I started modeling when I was fifteen years old. For years people told me I should try it so after years of begging my mom, she finally gave in and let me sign with an agency in Seattle, Washington. It was the best experience of my life and at the same time it took a tremendous toll on my self-esteem and self-worth in my formative years. I had the privilege of working with adults ( and earning money like an adult) when many other kids were just getting their first jobs at ice cream shops and grocery stores. I was able to travel and see the world before anyone else I knew thanks to modeling, but the standards for beauty to which models were held were so demanding that I struggled to keep up. As an athletic woman the hardest part was always my weight. I dieted and dieted and dieted some more until my body was completely shutting down. I didn’t find happiness until I learned a few key things about beauty standards that are important for everyone to know.
Models work very hard to stay thin
When I started modeling many people tried to tell me that models are all just “naturally thin.” I was never a small, thin person despite being active and eating healthy. It made me think something was wrong with me and my agents just assumed I couldn’t keep my hands out of the cookie jar. It took me years to realize there are very few models that are naturally skinny people. Models work tremendously hard to limit calorie intake and exercise just enough but not so much that they bulk. If you are comparing and despairing because you’ve never been model thin, RELAX! Most models aren’t even model thin. They get paid to make working out a job, and eating healthy and scarcely is a job requirement. On the other end of the spectrum, plus size models are not always the picture of health either. Many of them are asked to bulk up because they are not “plus enough” and it’s not uncommon for them to have breast implants and other work so their curves are in all the right places. Enjoy life and find the size your own unique body is happiest. Nothing is sexier than self-love!
Not all models have great skin
Photoshop is a reality and it is ALWAYS used, even for women who do have great skin. I remember working for catalogs who employed a retoucher to zoom in on my face ( or even worse, my tummy roll) and swipe any imperfection away almost immediately, even before they had chosen the final image for use. If you have freckles, blemishes, undereye circles or a little sun damage from a fun day at the beach don’t worry. You are not alone.
The models that work the most are beautiful inside and out
There are so many beautiful models. Seas and seas of them from all around the world. Often, there are a number of models that could fit what a client needs for a job. In my twenty years of modeling I have noticed that the models that last the longest and work the most are not only beautiful on the outside but also beautiful on the inside. Clients like to book a model with an easy personality to spend long hours on set with. Nothing makes a job smoother than a model who is professional, fun and relaxed. So what’s my point? Often the beauties we see in magazines actually have a heart just as pretty inside. Sorry, we just can’t hate supermodels because they are beautiful!
After so many years being surrounded by beautiful women there is one last thing I want to share. They have all the same problems the rest of us do. The same problems with relationships, life, finances, love, school and finding happiness as the rest of us. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to lift our fellow women up, smile at each other and keep reminding one another that if we stick together it’s all going to be okay.