Bethany Talbot made you look

The multifaceted Gen Z star embodies a refreshing blend of maturity and curiosity, inspiring her followers to embrace growth, exploration and authenticity.

On a Sunday morning, errant slants of light flicker through the windows of a tastefully arranged studio set, forming small movements on the floor. The place is carefully curated with all neutral tones and pops of color. On one side of the room, the stunning 22-year-old Bethany Talbot sits upright as she gets her hair done, staring ahead with something of an anticipatory energy. 

Blazer, shirt, bow tie and shorts, GUCCI

Model, influencer, and football player, Talbot has come to embody a particular, emergent kind of Gen Z star: embedded in various scenes, partaking in diverse roles with equal verve and vigor, yet balancing it all with a winking sense of humor.

A restrained yet charming presence, with arresting eyes that cut right through the soul, Bethany reflects on her journey so far, and how she has come to inhabit a diverse range of roles. She candidly shares, “With the birth of all these different roles, most of them happened during the pandemic, especially the influencer and modeling part, but basically my whole life I was used to being very multifaceted.”

Overshirt, bag, and sandals, FENDI

Versatility in progress

Bethany recalls how the value of discipline was instilled in her as early as her teens. From her days spent on the football field to her dedication as an undergraduate student, Bethany’s schedule is brimming with activities and commitments.

“Obviously, being a student, I’m not used to my weekends being free, which isn’t a bad thing. I love it. I love being busy, and busy in different ways as well, like the busyness of it all feels fulfilling and also fun because I’m able to do so many different things,” she adds with a smile.

Jacket and jumpsuit, FENDI

As she discusses this, the studio is slowly becoming more and more populated. Water bottle in one hand, Bethany sits poised as a make-up artist dabs rosy pink powder on her face. She is wearing a flowing Max Mara dress, piercingly red, held together by a loop fabric on her waist. Later on, the photographer Bjorn Michael instructs Bethany to pose in all sorts of angles, each one highlighting a different segment of her personality: fun, fierce, quirky, demure.

Dress, MAX MARA; bag, ROGER VIVIER

There’s a gameness to Bethany’s responses, a certain athleticism not quite unlike her practice on the field. All throughout the shoot, she approaches her modeling with a cool sense of self-assertion, a trait that’s been ingrained from years of studied time management. Whether she’s lying on the floor, looking yearningly into the distance, or standing commandingly, shoulders back, Bethany radiates a versatility that draws from a rich inner reserve.

The intricacies of self-care

Delving into the intricacies of self-care, Bethany says, “I’m very used to doing multiple things. I grew up being a student athlete so it definitely shaped who I am today. Being organized and disciplined, it’s like an instinct with how I organize my time, how I see my free time.”

Shirt, JIL SANDER; skirt, MAX MARA

Bethany’s upbringing brought her a deep sense of structure and purpose, which she seamlessly integrates into her multifaceted life. She reflects on the evolution of her perspective on productivity, acknowledging the vital importance of leisure and relaxation.

“Even if there are times when I feel like if I have nothing to do, times that are not technically productive, like school or work, sometimes I’m like agitated, looking for something to do, and then I realize relaxing is also doing something—it’s doing something good for me,” she remarks with a hint of realization.

Coat, MAX MARA

As she navigates the worlds of modeling and content creation, Bethany emphasizes the significance of self-care and quality time with loved ones, recognizing these as essential components of a truly fulfilling life.

I think that’s important for people to realize that progress isn’t always linear, like sometimes you have to take a step back for you to eventually move five steps forward.

Beyond her modeling career, Bethany is also a student taking up social work at the University of the Philippines Diliman. Midway into college, she decided to take a leap and shift from BS Mathematics.

“Again, with the whole self-care thing, that definitely played a role in why I decided to shift. I was in my previous course for four years and I thought deeply about what I wanted to do. I realized it wasn’t for me and it took me those few years to really, at the end, choose myself and what I’d be happy with.”

Dress, MAX MARA

Though it was something some people questioned, Bethany’s decision to shift is, she says, all part of a bigger picture. “I think that’s important for people to realize that progress isn’t always linear, like sometimes you have to take a step back for you to eventually move five steps forward.” That non-linear trajectory, Bethany believes, is part of a process, one that requires patience and a determination to see things through.

Sister figure

As someone straddling a variety of roles and positions in a seemingly effortless manner, Bethany has come to be seen as a role model. Her Instagram and TikTok followers ask for advice—on school, sports, love, and life in general—positioning her as an older sister figure of sorts. She recalls going on TikTok live and getting a barrage of questions.

“There are a lot of people, especially younger girls, that look up to me,” she reflects. “I feel like those sort of things kind of pressure me, or again, maybe I put that pressure on myself to be the best role model I can be. But I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.”

Velvet blazer, VALENTINO; dress shirt, ZEGNA; denim pants, MAX MARA; sandals, ROGER VIVIER

Maturity—emotional and professional—is an ongoing process for Bethany. In one look, she wears a little black dress, another Max Mara piece, along with Roger Vivier shoes and a gold bag. Channeling old world chic, Bethany’s angular pose and fervent stare brings out an adult sensibility in her. There’s an ease to which she brings the look to life, and yet the work towards growth, she recognizes, must be hard won.

I really like that I can go on different paths and I’m excited to try different things. I’m looking forward to discovering something new about myself, new capabilities that I have—and that excites me

Bethany’s brand of self-improvement is streamlined less towards perfection, but more so toward what it means to live a genuine, authentic life. A striving that brings her closer to the communities around her—both physical and online. “Even this year, as I decided not to compete in UAAP, which is the first time in my entire life where I decided not to compete in my lifetime sport, there was that pressure that I wanted to resist. But as I went on TikTok, I think people gravitate most to honesty.”

Bethany radiates this kind of candidness throughout our interview, showing a true interest as she thinks through her responses to each question. This striving for truthfulness furnishes each role she attempts an active, forward momentum.

As she reflects on her path forward, Bethany returns to her beginner’s mindset: the capacity to approach each endeavor with a fresh set of eyes. “I’m actually really excited,” she says, thinking about post-grad life. “I really like that I can go on different paths and I’m excited to try different things. I’m looking forward to discovering something new about myself, new capabilities that I have—and that excites me, how I never know what I’m going to pursue in the future.”

Creative team:
PRODUCERS: Chad Alarcon and Ichi Acosta. CREATIVE DIRECTION: Erick Torres Dizon. PHOTOGRAPHY: Bjorn Michael. STYLING: Julian Rodriguez. MAKEUP: Poi Jakosalem. HAIR: Arvee Yadao Cahanap. NAILS: Antonia Grefaldian of Nail Spa. PRODUCTION MANAGERS: Denny Imson & Monica Toribio. VIDEO DIRECTOR: Brian Monge and Joshua Driza.

Special thanks to Hermes Beauty.

The new lifestyle.