random facts about me.
I love rap music & putting on a mini concert every time it comes on. Which is perfect since I now resemble Eminem.
I am lactose intolerant and it really sucks because I love anything and everything lactose. So I’m kinda in a Romeo and Juliet relationship. We are forbidden, but I can sneak around and enjoy it sometimes.
I am in recovery and have been clean/sober for three years now.
I have five rescue animals, three cats and two dogs. I rescued my first animal when I was in the third grade.These animals include, Lexi (oldest cat), her child Bella, my cat Norman who thinks he's royalty, my husky mix Mumble, and my sweet baby pit mix Lyla Grace.
I do not eat red meat. Why? Well, even when I was little I never really liked red meat. But later on this was made worse by this video I watched of a cow being butchered,(why are things like that on the internet???) then touring a slaughter house, then just the stomach aches I get from such heavy meat. I just am not a fan.
My favorite animals include dinosaurs, giraffes, and sphynx cats.
I paint, write poetry, sing, play piano, sew, crochet, knit, sculpt,… pretty much anything crafty, I have tried it, and still do it. I get bored easily, so I need many hobbies to switch between.
I love musicals and when I get really hyper I like to have my own obnoxious sing alongs.
I cry a lot about how much I love Ellen DeGeneres and I will meet her before one of us dies.
I’m excellent at fair games and have won two of the gigantic teddy bears, and over a thousand of other stuffed animals.
Heres a bonus fact: I have no idea what I am doing with my adult life half the time, but I just continue doing whatever I’m doing anyway. Most of the time I’m a walking shit show, but thats okay. I am the person in the store refusing to use a basket but grabbing so much stuff I drop everything. And even though I know this never ends well, I do it every time. No one prepared me for adulthood. Like how to have matching socks, remembering trash days, and the fact that toilet paper doesn't just show up in your house. I’m enjoying it anyway, but most of the time I’m a mess. (secret: most people are a mess, but some are just more honest about it.) ( those are my favorite people.) Today, I’m okay with my mess, and you should be to. Because its okay to be a mess. It’s okay to show your authentic self even if it isn't that pretty some days. Through modeling I have learned that trying to be something your not, doesn't get you very far. Through my mess, I have grown and so has my career. There’s beauty in knowing we are all unique in our own ways. And if you aren't afraid to show that, some really cool things will happen. Everyday, I focus on being a better Laya. I only get one life, and I am not going to waste it hating on myself, and being a negative Nancy. (Who even is Nancy anyway??She doesn't sound that fun.)
If you made it this far, congrats. Unbuckle your seat belt, take a breath and say “Wow, Laya.” Just kidding. But for real if you made it this far, thank you for reading this jumbled mess, filled with grammar mistakes, and things you probably don't care about. But if you liked it, and you do care about what I have to say, you can follow my youtube: Laya Jean or my instagram @layajean. Or just keep watching out for me on JEA. Thanks again for reading and if you're a supporter thanks for being there for me, and following my journey. Love you all!!!!