“You’re too short, and you won’t make it in this industry”, was the very first thing I was told when I walked into my modeling class at age nine. Though, I decided I still wanted to continued with my lessons after that first day. During my time with that agency I tried to book modeling gigs, though I never received a called back. On one of the last auditions I went to as a kid, the talent scout decided to inform me that I looked “too exotic” for mainstream modeling. It felt as though what my instructor had said on that first day was coming true! It was also a very big blow to my self-esteem.
For years I held on to the belief that because I wasn’t tall enough, or I didn’t look conventional that I wasn’t “enough” to model. I was heartbroken, yet I still so badly wanted to be a model. It was so much so that when I was fourteen my dream was to one day be a Victoria Secret Angel! I wanted to walk the runway, and be in those commercials! It looked so glamorous! But, my height came into play, fully grown I am 5ft exactly; again I was too short. It was as though a door had been shut in my face, and the lock was a dead-bolt.
I stuffed my modeling dream to the back of my mind, instead I decided to take some photography classes at school. I honestly enjoyed my photography classes! I learned so much about lighting, angles, what it takes to compose a good photograph. However, I still had this tugging feeling that I wanted to be in-front of the camera as well. One day, after school a friend and I were hanging out, she was a model, as the conversation evolved I admitted to her that I was a bit envious of how tall, and beautiful she is, and how I wish I could model. She then admitted to me she was envious of how tiny yet curvy I am. It was a moment of realization! Everyone thinks the grass is greener on the other-side!
After she left, I did some research on the history of modeling. There were three things that stood out when I was done with research that day:
- What is considered conventionally pretty is always evolving
- Even models don’t look like themselves when everything is said and done
- I found pin-up
I fell head over heels in love with it! The articles I read about these pin-up models deemed them exotic, just like me! I had found my new dream!!
Pin-up and boudoir allows me to embrace the things about myself that society deems are “flaws”. I may not be conventionally pretty, and that’s ok. I don’t want to fit in with everybody else, I don’t want to be the same. I love being unique. I am so grateful that I was turned down by those other companies, because it forced me to look in a different direction to follow my dreams.
“No” isn’t an end, “No”, doesn’t mean stop. No just means NOT OPTIMAL FOR YOU. It means that there is a better choice, a better option, a better solution that will benefityou in the long run. For my modeling it means: I am my own manager, I design my own shoots, I find my own photographers (yes, at first I had to pay), I learned/am learning how to do my own hair/makeup, I negotiate my terms, and I create my own brand. It also presents me with the opportunity to expand my capabilities as a photographer in an area I love!
Do not be afraid to take a risk, or a chance, do not let one negative thought, or many negative thoughts, or people poison your goals, or your dreams. If an agency, or a photographer doesn’t want to work with you I promise there are hundreds of other out there who will want you! You are worthy, you are beautiful and you are unique! Let your inner, and outer beauty shine!! Do not be afraid of your own worth. Work hard, and OWN IT!