In the world of modeling in Paris, few make necks crane longer than Carl Jaro. Jaro was born in Port-au-Prince and immigrated to France nineteen years ago—at the age of seven. He was discovered by a Jamaican modeling scouting agent, while attending a beauty pageant in the Caribbean.
Still based in France, Jaro’s modeling career has brought him to 37 countries, including England, Italy, and South Africa, and most delightfully of all, his native land. He’s participated in modeling campaigns for such brands as Elektrod, Adidas, H&M, Favette Natco, and Men by Men.
Carl Jaro doesn’t want to be just another well-sculpted guy model. Acting interests him a great deal, and to that end, he’s starred in the British film The Love of My Life, Le Choix de Ma Mère, shot in Haiti, and Sous Le Soleil, shot in France.
What’s it like for a model of color in France?
It’s very difficult for a non-Caucasian model to be part of the scene. You have to know your strong points to really impose yourself [in the French world of modeling]. The modeling word is the same as it is in any other country. You have to have what it takes to get in, and a really good dose of will and patience. It’s a really difficult industry, as with any other sector. You don’t just get in, like you do in a grinding mill. You have to have the measurements and the beauty type of the moment. You also have to know the criteria changes each year.
How do you stay in shape?
[Smiles] Well, we’ll just say that working out is my big secret. As they say back home: “Mwen se yon gran manjè”—I’m a big eater. [Smiles]
What’s the biggest misconception non-industry people have about modeling?
People have the tendency to think that models are rabbits. And that they only eat salad.
But what’s the actual truth?
The reality is to simply control one’s proportions. Me, personally—I eat what I want. [Smiles]
What, in your eyes, makes a woman attractive?
A woman who’s capable of holding her own in the modern world, is to me, the type of woman I’d want to marry. [Smiles]
When you think of all the advice you’ve ever been given, which has proven to be the most helpful to your life?
I remember this saying of Martin Luther King: “We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools”. This saying really helps me not to break down when things aren’t going right.
It’s important to a lot of people to be intellectually-challenged. How do you stay mentally stimulated?
Positivity. That’s how I keep my head firmly on my shoulders.
How do your parents feel about modeling?
In the beginning, it was complicated to make my mom, a very traditional Haitian, understand. But today, she says she’s proud of her baby—talking about me.
When was the last time you took a trip to Haiti?
In September 2013, for the second edition of Haiti Fashion Week.
What words of wisdom would you throw to an aspiring model?
Above everything else, learn to know yourself, in order to strengthen your best assets. Secondly, have confidence. For, regardless of what it looks like, the modeling world is a difficult field, especially when you don’t exude confidence.