We spoke to the model, blogger and animal activist about her core passions, the tight-knit M.O.C crew and the roles of online influencers in creating global change.
We know you were raised mainly in Germany. What was your childhood like?
I was born in Australia but we moved to Germany when I was 6 months old. My first language was German and I didn’t learn English until I started school in Australia! We travelled a lot while I was growing up which I am forever grateful for. I had some really amazing trips with my family, we travelled through Europe, visited Asia, trekked the Himalayas, road tripped through the United States and explored remote Alaska.
How did you get into modelling?
I was scouted at a rock concert when I was fifteen. I started traveling for modelling when I finished school, this took me to some really cool places and I met some incredible people! I feel really lucky that this is my job.
You've said before that you've been volunteering for as long as you have been modelling. What inspired you to start MOC?
Having a passion to volunteer and spread awareness, I wanted to provide a platform to enable other models to be able to do the same. I found that models have time between castings and shoots, and a lot of girls have the desire to do more than ‘just’ model. In creating MOC we would be able to provide other models with the information and materials to do the same, to get involved in volunteer programs, fundraising events and by spreading education and awareness through social media.
What kind of response have you received so far:
It’s been amazing! We had Adrian Grenier and Kelly Slater jump in and help us spread the world about our Dolphin campaign. We have had an overwhelming number of people reach out to get on board as influencers which has been so great!
After seeing a petition on change.org , Natascha Elisa visited Wake Bali Adventure to take photos of the four dolphins kept in a tiny chlorinated pool in horrible conditions. If you have Instagram, then we're pretty sure you would have seen the chilling images she captured, re-shared hundreds of times by brands and influencers over the next few months.
Yes, what an amazing response that was! The photo you snapped must have been viewed by millions, and contributed to over 400 000 signatureson change.org. Aside from the #SaveBaliDolphns campaign, tell us about some of your other campaigns to date:
We worked with Black Jaguar White Tiger foundation, helping with rescued lions and tigers, we have visited a number of Orphanages in both Mexico and Indonesia, we did a big plastic pollution campaign including beach clean up’s in three different corners of the world!
As Social Media slowly replaces mainstream media, it’s great to see Social Influencers discussing real issues - especially the Borneo Fires. How did MOC get involved?
We are really passionate about this issue, being both one of the biggest environmental disasters in the world, effecting not only the earth on a global scale but also effecting human beings and endangered species we are spreading awareness about the issue. A lot of issues such as these don’t make mainstream media and if we are able to educate others about them through social media, we can also inform people how they can help in small ways in everyday life. We are also planning fundraising for BOS organisation and a volunteer trip to the effected area this year.
Social media really is competing with mainstream media. Do you think there is a sense of responsibility for influencers to be ‘role models’ to their followers?
The amazing thing about social media is that it gives individuals the complete freedom to post what ever it is that they desire. I think that when someone has a large following, it enables them to influence a large amount of people, to be able to have this kind of influence I believe should motive you to be a good role model and make a positive impact on others thoughts and actions by leading an example.
In a world that can appear to be lead by shallow click-bait articles and beautiful-yet-vacant imagery, people like Natascha are a breath of fresh air. Natascha and the MOC team demonstrate the power of a community that may be separated by distance, but united by a cause (and a hashtag, of course).