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Lene machine

Carol Martindale

Lene machine

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Look out, she’s back!
She’s tall, she’s Lene, and she’s ready to get back in the game.
That’s right. Barbados’ top model Lene Hall, standing 5’11”, is returning to the glitz and glamour of the world she stepped away from about five years ago to focus on family.
Lene, whose name is Sherrylene, is no stranger to the world of high fashion and glamour; the lights, cameras and a whole lot of action.
Her face has graced pages in magazines like Elle, Oprah, Marie Claire and Essence. She has also walked the runway for Ralph Lauren and some European couture designs. Hers has also been the face for Revlon, Oil of Olay and Lafayette 148. For many of us in Barbados, Lene’s face is also a familiar one on the cover of Dark and Lovely products.
On a recent trip to Barbados, Lene, who is still known to all her friends and family as Sherry, spoke about her life as a mother and a wife, and some of her future plans.
About five years ago, Lene married her sweetheart Ronald Greene, who is “from right here in St Andrew”. They met while on a photo shoot in Barbados, she disclosed.
Then two and half years ago, daughter Kylie came along and life changed for Lene.
The awesome responsibility of being a mother took over.
Lene relocated to Houston, Texas, three months ago with her family, leaving behind the bright lights and bustling streets of New York City, which was home for 18 years.
“My life has changed a lot. I now have a child that I am responsible for . . . . I knew I wanted to have a family. I was even considering changing my career path. I was then managing a hotel. I did that for a while and after I had my baby I stopped managing and went into guest services at another hotel.
“When you know you have responsibilities that are bigger than anything you can ever imagine, things change. So in my head I needed something that was more stable, that took less of my time, that didn’t require me having to travel. I figured I would go to work, do a couple hours at work, come home with my family and make a pay cheque.”
But things have changed yet again for Lene.
“In the past year, my friends and agents were telling me I need to get back in the game because you get comfortable. I was working and earning money; it might not have been what I made in 1999, but it was a steady income and it came with all the benefits and everything you need.
“I got comfortable. I am now trying to get myself back out of that comfort zone,” she admitted.
Part of that means redefining, re-engineering and re-emerging on the scene – in a big way.
So, for the first time in her life, Lene is dieting.
She giggles as she confesses to breaking her diet by indulging in some “good old pudding and souse” while home.
“For the last six months I have been trying to lose ten pounds. I have never had to diet. That’s a big deal because you are getting to a certain point in your life, to a certain age . . .”.
Part of the plan is having a big social media presence, hence her Facebook page and Instagram, which allow followers into her world.
“Things have changed dramatically. Before the business was more getting physically out there and seeing people. Now everything is social media and emails.”
Even though Lene is ready to take the plunge again, she also recognizes that she has changed. She is the first to admit that she doesn’t get caught up with the hype, even though it can be dizzying and exciting.
“I don’t see myself the way other people see me. I see myself as someone out there working for a pay cheque and working to support my family and to make a future for myself. But people see me as more than that. At the end of the day, this is a job; it is a career. When I come home to my friends and family I am not Lene. I am Sherry,” she said.
Over the years, Lene says she has grown to cherish her family and friends even more. “I still have all my friends, including Brian Green, my friend from The Lodge School. I would not trade my friends for the world. I also met some amazing friends in the United States, including international make-up artist Sam Fine.”
Her friends and family help to keep her grounded while dabbling in the glam world, especially the support from her mother Beverley Burgess-Lowe, father Keith Hall and sister Alyda.
“That world is amazing and it is a lot of fun but it is also a lot stress. It takes a lot to stay current. In this business you have to feel good about yourself to sell yourself because you are a product. You have to make sure everything is on point.”
And for Lene that means eating well and sticking to her beauty regimen, which sees her using different creams for different body parts like her face, legs and neck.
“I eat lots of fish and chicken, I would also eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Sometimes I just use protein – it depends,” she said, admitting she is bad when it comes to routines.
As Lene prepares to jet back to Houston this week, she does a quick checklist of the things she had to have while in Barbados.
Those delights include coconut water, pudding and souse, food from Princess, Chicken Barn, a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of vanilla ice cream from Chefette and a chicken breast sandwich from KFC with a pine Ju-c.
While Lene, who left these shores close to 19 years ago, admits to loving a big city, she says Barbados is still home.