Our conversation with Öykü starts like this; I excitedly ask her, “It’s amazing how that one hashtag changed your life. Could you imagine this?”. She answers calmly, “Actually what changed my life is me posting that photo that exact moment.”. Much discussed term “new gen” starts from there. We are facing a group of people who knows what they want, are confident and are not afraid to share themselves. They are more interested in how they can be present in the world that was offered to them rather than the world itself. What makes the world around you meaningful? Is it what was offered to you or is it how you assert yourself? Can life be more complicated than just wanting to be happy? Maybe there is not a new generation, there are just people who gave up. If we manage to be honest to ourselves, the right answers will ensue.
Could you ever guessed that a hashtag like “#weloveyourgenes” can be powerful enough to change your life?
Öykü Baştaş: I believe in miracles. I used to believe that Peter Pan was going to take me to Neverland, may be a part of me I still believe that. So, I was sure that at some point my life would change completely. Of course, I didn’t think that it would be like this. I didn’t know that a simple hashtag or a photo I posted on social media would serve me that much. But, I think that’s not what changed my life. What changed my life was me giving that decision at that moment.
The time you started college coincides with the time you started your modelling career. How do you define the momentum that changed your life so fast?
Öykü Baştaş: Before that period of my life, I was quieter and introvert. That’s why I was waiting for the moment that I could take a better grip of my life, my breaking point. It was the moment I finished high school. When I got the chance, I used it as good as I can.
How does the reality of being able to model until a certain age affects the steps you take for your career?
Öykü Baştaş: Modelling is not a long-lasting career. It is hard to be permanent and as fashion changes, models change too. But, right from the start, I am trying to improve myself on other fields by working on multiple things and I try to see modelling as a start for other careers. I love architecture and I can do many things other than that. I am trying not to confine myself and learn new stuff.
What do you think about fashion being coincided with beauty and the paradox created by standardizing beauty?
Öykü Baştaş: I don’t think that fashion and beauty overlap. Fashion can coincide with many things. It is a form of expressing oneself. I think this judgment is very cruel.
Do every piece you wear should reflect your style? Do you do random selections?
Öykü Baştaş: I select random pieces so often. Actually, this is the definition of my style. I think every piece you choose to wear reflects your style.
Your two-year career makes up a career that the people who gave this job years would dream of. What do you think about the progress you have made?
Öykü Baştaş: I am happy with where I am, but I am also happy that I encouraged other people with what I’ve done. Yes, I am successful, but I’ve got more things that I want to do.
“If we don’t use our creativity, it will start to poison us.”
You say that modelling had a critical role with overcoming your asociality and because of that it made you excited, where did this courage come from?
Öykü Baştaş: Accomplishing something gives me confidence. Other than that, the people around me make me confidant too such as my family, my boyfriend, my friends.
What do you do to survive the age of network?
Öykü Baştaş: Actually, I don’t do anything special. Generally, I try to be kind and honest towards people. I still have a hard time engaging with people but I am not as afraid anymore. That’s why I can talk to people I work with and I guess that’s what impresses them.
How do you interpret the effects of social media on this topic?
Öykü Baştaş: There is a strange easement when it comes to social media. Somehow communicating is easier. I don’t act contrary in real life of course, but the tone is different when you are talking than when you are writing. In social media, your impression is based on the perception of the people who perceive you. The effect of this platform on networking is important because it makes you accessible and gives you visibility.
The pages that are followed, liked, commented on for networking… I guess people are never honest to themselves in social media.
Öykü Baştaş: I really follow the pages I like, and I think that I create a feed that I am interested in but of course, there are times when I follow relatives to be kind or people who are necessary for work. The integrity of this is arguable. Still, I can say that I am trying to be honest as much as I can.
How much space does Instagram take up in your daily affairs?
Öykü Baştaş: I spend a lot of time in social media, but it does not take so much space in my relations. Of course, I have met a lot of people this way, but I don’t judge people based on social media.
What kind of an effect does it have on your career?
Öykü Baştaş: There is no way to deny the effect of it in my career. That’s how I got discovered as a model. This platform enables you to present yourself to the people you don’t know and makes it easier for you to reach a lot of people.
Is there a space in your dreams for interior architecture?
Öykü Baştaş: I definitely want to do it! It is something I can do while modelling. At least I think I can.
What is after modelling? Do you want to be an actor?
Öykü Baştaş: I would like to try acting and I dream about other things too, but my priority is to be an architect after modelling.
The fact that Gen z is making choices that are changing occupational habits and prioritizing individual desires over social needs is changing the economic balance is considered to be among the much-debated identity problems by experts, what do you think about that?
Öykü Baştaş: The world, time, our lives are changing…Generations and habits are changing accordingly. New needs and lines of work are coming up to existence. I don’t think that the concept of teamwork will vanish but sometimes individuality can make creativity inside us show up. Every person is a point of view, an endless sea…So many ideas, so many opportunities… If we don’t use our creativity, it will start to poison us.
What is your goal for 2019?
Öykü Baştaş: To be happy! My goal is that much simple. The thing that will make me happy is sometimes can be success or something different. But, I just want to be happy.
To watch New Gen w/ Öykü Baştaş, click here.