Alumni Spotlights

Stephanie Murphy
Posted 06/30/2017 12:00PM

Runway Success

From cover girl to college studies, Stephanie Murphy ('10) has balanced her modeling career with her passion for psychology.

Global travel, international friendships, and cross-cultural experiences are hallmarks of the third-culture kid experience, but for Stephanie Murphy they continued after her ISB days and into her modeling career.

From New York to Milan, Stephanie's early years after high school involved appearances on the catwalk, catalogues, and magazine covers.

  • "[Modeling] was something I fell into. It gave me a lot of opportunities to travel and work around the world," said Stephanie, a second-year psychology student at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

Television shows often portray the modeling lifestyle as one of jet-setting luxury and extravagance, where competition and conflict regularly boil over among those seeking to make their fortunes.

However, the reality is less exciting.

  • "It's not all it's cracked up to be. It's not very glamorous at all," Stephanie explained.
  • "There is always camaraderie [among models]. I never had anything but friendship with the girls I lived with. We only ever supported each other and there was never any bitchiness."

Of course, this isn't too say modeling is an easy career path. The pressure to maintain a certain body image coupled with constant travel mean Stephanie is now more focused on other pursuits.

  • "I quite like big cities, so I never had any problems with the travel. There were some other challenges, however, when it comes to stupid things like weight and living in a superficial world. Those are some of the reasons I've withdrawn from nowadays, because it's not very sustainable.

Raised on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, Stephanie attended ISB from grades 3 to 8. Her mother Mandy was an eighth-grade English and humanities teacher at the school, while father Jeff was a dolphin and seal trainer at the Beijing Aquarium.

After a brief stint at a local Chinese school, Stephanie was among the ISB students who made the Lido-Shunyi transition. Her fondest memories include traveling to Switzerland to perform with the Honor Choir and camping on the Great Wall in seventh-grade during an aptly named "I-will-not-complain" trip.

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