Over the course of my life, people have told me that they believed I could be a model. Sometimes in extremely reverent ways, other times in deeply condescending ones.
Now, I’ve never thought incredibly highly of my looks to be perfectly honest: I’ve actually struggled with low self-esteem for most of my life, and tend to focus on my flaws perhaps more than I need to.
That being said, I’ve never struggled with an eating disorder or become overly obsessed with makeup and fashion to the point of never being able to leave the house without a ton of mascara, lipstick, and foundation on.
In fact, I have always thought that makeup in and of itself was unnecessary: I had so many other passions and it was quite time-consuming. Additionally, I found it uncomfortable to have all of this “stuff” on my face, so I rarely wore it. I still rarely wear it.
I’ll put on some eye shadow, lip gloss, or mascara occasionally, but I see it solely as a form of self expression: Not a way to make up for my flaws, because, quite honestly, although I know my appearance isn’t flawless, I think imperfection can be a beautiful thing, and I’d rather be honest with whoever I might be spending my time with — unless I’m in a particularly creative or sexy mood, that is, in which case I see nothing wrong with painting my face a bit!
Here’s the thing with makeup: I wear it for myself — not for anyone else. I only wear makeup if I feel like it! I like it better that way.
As far as fashion goes, the truth is that I’ve never really cared about how I look that much: I enjoy experimenting with different clothing items and funky pants because it’s artistic, and I love organic clothing because it’s simultaneously softer, less exploitative to other humans, and more environmentally friendly. However, I’ve never been that good at keeping up with the trends, and I don’t ever try to be better at that. Honestly, I think the vast majority of these trends are problematic because, too often, fancy clothing is the result of corrupt labor practices.
I’m thin because I have a high metabolism and I exercise a lot, and I eat fairly well most of the time. I stay in shape primarily for health reasons, so I really have absolutely no interest in becoming a model whatsoever: I don’t want to be seen as a walking doll.
I enjoy watching models and can appreciate a fashion show occasionally — Project Runway comes to mind — but the amount of sexual harassment and objectification that is present within that profession, quite frankly, repulses me.
I’ll never forget when a man I was working with, who will remain nameless mainly because I made a point of forgetting his name, told me I was so beautiful that I should not be working as a cashier: I should become a model instead.
Clearly, this idea was for his pleasure instead of mine. The worst part about it was that the dude meant this as a compliment — He was trying to flirt with me…
It didn’t work.
Here are the reasons why:
- Someone’s beauty (which is subjective by nature) has nothing to do with their physical or mental capacities when it comes to working in a certain industry, or their preference for a certain profession.
- It’s not up to him to decide what my career path is going to be because he might like my earrings on a certain day or enjoys staring at my body: The attire I wear and the decisions are my own and have absolutely nothing to do with him, his wants, or his preferences when it comes to women.
Quite frankly, I found his comment controlling and condescending.
Other times, a lot of people have been quite kind when saying that I should be a model. I was honestly deeply flattered that they found me so attractive.
That being said, I wondered if they really knew me: My personality is not one that would be well-suited to a profession in which a woman prances around in beautiful clothing and remains quiet: I’m very outspoken, I love the outdoors, I very rarely give a crap about what I’m wearing, although I do care about how it’s been produced, and I hate being told what to do with a vengeance.
I’d rather not be a walking hollow shell of myself, thank you very much!