No one else is talking about this, so we needed to be brave enough to do it. The modeling industry isn’t as transparent as you might think. We’re constantly encouraged to change our physical appearance to fulfill someone else’s narrative of how we’d look best. I’ve been asked to lose weight, gain weight, change my hair color, sometimes skin color, among many other things. We’re constantly reminded that we are easily replaceable. This can do a number on our mental health, constantly being hired/ fired based on solely our looks… not based off of our skill sets or what’s in our hearts.
As Emily had said during Brave Talks, she was touting the industry propaganda of ‘love your curves,” and yet she was the one who needed the love the most. She hated her body, at every size. When Emily came out to the world, admitting all of the damage she’d done to her body in an effort to fit into what the modeling world wanted her to look like, to make more money for herself and her agency as a lingerie and swimsuit model, I connected with her immediately. That honesty bonded us as allies in a very competitive industry. Although I have never had any surgery, I’ve seen many models do so to keep up with these impossible beauty standards. I wanted Emily to know that I loved and supported her no matter how she looked.
While I still model, I have realized my value is not fitting into a perfect shape that the industry expects of me, but rather, allowing my body to be beautiful just the way it is, and let everything else fall into place around me.
A few years ago, it was becoming more important for models to have a social media presence. I decided to take a deep dive, figuring out who/what I wanted to be online and realized I had a unique perspective, coming from the modeling industry. I started blogging and sharing the positive things I’d learned as a model and how to translate that to every day life. Little did I realize the impact it could have.
I’d hope that I’d make someone else’s life easier by sharing things I’d often learn the hard way… but to have made an impact by just owning my body for what it was- that was powerful for not only my audience, but for myself. If I can make peace with my body, so can you! The moment I realized that body confidence was a journey, not a destination – is when it all changed for me. I used to think I’d just wake up one day and be confident and that was it! Once I realized it was a journey, filled with ups and downs- it became a lot easier for me to comprehend. With practice and bravery, we are all strong enough to quiet the noise.
To being beautiful the way we are,