Today I’m telling you a very personal story of me. I called it ‘An act of self love – why I said NO to the big modeling industry’, because it sums up how I feel and felt about this topic.
Back then in my early teen years I was very, very thin. Not because I chose to be, but because my body was naturally slender, and I was growing pretty fast into a tall woman.
People, mostly classmates, always kept on telling me that I’m way too thin and that I should gain weight. They even laughed at me for being so slender.
Not knowing it any better, other than listening to what they were saying, I tried to gain weight – because I wanted to fit in. I didn’t want to be the thin girl. I even remember eating two big bars of chocolate every day, just to gain weight ( – which luckily didn’t work out, I must say today…)
And yet, I still was the tall, thin girl with a supposedly ‚twisted‘ taste for dark Gothic fashion who never fit in.
A few years later, by coincidence, I came in touch with the modeling industry – something that I didn’t choose purposely back then, but which happened to me. I just got a few chances that I took, and I had nothing to lose. And it was fun, too.
But as things began to get a little more serious, I got to hear the next opinion: I was told to be fat. Here’s a quote by a stout petite woman from a modeling agency in New York: „You look really big in those pictures.“
At a height of 1,76 m and a body weight of 56 KG they wanted me to lose 7 KG more. And they all still told me that I’m too fat: modeling agencies, photographers, all the ‚important‘ people.
Now I was really confused. So I’ve been trying to gain weight all those years, and now people are telling me to do the opposite?
As my opportunities grew, I remember walking into all these – world known – modeling agencies in New York and Paris in my 20s, and I felt like being treated like an unimportant piece of meat with too much weight, while being slightly too short when compared to working runway models in Paris, and of course being already too granny-old when it comes to high fashion-modeling.
However, some of those agencies were seriously interested in me, yet I was told that my style wasn’t stylish enough, that I should wear this and that, and that I should look like a real ‘fashion model’.
I was supposed to walk up and down in rooms full of agency-people to show myself – which I did – and these people didn’t even look up once from their monitors.
A dream that turned into a nightmare
Welcome to the fashion-modeling-reality. Not so very glamorous. So was this really the life I wanted to live? To only be judged by ‚my shell’? To be told to be fat by too many rude people? To feel like not even being treated like a human being with feelings anymore?
That was the point when I said clearly NO.
I didn’t lose weight and I didn’t go back to those agencies, because I chose that I deserve more respect. And if I had done what they wanted, I wouldn’t have shown any respect or love for myself, because turning into something they wanted wasn’t what I was looking for at all.
I let the real chance go to work for the world’s biggest modeling agencies and chose my own real happiness over it instead. Losing so much weight would have been constant ‚work‘ and stress – and in a way that I don’t consider to be healthy for mind and body anymore. Not to consider what the job itself would have done to me if I had seriously gone for it.
Besides, I know myself when I’m hungry: I get cranky, moody, dizzy, stressed out and in a very bad mood. I couldn’t imagine being hungry forever, to starve myself or to meet an ideal that I didn’t even like.
An act of self love – a gut decision
So this was the very first moment when I consciously experienced self love. When I realized my own worth and recognized my innermost core being, and when I clearly saw that it’s important to not fall for temptations too easily and to listen to your gut feeling. And my gut was screaming in agony not to hand myself over to this industry where people just are treated like goods. Today I’m so thankful for this decision.
The modeling I do today is much different, because I choose what I want to do. I choose with whom I work and where I want my face to appear. I’m being my authentic self and I’m not acting like a shell to be used by somebody else.
I’ve been working with smaller agencies during the past few years, too, but I still got the most out of my own work until now to be honest, because it’s a passion to me to express myself. And I love slipping into different roles.
Now I do exactly what I want to do, and turned into exactly whom I want to be, with the hair color and weight of my own choice, and I even love the clothes I wear.
Already back then in my early 20s I chose to accept the fact that I won’t ever be the average fashion girl.
Instead I chose to be bold on the glamorous, the extraordinary, the vintage and the subcultural alternative. I chose to be me, and I didn’t regret that decision even once.
My message to you
That’s why my message to you is today that I want to encourage you to do the same. Don’t listen to other people, especially not to rude ones. Don’t listen to a thing they say if they only want to bring you down. Everybody has his or her own opinions, which is fine, but it’s most important to have your own, and to listen to your own gut feeling.
It’s important to accept yourself the way you are. I couldn’t turn myself into an average fashionista, because I simply wasn’t, so why should you turn into something that others expect you to do? Simply don’t. Walk your own path and choose happiness instead. Let’s all shine in our own special and unique way.
In the first week when I got my platinum blonde hair earlier this year, I remember people telling me “Noo, don’t go blonde, it doesn’t suit you, this is not for you, don’t do it, …’ but still it was my choice and I love that I tried it out. Besides, it is MY hair, and what could be more boring than staying the same forever and ever? No one ever knows what comes next, not even I do right now… ;) And changes can bring new opportunities, too.
I teamed up with my man Black Spirit X to take some photos of the new super-blonde me, and my new look reminded me so much of some extraterrestrial elven species. A little Lord of the Rings, and a little Khaleesi maybe, too… ;)
It was a powerful moment right before sunset in early spring, and we used the last warm light of the day to take these photos. In the background you can even see the first trees that started to bloom on that day.
It’s always magical to watch seasons fade into each other, as nature transforms itself again right now: summer has transitioned into fall.
Have a wonderful day, embrace changes in your life, and always do what you want to do with all your being and be happy.
Artwork by Elaine Valerie
(This post was originally published on The Vintage Romance on October 12th 2017)