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Lucie Plaumann / SEEDS

shot in Berlin on June 20th, 2016 / published October 24th, 2016

As we met Lucie, Summer was still on and she just got back from an exchange year in the US, leaving prom behind and getting ready for her final year of school in Berlin. Such in-betweens usually make for great moments to look both back and forward, sharp one’s focus, draw some conclusion. So here is our talk with the young Berliner about everyday life on two continents, the matching and mismatching of reality and expectations, world peace and #girlpower!

Thanks for meeting us, Lucie! You started modeling very young, but then took one year break to attend school in the US. Where have you been exactly? And what do you feel you’ve learned in this time?

I went to northern Virginia for 10 months. I experienced living with people I didn’t know, who became family for me. It was a totally new and strange situation, but I feel that in the end it made me become more self-confident and open-minded. I had to get out of my comfort zone.

Media got us closer, and we all think we are familiar with the American way of life. But is the reality in anyway close to the image we have of it?

Of course nobody just started singing and dancing like in High School Musical, but the high school really looked like it does in all high school movies with its cafeteria, the gym, and hallways. You actually have a locker. My school also had a football team (a lot of other sport teams as well), cheerleaders and a school mascot ( Go Wolverines! ).

What was the one cliché that happened to be truly spot on? Which one was completely false?

The stereotype of Americans that I had was the typically ‘’ fat American’’ that sits in front of the TV all day long and eats a lot of fast food. But at least where I lived the people were actually more active than me and my friends. Everyone was doing sport in their school teams after school. They also do sports to get some college credits. In addition I lived pretty close to West Virginia and the Shenandoah River and Blue Ridge Mountains. So people were out hiking, fishing and swimming a lot.

On the other hand it is really true that Americans are so proud to be American and see their country as the greatest of them all. They put American flags on everything and everywhere. Every morning before your first class starts you have to stand up and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

And what about prom? What’s that like for a Berliner?

Prom was fun. I really enjoyed to go prom dress shopping and to get ready. But the dance itself was a little disappointing. It started at 9pm and it was over at midnight already.

If you could condense all this experience in a painting, what would you put in it and what colors would you use?

It would be an abstract painting with a lot of colors. Bright colors just as much as dark colors. Living there was a roller coaster of feelings and emotions. I saw and experienced a lot of new and interesting things, but at the same time I missed the usual and normal for me.

Now that you are back, what are you looking most forward to? Anything you’re missing already?

The best about being back is to be together again with my friends and family. At the same time I miss the friends I had there. Especially since I won’t see some of them ever again. But I’m gonna do my best to stay in touch.

Has your experience abroad in any way affected the way you look at the world and at your city now?

Yes of course. The US is pretty different to Germany and Europe generally. For example they don’t really have public transportation so you have to go by car everywhere you wanna go. Since I don’t have my license yet it was an obstacle for me. The experience made me value all the freedom I have in Berlin and the way I was raised a lot more.

Assuming beauty was a state of mind, when & where would you be most beautiful?

It wouldn’t matter where and when, just be happy and true to yourself. I think honesty and happiness are the most important and prettiest attributes one can have.

As the Spice Girls dropped their hit Wannabe you were not even born, but recently its remake by Global Goals has gone viral. Do you have any memory of the Spice Girls at all? And is girl power still a thing worth an hashtag?

Sadly, I don’t have any childhood memories of them, but I know and adore their singles of course. In my opinion girl power is still a hashtag worth, because it is necessary that girls and women know about how powerful and beautiful they are. Even if we live in a country, where the equality of the sexes made a big progress, there is still so much to do.One important thing is that all females realize their own worth, but also the worth of all other girls. There’s so much injustice, so we have to stick together. I’m all in for #girlpower

Since we are already here, what do you really really want?

Very cliché but still true: world peace and equality for everyone.

And if you could not get it right away, who or what would comfort you?

That women, no matter where they live, will have the same rights as men.

©modelsintheraw.com / photos: Thomas Sing / text: Chiara Padovan