The La Maison Talulah Instagram feed is full of beautiful females, wearing beautiful dresses, in beautiful locations. However, we need to let you know that there’s more depth to this aesthetically decorative feed, and that lies in the soul, wisdom and intelligence of the actual women behind the pictures.



More Than She Wore: the substance of the women we feature. 



In her early 20s, Phoebe Gorayeb took a chance and moved to Australia to pursue a career in modelling. With her drop dead gorgeous features, it didn't take long before she was shot for major Australian brands like David Jones and Sportsgirl. Despite a successful career in modelling, Phoebe has personally suffered from poor self-esteem and eating disorders that threatened to overcome her. After fighting through a recovery, she used her writing talent to launch her blog, Model Appetite, where she encourages the practice of self love, while also detailing her love of food. We chat to Phoebe about mental illness, common misconceptions of the fashion industry and her favourite things to eat.


Model Appetite talks to La Maison Talulah


Tell us what a regular day looks like.

For me no day is ever the same but they usually start and finish in the same way. First thing I do is sweat it out at the gym. I normally do classes as I find gym machines incredibly boring and I need to be motivated to workout. Then home for some brekkie, which is either a protein smoothie with lots of fruit or two fried eggs with avocado, tomatoes, spinach and hummus. The day then ends with a cook up for me and my husband and a hardcore session of Netflix. At the moment we are watching Breaking Bad, Orange Is The New Black and House of Cards.


What inspired you to take your passions and turn them into your wonderful blog MODEL APPETITE?

I have always been passionate about food ever since I can remember. Talking about food probably takes up about 50% of the conversations I have. I have also always loved to write so it seemed obvious to combine my two passions and et voila, Model Appetite was born.


Model Appetite talks to La Maison Talulah


What misconception annoys you the most about models and the wider industry? 

That models are dumb. Granted, modelling itself doesn’t require a huge amount of brainpower academically; common sense and smarts is a must but you don’t need a degree to strike a pose. That doesn’t mean that models don’t have one anyway. Some of the smartest and most inspirational people I know are models. Madelain King is a qualified nutritionist specialising in Chi Nei Tsang, Amy Finlayson is an incredible and recognised artist and collaborator, Ollie Henderson is an activist with the goal of getting young people engaged in political issues, Rose McEvoy is studying law, speaks fluently in French and speaks Spanish and Mandarin. The list goes on! This is just a small example of models I know who are far from dumb.


What changes would you like to see in the fashion and modelling industries (if any), so that young, impressionable people are better supported?

I think a lot needs to change but I don't think it's just the fashion and modelling industry that has the responsibility. Of course it plays a big part but when it comes to the protection and care for young people under the influence of media and fashion, parents should be the first ones to support and put parameters in place. Encourage your children to look beyond their image from the start, don't allow them to model if you don't think they are mentally tough enough to handle such a brutal industry, teach them the values and importance of self respect and respecting others. Building foundations for happy, well rounded, open minded, confident children will stand them in good stead when they become exposed to a world where looks, social media and vanity play such a huge role in our society. I already see a lot of positive changes in the fashion industry, which makes me extremely happy. Models are speaking out about body image and trying to encourage diversity in the industry. Some examples are Project Womenkind (@projectwomenkind) and Any BODY (@any.body_co). They are making such a positive impact which I am 100% in support of but I know it will be a long journey ahead.

Brands and companies need to use more age appropriate models (to a certain extent of course as I understand the idea and necessity of creating aspirational images) but using a 20 year-old to promote wrinkle cream is just patronising and insulting. The pressure on catwalk models is ridiculous. Make sample sizes bigger!!!! Or at least have a range of different sizes so we can see and include a range of different size models. As catwalk models are expected to be so slim younger girls are being cast because they haven't yet developed curves and boobs and hips etc, which again goes back to being age appropriate. Why is a 15 year-old girl walking the runway in a $20,000 dress? Is she going to buy it? No! Is she the target market? No! Are the people who are the target market looking at her and relating to her? No! And don’t think I’m discriminating at all against girls who are naturally slim. The key word here is diversity but what needs to happen is a shift in mentality. The industry needs to provide a safe environment and allow all models the ability to flourish naturally and happily. Don’t expect a model you used at 16 years old to have the same shape body at 22 and instead of punishing her for this, celebrate the transformation and encourage her to be herself and find work with other brands and clients. The industry is making small steps towards this but unfortunately it is the people at the top that need to pull their finger out and start a fashion revolution.


Model Appetite talks to La Maison Talulah


What advice would you like to share with those suffering from a mental illness or poor self-esteem?

It’s interesting you ask me this as I just recently opened up about my own issues with an eating disorder. It had been a long time coming but I’m so happy that I’ve spoken out and the response I got was incredibly heart warming. People I hadn’t seen or spoken to in years were messaging me about their own journeys and how brave I was to speak out. It just goes to show that a little conversation can go a long way. It’s a very open, honest and brutal account of what I experienced and in my post I do speak directly to those who might be suffering with the same thing.

Mental illness is not easy to overcome, I don’t think I’ll ever be truly rid of my demons but I have learnt to live a happy and fulfilling life regardless. Similar with self-esteem, you can’t just click your fingers and find a solution. It also affects people who are blessed with good looks, success, money, a family etc. Poor self-esteem doesn’t discriminate and even the happiest looking people may be suffering on the inside. I think a good place to start is finding value in your life that’s not attached to looks and materialistic things and to surround yourself with people who share those same values and who make you feel good about yourself and appreciate you for you. Looks fade and money goes but good, genuine people will stand the test of time.


During recent years, we’ve seen a rise in the popularity of being fit and strong, which has taken precedence over simply being thin and waifish. Do you think this is a positive change?

Yes I do, only because of the negative impact that extremely skinny models and a culture that praises this has caused. I have no problem with models and women who are naturally slim and waif like, my issue sits with those who starve and torture themselves in order to be this way. I feel sorry for them, I know how they feel and it’s an extremely sad and dangerous place to be in. Showing that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, whether that is a fit and strong looking size 10 or someone that is a healthy, size 16.

Social media has played both a positive and negative role in body image. It has paved the way for models and women alike to showcase a variety of body types. We are no longer subjected to what magazines want us to see or what they think we want to see. The Fitspo craze has definitely helped to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle, however, I think we need to remember that quite a few of those people who are making a career out of being fit are being gifted protein powder, free trials of healthy meal delivery companies and workout clothes etc. They also have the time available to them, which a lot of people don’t have. Look to social media for inspiration but don’t forget to educate yourself properly when it comes to food an exercise and ultimately do what makes you happy. One person’s idea of perfect shouldn’t be the benchmark for everyone else.


Model Appetite talks to La Maison Talulah


Through the blog and your Instagram it’s clear that you have a strong passion for delicious food. What are your favourite foods to eat?

I know this is a really boring answer but I honestly love all and every food. If I had to seriously whittle it down then Indian, Lebanese and Italian are probably my top three cuisines. My favourite dessert is crumble, any crumble goes, I’m not prejudice, but it has to be served with ice cream and the ratio of crumble to fruit needs to be about 60:40. I have a wicked sweet tooth both to my enjoyment and detriment.


You’re now a Bondi local. What are some of your favourite lesser-known places to eat and drink in the area?

Bondi is fast becoming a bit of a food hub. There are new places popping up all the time and I don’t think there are many undiscovered gems left. Some of my favourite Bondi eats are Lox, Stock and Barrel (the Bowlarama is YUM!), I was recently introduced to Wellington Cakes on Bondi Road and oh holy moly, the cherry strudel was to die for. A couple of other top picks include Sefa Kitchen, Shuk, Society Pizza and Bondi’s Best. We’re pretty spoilt in Bondi.


What’s your favourite food destination in the world and why?

Singapore. The food culture there is incredible and the influences of other cultures and cuisines have created such a dynamic food hub. The Hawker Centres are a foodies dream. Every time my husband and I fly through Singapore on our way to Europe we always make sure we have a long lay over so we have time to escape the airport and hit up our favourite restaurants. Dumpling noodle soup, Hainanese chicken rice and Taiyaki (pancakes in the shape of a fish and stuffed with sweet azuki bean paste) are a must have when we visit. There’s also an amazing Roti restaurant which I’ve reviewed on my blog.


Model Appetite talks to La Maison Talulah


What’s your favourite meal to cook at home?

If I’m honest I much prefer baking and cooking sweet dishes. I don’t do it that often because I will eat it. All of it. My husband is an incredible cook and we love cooking together. One of our favourites to cook is curry. We went to Nepal a couple of years ago and came back with some amazing, traditional recipes. We’ll just spend a whole day shopping, prepping, cooking and eating.


How would you describe your personal style and what is your go-to outfit?

I’m pretty easy going when it comes to my style. I don’t like fussy and uncomfortable clothes. Simple classic pieces dressed up with a cool pair of shoes, statement watch and eclectic jewellery. I love wearing my cut off, boyfriend jeans with an oversized white shirt, black loafers, my black, leather backpack, a pair of gold hoop earrings and sunnies. Easy, comfortable, classic.


Model Appetite talks to La Maison Talulah


Describe your perfect weekend.

Heading to either the Bondi markets or Carriageworks markets with my hubby to buy our groceries for the weekend, then catching up with friends for lunch before spending the afternoon cooking up a feast for dinner and finished with a movie at the cinema with a large box of sweet popcorn.


What’s coming up for you and the blog in the next year?

So I just recently launched my new website. A whole new design and layout, just to change things up a bit. I’ve got a few new ideas that I want to execute before the year is out but I won’t divulge too much, lets just say it will involve a lot more video and half naked men 


Model Appetite talks to La Maison Talulah


 Phoebe Ghorayeb wears La Maison Talulah, shop the story here.

Photography by Elizabeth Butner

HMU by Emma Chen

Styling by Gill Lawrence