Sarah Thomas is leaving school to model. Good move?

In her autumn half-term, 16-year-old Sarah Thomas earned pounds 6,500 a day on the New York catwalks. Her intention was merely to dabble in modelling as a way of earning money in the school holidays. Some dabbling. Thomas quickly found herself being offered the new Cover Girl cosmetics campaign, a post previously filled by the Danish/Peruvian supermodel, Helena Christensen. Despite a rumoured six-figure sum, the girl from Norwich turned it down, determined that nothing should interfere with her school work.

But now, a year on, she has relented. Sarah Thomas's A-levels are no more. Her father who, unusually, had encouraged her to leave school in the first place, says: "It was quite a big decision. In the end she couldn't do both her A-levels and her modelling."

Sarah Thomas had consistently claimed that no modelling assignment would give her as much satisfaction as passing her A-levels. She tried to stick it out at school, it didn't work for her and she had the guts to get out while she could. Like every other 16-year-old girl, she was programmed to believe that education is the only way. What she presumably realised in the past few months is that higher education is there largely because figuring out what you want to do is the most difficult part of growing up. Once you know what you want, getting it is comparatively easy.

If Sarah Thomas had taken the time out to complete her education, she might have gone the route of Jodie Foster, who put stardom on hold to study English at Yale and is now one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Or she might have ended up like Brooke Shields, who, dubbed "the most beautiful woman In the world" at the age of 11, quit modelling and went to Princeton to study French literature. Her dedication to her studies meant that she turned down the Audrey Hepburn role in the remake of Roman Holiday. Instead, the cheesy, soft-porn Blue Lagoon will go down as her movie high point. Shields is now attempting to make a come-back via her sitcom, Suddenly Susan, which is uncommonly poor. As punishment, she must marry Andre Agassi.

Unless she really, truly adored her studies, Sarah Thomas's initial rejection of modelling was probably down to trepidation. To go running back to normal life when you have had a taste of the New York catwalks is not an inspiration but an insult to 16-year-old girls across the land. And foolish. You cannot expect to be beautiful your whole life.

Nowadays, it is becoming easier and easier to take your A-levels whenever you feel like it and to go to university as a mature student. Aside from the money, Thomas will have been won over by the realisation that, if you want to model, you have really got to do it when you're 16: A-levels, unlike modelling, you can go back to when you are 25.

Emma Forrest

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

    £37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

    Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

    £25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

    Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

    £16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones