Life is stressful, no doubt about that, but everyone has their limitations, including models. It’s no secret, anyone that’s a ‘non model’ believes our job is just a dream. They seem to think we are the ones who not only won in the gene pool, but at life as well. To them we are all rich and famous, with the perfect everything, so making us the bud of their jokes, will just pull us down to earth a little, like the rest of the average humans. I’ve learned how to combat a lot in the ten years of my career. Things like learning to wear my tuff skin when stepping into a gym, cause if looks could kill, I’d be six feet under for thinking my skinny ass belonged there! I mean, at least one person never fails to ask me, what I’m doing working out, with the most sincerity ever, as if they are truly concerned I’d actually disappear! The worst is, when you are home and find yourself being the only ‘real’ model within a 5 mile radius, and are invited to a, let’s say, family function, and everyone including the dog, assumes they are Tyra Banks herself, and wants to make you ‘America’s Next Top Model. It may not seem like a lot to you, but when someone thinks it’s no big deal to express how much, or little I eat, WHILE IM EATING, to a crowd that already thinks I’m anorexic or on heavy drugs, I get defensive; and with a mouth like mine, all hell is sure to break loose. Most people would never think it’s ok to call some someone fat, or obese to their face, and expect them to be ok with it, so why would calling me skinny, or affectionately naming me ‘bones’ be any better?
These thing are just the icing on top of the cake of abuse that models endure for being a glorified clothes hanger, that just happened to look like the current standard of beauty, that the general public set for us in the first place. Don’t get me started on how hard we are on ourselves, not to mention each other . If you tell a model they look like another model, and they really do aesthetically, just know that they already know, and secretly hate them because the more you look like someone, is the more you get compared to them, to a point of considering to pull a Tonya Harding. Yea, it’s that serious sometimes cause there is only room for one, especially if you are not 16 years old, blonde hair blues eyes, with perfect measurements!
All in all, it’s a hard knock life, for us, just like anyone else, the only difference is, our dirty laundry is spread out on front street, with no compassion or remorse, simply because we’re ‘perfect!’ One may ask, why I even became a model in the first place, a question I often ask myself every time my agency doesn’t pay me, or yells at me for not showing up on time to be a human pin cushion, to resentful stylist that seems to think I’m actually plastic. The answer is, I got into the game young and naïve and decided to prove I can be successful at something other than the prestigious doctor, lawyer, or McDonald’s burger flipper. It was my dream to travel the world and be the face on the magazines that my future daughter would look at, because as a child, those beautiful models, rarely looked like me.
Here I am almost 29 and just realizing, that I’ve been running this lonely race for a long time with no breaks since I started. I’m overwhelmed and exhausted. There are things however, that I like about being a model, but at this moment, I find it hard to have anything other than resentment for my dream job. My accomplishments seems to have become weights on my shoulders, because if I show pride for a job well done, it is taken as showing off and used as an opportunity to remind me of how self centered I’ve become. My failures are celebrated by, dear I say, ‘jealous’ acquaintances and thrown in my face, to put me back in my place. I know I’m am build to be strong but there is a point where the straw brakes the camels back. Recently I was there! I could not stand it anymore and allowed depression to take over.
I’m not writing this because I want a pity party or anything, but because I know how lonely this industry can be for us models. For anyone that understands how I feel, I know how important it is to take a break! Like a real self searching, head clearing, body cleansing, break, and IT IS OK!! I got myself out of the hustle and bustle, removed the toxic relationships in my life, and left the agencies that were draining me of not only my money but my self worth! I must admit, it wasn’t easy, it’s not even easy to write this blog post to you right now, but I had to do it to feel better and hopefully help anyone going through the same thing. Friends and family usually are there for you but often don’t understand. What I’ve learned though is, you have to know when enough is enough, and when it’s time to regroup and recharge. Here are some things I’ve been doing that’s been working to help me to clear my mind.
•Find a quite place to meditate and pray.
Prayer and meditation has really given me an extra life line and allowed me to begin the process of healing. I’ll admit, I have not gotten it down yet, so what I do is to just sit in my closet ( yes my closet) away from any distractions. I also take this time to write in a note book I have specially for this purpose. Sometimes I write to myself, some times it’s to God and sometimes it’s to my future or past self. In the beginning this was really tuff and I cried A LOT, but afterwards I feel so much better and ready to face the world! This is my safe place.
•Read something uplifting.
I am an extreme over thinker and find it hard to stop my mind from racing 24/7. I found that reading really helps me to direct my attention to something else long enough to relax. A book thats has given me comfort while still providing me with valuable tools to help myself is, ‘The Travelers Gift‘ by Andy Andrews. It’s a book I truly believe everyone going through an overwhelming season should read.
Now I know you’re probably thinking that I just bashed going to the gym, and now I want to work out. If I felt more comfortable going, I probably would have never looked for other places to work out like the park or outside period. I found I really enjoy running outside among nature. I have an extremely short attention span so seeing trees, even buildings when I’m in NYC or different things on my path also allows me to clear my head. However you work out is good! Just make sure it’s in a non judgmental environment and you are doing it for at least 20-30 mins.
One thing I enjoy more than anything thing, is soaking in a tub full or Himalayan bath salts, with my scented candles lit, listening to rain falling on YouTube. I don’t know if it’s the salt helping to draw out stress, or the aroma therapy of my candles, or even the rain sounds, but that combination ALWAYS works it’s magic on me. I recommend this for a long or hectic day.
I hope my tips help anyone feeling overwhelmed and stressed out there, I know it helped me by getting some of these things off my chest. To all the models, just remember we are all in this together and this career is HARD, so be kind yourself and each other. To the non models, I know it looks like we have it all, but we are still human and just because you see us smiling, doesn’t mean we are happy.