Nat Buchanan is, in her words, 110% a morning person. “I thrive before noon and then it’s all downhill from there,” she says. She loves potato (“in all its glorious forms”) and is drawn to people with humour and compassion.
“You want to surround yourself with souls better than you so they can inspire you to be kinder,” she says. “Bolder.”
(Those, FYI, are what they call words to live by, so make a note and revisit when it comes time to hit refresh on yourself.)
She’s spent the past year in the Northern Beaches of New South Wales, reflecting and learning, and refining what exactly is important to her. Part of the process has involved improving her relationship with social media—in the initial iso period back in March and April, she deleted Instagram entirely for about seven weeks.
“My productivity and mental health literally soared,” she says. “It’s so important to not get too deep into that shit, because at the end of the day, that’s what it is—shit. It’s not real, but our relationships and hobbies and food and laughter and lives very much are.”
Now, she’s doing an ‘8 to 8’ thing, which means her and her boyfriend don’t look at their phones before 8 am or after 8 pm. “We’ll see how that goes.”
Nat is rational, earnest and down to earth when it comes to all facets of life, including modelling.
“My sister dived into modelling first and, being completely unoriginal, I followed suit after school,” she tells us. “I can’t help but laugh thinking of little me, in my brand new skinny jeans that I probably bought from Supré, trying to strut in heels up a gravel driveway like Bambi on ice.”
She grew up in South Australia, but really couldn’t tell you much about her hometown (apart from the epic monkey bars she remembers playing on). Until recently, the idea of ‘home’ always felt temporary to her but now, she says, it’s anywhere she can be her true self around the people she loves.
“I was lucky to be raised by a mother who offered as much transparency as she could alongside her love for me,” she tells us. “I think children often get shielded from things to protect them, but I know her honesty about life deepened my emotional intelligence at a young age and allowed me to view the world through a lens of compassion.”
As for the future, she’s on track for big things and gearing up to go full throttle in 2021. “I honestly feel like I’m in turbo-red-cordial-Nat mode,” she says. “I’m looking forward to continuing my work with amazing creatives, to pushing myself and to launching my e-comm business.”
Keep reading for more with Nat, including her number one book recommendation (it’s a must read) and the advice she’d give to her 16-year-old self (it’s actually suitable for all ages).
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Turn off my alarm and give my BF a little spoon.
What’s the coolest or most interesting thing you’ve learned recently?
I was reading some astrology meme for Libras the other day and one of the traits said: “Procrastinates but calls it self-care.” I’m not a Libra but I really felt that in my chest. On another note, I highly recommend watching The Social Dilemma (spoiler: we’re all f**d).
Are there any social or cultural shifts you hope will happen in the next ten years?
The BLM fight has been going for centuries (despite social media making it seem like a ‘trend’). I need to believe that in ten years, we will be closer to systemic re-evaluation, equality, representation and inclusivity than we are now. Progress is slow; it’s small. But it’s tangible. I believe we have the ability to shape and equip a future generation with what it needs to re-route history’s course.
Why do you think friendships are so important?
Friendships intensify life. They make it far more richer, layered and worthwhile than it would otherwise be alone.
Can you recall reading, watching or listening to something that completely changed your mind on something?
I finished Dark Emu this year and feel like every Australian should read it, particularly school kids. It made me believe more strongly than ever, that the school curriculums approach to Indigenous history is not only out-dated and diluted, but false. We need to do better for our future generations and it starts with the truth, and greater funding so we can deepen and correct Australia’s history.
If you could say something to your 16-year-old self, what would it be?
1. You don't just magically become good at something. Stop being a sloth and put in the work.
2. ‘Finding your passion’ is a sca-hammm. It’s ok to have many interests and pursue them all.
3. Put down the hair straightener.
Impossible to pick just one, but California Dreamin’ by The Mamas and the Papas? I mean...
I love Forrest Gump because it always feels like I’m watching it for the first time aka ugly crying and vowing to give my kid an adorable bowl cut like mini Forrest.
What’s the most rewarding part of modelling?
Hands down the people. I get to work with the most golden, hilarious and creative souls. I also love the teamwork aspect of modelling because it pushes you. On a good day, it can feel like a team sport, with each person doing their absolute best for a common goal.
And the most challenging?
Having to be always available and ‘on’ even if you're having an off day.
Do you consider yourself a spiritual person?
Definitely. But I also acknowledge and love that my definition of spirituality can be different from the next person. For me, being spiritual means being comfortable enough to get close to yourself, to trust your instincts and put out into the universe what you want.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
What is truly yours, will always be yours. I find comfort in this often, particularly when handling the rejection side of modelling.
What is your idea of happiness?
To be content with what you have.
How can we make the most of our time on Earth?
At the most basic, cellular level, all that really matters is love—and to eat whatever you want. It’s really quite simple but so easy to lose sight of.
Nat is represented by FiveTwenty