For anyone who has ever dreamed of being “discovered” on Instagram, Go90 has a show for you. Just this week, We Love Your Genes — a web series about young models scouted by IMG after using #WLYG on their Instagrams — launched its second season.
The show delves into the highs and lows of what it takes to make it in the modeling biz and follows newly scouted models as they book their first jobs, walk their first runway shows, and try to keep their cool in the process. Onscreen, audiences meet newcomers like Helen Bouchard and Carol Zhu (the series is also peppered with cameos by modeling icons like Gigi Hadid and Ashley Graham), but behind the camera there is some serious girl power too.
The series is executive-produced by 15-year-old Dance Moms star (and Sia favorite) Maddie Ziegler.
“It meant a lot to me,” Ziegler tells Yahoo Lifestyle about being named an executive producer on the series. “Being 15 and being an executive producer — it’s really weird to think about. It feels amazing to have a voice, and it’s cool to be behind the scenes.”
“These models, they came from small towns some of them, just like me,” Ziegler adds. “They work really hard, and they want their dreams to come true.”
Ziegler says the experience taught her a lot about the amount of work it takes to break in to the modeling world — a world she didn’t know intimately prior to her work on the show. “They have to put in a lot of effort,” she says. “I’ve learned a lot.” One of Ziegler’s biggest takeaways is how important inner beauty is to modeling. “You don’t have to be ‘perfect’ to become a model. You don’t have to be everything to be in the spotlight. Just show your authentic self, and show that you’re beautiful on the inside — it’s more important than what’s on the outside.”
On the show, we see models with insecurity and find their footing in their new role in the spotlight — “Do I look like a baby deer or like a grade-school deer,” newly scouted model Sydney Davis asks her sister while prepping for her first modeling trip. Ziegler knows that feeling of trepidation as well. “I get nervous about everything. Even going into meetings sometimes, I’m like, oh no, they’re not gonna like me. They’re not gonna take me seriously. It’s weird, I shouldn’t have to think that. They want to meet me, so, why shouldn’t I just be confident? I think me being 15 and an executive producer is really cool. They chose me to do this, and I’m gonna do it.”
Part of the beauty of We Love Your Genes is going on the journey with new models learning what it takes to excel in front of the camera. It makes it that much sweeter to simultaneously imagine Ziegler in her new role behind the camera, learning the ropes.