Stephanie Hill is a 38- year-old freelance professional model and former burlesque performer based in Stroud.
Stephanie has been modelling since the age of 18 and works across the UK, mainly specialising in pinup, vintage portraiture and glamour.
Outside of her model work she volunteers as part of the committee for Stroud Pride.
She attended Randwick Primary C of E Primary School, then Archway and in her early 20s went to Gloscat College where she qualified as a Holistic Therapist and trained in many different styles of massage therapies, including Aromatherapy, Swedish body massage, reflexology and Indian head massage.
Her first job was working as a Museum Assistant at The Museum in the Park and in retail in shops Phoenix Rising and Eclipse Clothing.
What has been the scariest moment in your life?
I remember I was about 15 or 16 and on a short holiday to Llanberis in North Wales with my boyfriend at the time and his brother. We were walking up Snowdon and by the time we were three-quarters of the way up and the weather was not looking so great: it was very damp and cloudy, and there was this one spot… a very narrow ridge you have to climb up and there was a sheer drop either side, I’m terrified of heights as it is, but with the cloud cover and the high winds it made it really scary trying to safely navigate my way up that part, hoping not to slip on the rock. Looking back, I’m not sure we should have carried on with the weather as it was then, but we made it there and back safe enough. But for someone with a fear of heights…. not a favourite moment.
When are you at your happiest?
I love music, so I’d probably say at a metal gig with my friends. There’s nothing like being surrounded by people who are as passionate about a band as yourself, singing along and rocking out together: it’s a great atmosphere.
What has been your biggest disappointment?
MEN! Hahaha! I don’t have much luck with relationships. No, definitely not all men A lot of my closest friends are actually guys. Hmm, it’s a difficult question to answer. One disappointment I can recall though, was many years ago I applied to be on ‘Big Brother’.
I was interviewed and got through to join many, many other applicants to go through several competing rounds at a studio in London where they whittle everyone down. It was bizarre experience: there were hundreds of people there, all weird and wonderful people from all walks of life including many other models, performers, minor actors and the like.
I passed a few rounds until I was put in a room, on my own where I had to speak and answer questions from the Big Brother voice and that’s where I found my weakness. It’s not as easy as it looks on the TV when Big Brother is asking you somewhat personal questions and you have to sit there relaxed and give entertaining answers. I spoke, but I felt and knew I was somewhat awkward when talking. I guess this is why I’m a model and not an actress! But it was a unique experience for sure, but unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the TV.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I do love cocktails. I’m particularly fond of Pina Coladas I must admit.
Who is the most famous person in your phone?
In all honesty I have no one famous on my phone these days. Only people in my phonebook are family and my closest friends and a few photographers. I have had a few run ins with celebrities over the years though via social media or through music and modelling. I remember back in the days of Myspace Rich Fulcher contacted a friend and I and got us backstage after A Mighty Boosh Show in Bristol, and we ended up spending a few days drinking with him, Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt and the rest of the cast. That was a lot of fun.
What is your favourite smell?
I Love earthy smells like pine essential oil and sage. Another of my favourite smells is opium perfume. I’ve used it for years; it has always been my mother’s favourite perfume too.
Who would play you in a film about your life?
If I could choose an actress from history, it would be 1930’s actress Mae West. Although not similar in looks, I’d say we’re similar in personality. She would have been fab! Modern day actress, I’d probably choose Eva Green or Angelina Jolie. It would definitely need to be an actress who is on the more alternative goth/rock glamorous side.
What do you like most about living in the Stroud area?
Probably the people. I’ve always found Stroud to be very accepting of diversity and everyone to be very friendly here. I also love that it is generally a very safe place to walk around too, even at night. I’ve never had any issues of that sort living here, I can’t say I’ve ever felt anywhere else I’ve travelled either and I think we are very lucky. Again, I think this is partly due to Stroud people and we really do have a great community here.
What would you improve about Stroud?
More clothing shops would be wonderful! There is literally nowhere in Stroud now for a gal to buy any lingerie and that’s not helpful in my line of work. If I’m looking for something new and the outfit isn’t provided, it means traveling to neighbouring towns or cities.
What is your ideal weekend?
I think it would be a spa weekend away somewhere relaxing and having a few drinks with my girlfriends. I think it’s something we could all do with at the moment!
What is on your bucket list?
I’ve always wanted to visit Japan especially in cherry blossom season. I’d love to explore its beautiful rural and historical gardens, the temples and the cities. I’d love to go to Tokyo, maybe visit a cat café and perhaps its macho man café! I’ve always had an interest in Japanese history and culture, so it’s definitely at the top of my bucket list!
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Well, I think there’s an old saying that goes something like ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’. And over the years I’ve had my ups and downs, and through good times and bad I’ve truly learnt the value of having a friend or family member to talk to or ask for help or generally get advice from. I think being able to have someone to reach out to and talk to in life is really important and can make a huge impact on your wellbeing. I have been lucky enough to have wonderful family and friends that have always been there for me when I’ve needed them.
As Mae West said: “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” And she knew what she was talking about when she said “Your real security is yourself. You know you can do it and they can’t ever take that away from you.”
What book and song would you take with you if stranded on an uninhabited island?
This would be a tough choice when it comes to music…I don’t think I could take just one song, If I could take one album it would probably be either Immortal – Sons of Northern Darkness or Nile – Annihilation of the Wicked… arghhh but then Opeth – Blackwater Park…I really don’t know how I could choose such a thing! That would be a nightmare situation for me!
As for a book, I do love Terry Pratchett’s work, particularly novels from the Discworld series. ‘Small Gods’ is very funny and one of my all-time favourites.