Friday, 28 July 2017

Why I Gave Up Modelling

Modelling was never something I really planned on getting into, as when I was growing up I was ridiculously camera shy and would avoid being photographed at all costs; but after being approached a few times when my confidence was finally growing, I figured what's the worst that could happen? So I did the whole London trip and went to a studio to get a professional portfolio done for myself, which included a website to promote myself as a model, and I jumped into the industry with an open mind. I'm not gonna lie, it's great fun getting to dress up and try out different make up and hair styles for a day and you meet some amazing people along the way but even from my short time trying it out, I came to realise there are also some pretty serious down sides to modelling too which ultimately led me to giving up before it affected my self confidence too much and I became obsessed with my looks. 
This is just my experience, and I'm in no way shaming anyone who models, so please don't take anything I say here personally, it is purely my opinion. :)

Firstly, you have to be a certain size and have a certain look for most modelling gigs and if you're even a slightly bit under/over their expectations then you can miss out, no matter how beautiful you are. I learnt this when I first went to the studio in London and was sitting in the make up chair alongside a couple of other girls who were making their portfolio as well. Each and every girl there was crazy stunning, I was amazed some of them weren't models already to be honest, they exhaled confidence and rocked every single look they were given which was something I didn't feel I did. There was this one Latina girl, she must have been about 18, and she was quite honestly the best looking female I think I've ever seen in real life. So I did my photoshoot and afterwards you have to wait for a little while whilst they go through and edit the photos before you go in and have your consultation to see how well you did and if you are 'model material' as they say. Anyway, I went in and had the whole chat, purchased the rights to my photos and then was told due to my height and skinny frame that I was perfect for modelling and I should aim to stay the size I was for as long as possible. This threw me off a little as personally, I've always believed I was too skinny, and despite forever trying to put weight on, my body just shed it off - it also surprised me as the Latina girl I mentioned had these gorgeous curves that I was envious of, so I half expected them to tell me I had to gain weight, not maintain/lose it. That was when the lady said she unfortunately had been rejected due to a) being too short, and b) not having the right frame and honestly, I've never been so shocked or felt so bad for a stranger before. She was clearly upset as she left the studio and I could not believe someone that looked like her had been rejected and someone like me hadn't. I mean, she looked like a young Shakira, I'm not even kidding. I can't freaking compete with girls like that.

Next thing that put me off really putting myself out there for shoots was how competitive and nasty some people are in the industry. I was on multiple modelling websites promoting myself and actively looking for work on a daily basis and although there are some super friendly faces that make the whole experience really easy and comfortable for you, there are also a lot of really jealous and spiteful people that put you down for absolutely no reason and make you wish you hadn't even bothered. I guess I should have expected as much as being a model is basically you selling your face and body so there's a certain level of ego there, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect to get verbally attacked by girls who were applying for the same shoots as me and wanted to get me to back out. I've always been the kinda girl that supports women empowering other women and had hoped to work with like minded people, but unfortunately life doesn't always go your way and you get tested. This was one of those things that really tested my mental state as I had only just got my confidence up anyway after many personal things in my life that had knocked me down, and doing modelling was a huge step for me, so when I had other girls abusing my looks online, it hit pretty damn hard. It's one of those things that sounds really silly as looks aren't everything, I know, but in a society where standards are the way they are right now and girls put so much effort into looking and feeling beautiful each and every day, it's never nice to hear negative statements that are already playing in the back of your mind.

All in all though, I think the main component that made me throw in the towel on modelling was how often I was being told I had to do nude shoots if I wanted to get anywhere and make real money. Word of advice for anyone - whether you're trying to get into modelling or not -  NEVER compromise yourself for other people. Nude/lingerie shoots were something I was certain I did not want to indulge in, not just due to confidence issues, but also because once them pictures are out there on the internet, you can never get them back. People can find and use your pictures anywhere in the world and it made me incredibly uneasy to think that one day, my child could potentially come across those photos and call me up on it or in a worst case scenario, some random stranger could get a hold of my photos and use them without my permission. Not saying that doing nude/lingerie modelling is in any way a bad thing; like I said earlier in my post, these are purely my opinions and I respect anyone who does that kinda work, do whatever make you happy! :D 

But yeah, almost every other enquiry that came through my website was asking me to do some form of artistic nude shoot and a lot of them were TFP (Time for Prints - so you don't get paid for your time, you get a selection of your photos in exchange). The money wasn't the problem at all, I never exactly expected to be cashing in massively from modelling as you have to be doing it for years and get signed by an agency before you really get any big shot gigs anyway, it was just the way most photographers came across in their emails that made me uncomfortable. It was always so casual, they preached how easy it would be and you could bring a friend/family member along to feel safe at all times, your modesty would be covered by your hands, etc etc...but personally when I agree to do a shoot, I want to know the ins and out of the details beforehand so I can see that it is a legit opportunity and the whole thing isn't just some creepy guys/girls taking naked pictures of people for their personal portfolio that never ends up going anywhere. You see so many horror movies where this kinda shit goes wrong and I was very aware that I had to make sure I never put myself in danger, especially just for a few pictures to add to my portfolio.

With all that being said, I did have some fun times modelling and met some incredible people along the way that made my whole experience memorable and safe. I'll always treasure the photos that I did get from my time in the industry as they show that I did something that was out of my comfort zone for once and I should be proud of myself for that, no matter how short my time was. I hope this post doesn't put anyone off trying out modelling if you are interested in it - everyone has different experiences and it is very fun when you work with the right people - if anything, I hope it just makes people aware of some of the things that can go down so you can be prepared and stand by what you believe in, no matter how much money is being offered, it's not worth compromising yourself.


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