If there is one thing Ashley Graham has taught us in this modelling “life” is that we should learn to love the skin we are in and not try to fit into someone else’s box of how they would like us to look. If you are conversant with America’s Next Top Model, season 24 was all about embracing diverse body types, ethnicities, ages and backgrounds. Tyra Banks has also done a fantastic job is breaking barriers and creating a world of acceptance for models.
When I began my modelling journey it was very tough. I would go for auditions and get turned down because I didn’t meet up with certain modelling standards. I did not belong to an agency, I was not tall enough, I was not fit enough, and my walk wasn’t good enough. Some of these things I could change and try to improve on, others I couldn’t do anything about.
That weighed heavily on myself esteem. I couldn’t change the fact that I was not tall enough. I remember an encounter with a model who said her agency accepted girls with certain height requirements (definitely not 5 feet 3 inches). That was the agency I really wanted to be in at the time. At another audition, the scouter told me I had such a huge stomach and I wobbled like an old lady when I walked. Truthfully, I became jealous of all the other girls who looked taller, walked better and had better bodies.
I tried not to give up, I would practice at home and with friends regularly. My walk got better but the responses did not change. I began to notice that the market wasn’t for me.
I decided to venture into other aspects of modeling. My next option was to try out photography sessions (Photoshoots). It was pretty much a smooth sailing from the beginning. With every picture I took, my attention began to shift. I began to notice what actually worked for me. Although I had a lot to learn in that aspect, I was a natural. Above all, I didn’t see it as a chore or a bore. It was an exciting new phase and the camera loved me.
No one can make you feel comfortable in your skin except you. You have to come to a realization that there’s no one person on earth who is perfect. Accept yourself just the way you are. When you do, you begin to command the forces around you. You’ll strive to break barriers and conquer obstacles.
Whether you are petite, tall, skinny, thick, curvy and every other mix in between there is a market for you. I stuck with the market that welcomed me as opposed to the market where I tried so hard to fit in and yet fell short. If you know you are good at something or better in a particular field, don’t run looking for something else. That is exactly where you will excel and grow.
I have not given up on run way, not one bit. It is something I still see my petite self doing in the future. To get there I have to be focused and practice as much as possible. Finally finding my niche does not mean I gave up. Sometimes you don’t know what actually suits you if you don’t go out and explore options. I’ll be talking about the various types of modelling soon. I dabbled in a few until I found my niche. That way, you have experiences working in various aspects while you master what you actually love to do.
All the best!