“People can only meet you as deeply as they have met themselves...” In the midst of scrolling through the beautiful images on Cat Decome’s Instagram page, we found this quote and wanted to let it serve as inspiration for our discussion with her. Cat is an international model, mom, and body positive advocate. We took some time to connect with her on her life as a model as well as to get the inside scoop on her self-care routine.Age: 30 Location: Upstate NY
S: How and when did you begin your modeling career?
CD: I began my modeling career when I was 14 years old. I was doing some model competitions in the South of France where I am from.
S: Did you always aspire to be a model?
CD: I never thought about becoming a model. My dream was to become an actress but I guess modeling chose me. People kept telling me to try and the day I tried it never stopped.
S: When you began your career were there any models of color that served as inspiration for you? If so, who?
CD: Not really, I started when the Russian girl type - super skinny - was a thing. It was really hard because people were terrible with me at castings. I remember waiting for hours at certain castings. When my turn arrived, they were not even looking at my book, saying “ok, bye” or even worse… saying, “we already have the black girl, sorry.” I feel that life is hard for someone of color, especially women. I am glad that today, 16 years after I started, we have more chances in the industry - even if there are not many spots.
S: Have you always had a positive body image/self-image?
CD: No. When I was younger I always thought that I wasn’t enough. It took me years to really love my body and my self-image. I think things like that come with confidence and also with time and experience.
S: Did you ever have any insecurities?
CD: Yes, it’s normal to have insecurities - emotions that come and go in our thoughts.
S: What are some of the things that you have done over the years to maintain a healthy self-image?
CD: Love this question :)
Healthy self-image comes from many things and it starts in the head - feeling good, taking care of self.... Since 18 years old, I’ve had a beauty night routine that I change three times a years. I moisturize my face every day, I also protect myself with sunscreen. I work out a minimum of three times a week. I try to eat healthy, and over time, I had to become gluten free and remove almost all carbs from my diet. As the metabolism slows down as we get older, it’s important to figure what works better for the body, what make us feel good etc…
S: If you were not a model, what would you be? Why?
CD: If was not a model, I would be an activist for women and children’s rights. I have a few causes that are really important to me. I am sure that I am going this way pretty soon because we can be many things at the same time. We just have to start somewhere.
S: We saw a quote on your Instagram that read ‘Take the risk or lose the chance’. Explain to us a time in your life when you took a risk and you now realize if you had not, your life would have been completely different.
CD: I was supposed to move to NYC and I became pregnant so I had to stay in Paris. After my daughter’s birth, nothing was really working. I got divorced, I almost abandoned my modeling career because Paris is not my market. Then I decided to leave France, take the little money I had on the side and start again. I moved to NYC at 21 years old with a baby, not really speaking English - that was a disaster at first. Now that I look back, that was the best decision of my life. I took the risk and I got rewarded.
S: Living in NYC, how do you find peace in the midst of the chaos?
CD: I actually had to move to upstate NY. I could not take it anymore. I still work in Manhattan and commute when I work. Living in NYC is great at first but after [a while] it becomes very poisoning. You can feel it in the food, the air that we breathe, the water…
S: Is there anywhere you go when you need to escape?
CD: I love going to the mountains, forest or the beach especially in the Bahamas.
S: Either in your home or elsewhere, where is your Sanctuaire (sanctuary) for peace and well-being?
CD: It’s definitely my home. That’s why I moved here. I have my own forest, I paint outside with deer around me, it’s really my sanctuary…
S: Do you have a self-care routine? If so, what is included?
CD: I scrub my face every 2 days, then apply a rose mist. In summer, I use a cream with SPF and every night I use an oil. My favorite is argan oil.
S: You grew up in France, was it a tough transition coming to live in the US?
CD: It was hard, especially with the language. I really saw that race is a big deal here in the USA... In France, I am considered as a mulatto and here in the USA, I am a black woman. It was an adjustment because black people use to tell me “you are not black” and white people use to tell me “you are not white.” I never belonged anywhere. It was hard to find my place in France or America.
S: What's your bedtime routine? (either pre-pandemic or during pandemic – your choice)
CD: My bed time routine is about taking a shower then applying all my skin care - body and face. I also apply pai-shau concentrate on my wet hair. It’s really nice because its keep my natural curl, and the serum is not heavy at all. It feels like nothing but nourishes deeply.
S: What do you do to maintain good mental health?
CD: Work out and eat healthy.
S: What brings you joy?
CD: 1 thing is LOVE, 2 people; Aorana and my fiance who I cannot wait to see again.
S: How do you find peace?
CD: Meditation - being aware of my body and thoughts and appreciation of my life. Thankfulness.
S: Are there any natural beauty products that you can’t live without?
CD: coconut oil, argan oil and tea tree oil.
S: Favorite book?
CD: Anything about spirituality, I also love meditation (osho).
S: For movement / exercise, I enjoy
S: Dream vacation location
CD: is Bali.
S: Favorite salad ingredient is
CD: Olive oil or sesame oil.
CD: “My mom says all the time to have a good heart. It comes back to you. Good attracts good.”
S: Where have you been quarantining?
CD: In my house in upstate NY.
S: Is there anything that you have been doing during this time that would be considered self-improvement?
CD: Yes, I been learning about investing and painting more.
S: What is something that you have been longing to do while in quarantine?
CD: Be more present for my daughter and take care of everything I was pushing back.
S: The best part of quarantine has been
CD: taking time to think of what is really important to me and the meaning of life itself.
S: The toughest part of quarantine has been
CD: not seeing my fiancé.
S: What are you most grateful for?
CD: Everything. I think that the earth is our paradise. We have this chance of living now. I am thankful for the now because what was yesterday is already in the past and tomorrow hasn’t happen.
Fav breakfast at the moment:
Eggs sandwich; 2eggs, half an avocado, 3 pieces of basil, 3 small tomato, some thyme a piece of lettuce, 3 slices of ham and sriracha sauce.