What do you do when something that sounds too good to be true ends up being better than it seemed?
For Seminole’s Abby Carter, you spend a summer in Europe modeling and make plans to continue your career full time in Japan and Australia after you graduate from high school.
Carter is a basketball player for the Lady Chieftains. The senior was a Basketball Player of the Year candidate at the 2018 Best of Preps event. Her role as a senior has changed but coach Charles Kemp said she is still a big contributor to her team even though many of the things she does now don’t show up in the scorebook.
She is enjoying basketball and her final semester in high school right now but her lifestyle will change a lot this summer.
“I told my agents they could have me full time after high school is over,” Carter said. “High school is my priority right now.”
When she was 14, Abby had an Instagram page like many teenagers. It was through that page that modeling agents “discovered” her. When they first emailed her parents about possibly joining the agency, it wasn’t well received.
“The agents emailed my mother and it took off from there,” Abby said. “It seemed kind of sketchy at first.”
Her mother, Shari Carter, agreed.
“It seemed shady,” Shari said. “Brad and I resisted the idea.”
But being the daughter of an attorney, Abby has always had to come to her parents with evidence and a good argument. This case was no different.
“Abby came to us with facts to back up her argument,” Shari said. “We talked to them and found out it was a legitimate offer.”
Since signing with IMG, one of the most prestigious modeling agencies in the world, Abby has made multiple trips to New York City for castings and photo shoots. Last summer, she traveled through London and Barcelona working on different projects.
One of those projects was an editorial spread in Cosmopolitan Espana. She was featured in multiple photos in the September 2018 edition of the magazine.
That photo shoot was a tough one for her mother, who was invited along for the summer tour since Abby was underage.
“I had to put her on a train and send her from Madrid to Barcelona without me because the legal age in Spain is 17 so she was able to be on her own,” Shari said. “That was hard, but Abby is independent and she can really take care of herself.”
Abby said her small-town heritage is always interesting to people who meet her and work with her, but she feels just as comfortable in the major cities.
“Everywhere I go people love to hear about my cows and how I feed them,” she said. “They love to hear how I am still dancing and playing basketball and being a normal teenager. You would think it would be such a shock to be in such a big city but I think that’s where I belong.”
Another story Abby shares is how her class will be the only one from Seminole to spend all four years in high school in their grocery store high school. Seminole students will have a brand new school next year.
But the new school won’t be part of Abby’s story. In June, she leaves for Japan for a couple of months before returning home for a brief stay. After that break, she will fly across the globe again to Australia for another assignment.
After she finishes there, Abby said she hopes to get to work in New York City but she is open to any opportunity if it is good for her career.
“I don’t know if I have goals,” she said. “My dream would be to work as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. I just want to do what it takes to be successful. I can always go back to school but you don’t always have another opportunity like this.”
Abby has completed 33 credit hours toward an associates degree and she plans to finish it online while she is working this summer.
There is a lot of work to being a professional model and it isn’t always easy, but Abby welcomes it.
“I have body image issues. I am very self-conscious,” she said. “You have to remember that everyone is there because they have a unique look.” She said some people make inappropriate comments on her Instagram page, but she knows that just comes with the job. She said some comments are mean.
“My favorite was one that just said, ‘You are so ugly,’” Abby said with a laugh.
A model’s physique can mean the difference between getting jobs and losing them so Abby works hard to maintain hers.
Abby stays fit through basketball and works on her strength and her core through her dance team. She has to do a lot of work to be ready for modeling jobs.
“There is a lot of practice. There is something I do with the right side of my mouth. I have to practice my expressions and working on things I have been shown,” she said. Abby said she is even trying to maximize her height by lying on an inversion table.
While the opportunity is exciting, her parents weren’t always 100 percent in support. “It took us out of our comfort zone,” Shari said. “We had this vision for her with high school, college and a family. Now that vision is very different and it took us time to adjust to it.”
Shari said it was comforting to know the people Abby would be working for and knowing they take care of their models.
“She has been with IMG for more than two years and they do a great job,” Shari said.
She doesn’t know what the future holds for her, but Abby is excited to get more experience and see where modeling could take her. But she isn’t in a hurry to leave Seminole and her classmates and teammates.
“My main goal right now is graduating from high school, going to the prom, being Student Council President, playing basketball, just being a regular senior,” she said.