When we’re younger, we don’t have a choice but to live how our parents expect us to – we have set bed times, curfews, told to brush our teeth, eat our veggies, and chores around the house… with or without the allowance.
(at least that was the way when I was a child)
When we’re in high school, we’re told to get good grades so we can go to a good college or university or get a good job.
But what if you don’t want to?
It has taken me until now – at age 43 – to FINALLY figure out what I love and want to do, going against what society says is “appropriate” for someone “like me”… aka, “old” and “over weight”
I love being in front of the camera. A lot.
In fact, when I was in my early 20’s, I went to a model search – and I was told to “lose weight”… and this, very well, could have been the catalyst to trying to shrink myself.
Social Media wasn’t around when I was younger. When I was in my early/mid teens, we had one of the first computers among my friends. We didn’t have wireless or WIFI – we had dial up and we had set times we could be on the computer in case my dad’s work tried to get a hold of him as he worked graveyard. There were no cell phones. To communicate with people, you needed to call using a corded phone or write a letter. If we had a school report, we had to go to the library to research as Google wasn’t a thing.
If social media had been around when I was younger, it would have done one of two things; increased the chance of an eating disorder (which I already had at the time) or I would have found the body positivity lifestyle and said “fuck losing weight!” and modeled anyhow!
The first time I got in front of the camera was when I was 17 years old – and that was even nude modeling! 26 year – off and on – I’ve been modeling. When I was at my heaviest, previously, in my mid 20’s (so obviously the model agent who told me to lose weight actually rebounded and I gained weight!) I didn’t get in front of the camera too much because I was in a destructive head-space.
I wish I had the confidence, appreciation, and self love back then as I do now.
But that’s okay! Life isn’t over when you hit 40! In fact, life is just starting! We don’t have an expiry date – I could go on and live another 40+ years and that’s a long time to do what I love and want to do – even if it’s for no one else but myself!!!
Over the last little while, I’ve been contacted by a few photographers to model. Most I didn’t jump at as their portfolio didn’t excite me, but over the last week, I’ve had 2 shoots and I have another coming up in a week.
The first one was with a guy who just moved to Ottawa. We did a shoot on a Sunday morning…downtown Ottawa! Honestly? I was terrified! I hate people catching me taking a selfie and this was even worse – a full-on photo shoot?
- who does she think she is?
- She could never be a model.
- she’s so narcissistic!
- she’s not even that pretty
- a model can’t have cellulite and stretch marks.
- isn’t she a little old?
These are all things that crossed my mind… or things I expected to cross my mind while doing a photo shoot downtown in public. But you know what? It didn’t! Not even once! If anything, I hoped that other women would see me and think that they could get in front of the camera, too!
How many women out there HATE getting in front of the camera – or won’t unless they lose “10 more pounds”… which may or may not happen. Or if they do, they make sure other people are in front of them.
If you want to get in front of the camera, then, my gawd, DO IT!!!
Now, I’m realistic – I doubt that modeling will ever take me anywhere. I doubt I’ll ever have designers knocking on my door – or in box – lining up to get me into their fashions. As much progress as there’s been over the past couple of years, there’s still not the acceptance and inclusion in the fashion industry for curvy models.
Either way, I’ll still be in front of the camera because, simply, I love it! And I’m living life for ME!