Although used to visual spotlights herself, local model and activist Sofie Grace Rovenstine used her Miss Tennessee Teen USA 2018 platform to promote messages of self-acceptance to young girls, because she recalled a time when she felt burdened by the insecurities the modeling industry had placed on her. But she didn’t let that stop her from becoming a Victoria's Secret model.
She entered modeling when she was just 14. At that time, she signed with AMAX, a leading local agency in Nashville.
"I was able to work on the weekends and absolutely fell in love with modeling, both on camera and on the runway. I began to plan for an early graduation so I could invest in my career full-time," Sofie says.
By age 15, she was signed with IMG Worldwide, which afforded her opportunities to travel to London, Paris, New York City and Milan to work with top clothing designers. However, this notoriety was balanced by other life activities, such as living in the mountains of Mexico to perform mission work with her family in her youth. Aside from her summer international travels for modeling, she says she maintained a normal high school life, even joining the track team and winning a state title.
"The first insight I had into the pressures and standards of the industry was when my NYC agent told me I needed to choose track or modeling. Because I was training up to four hours a day, I had developed quite a bit of muscle. He said that my body no longer fit the expected standard in the industry and that if I wanted a future in modeling, I couldn’t do track. And despite my just becoming a state champion in the long jump and knowing that scholarships were on the horizon, I quit track," she says. "I was told I needed to change, but really it is the modeling industry that needed to change."
So she went about carving out her own path for modeling by working with her body in its natural, healthy state.
In 2017, when Sofie won the Miss Tennessee Teen crown, she and her team set their goal to win the Miss Teen USA crown. And while that didn't happen, Sofie was eventually selected to partner with Victoria’s Secret and walk the famous runway. She now is one of the world's most sought-after models.
Additionally, Sofie obtained her associate's degree in international affairs. Her philanthropic efforts still focus on enriching the lives of underprivileged orphans from developing nations and working with children with developmental and physical disabilities.
In Sophie's quest to obtain the Miss Teen USA crown, she knew she needed to improve her smile. She sought the help of Brentwood orthodontist Dr. David Kemp, who knew he had a short window of time due to her timeline of photo shoots and the date of the national pageant. They placed Sofie’s braces on in early December 2017 and removed all of them on May 3, 2018—one week before Miss Teen USA started. That new smile helped give Sofie the confidence to earn sixth place out of 50 competitors.