Today for "Real Talk Tuesday" (changed due to the hundreds of others that also tag "Transparency Tuesday") I am getting real about my 3 biggest insecurities that I faced in the midst of my 20's and modeling career and how they have changed over time. As always, my hope with Real Talk Tuesday isn't just to talk about my own experiences, but rather to hopefully relate with others so you guys feel less alone in some of your thoughts and lives.
5 years ago I was 25, engaged, living at home and 3 years into my modeling career. I always tell people that my early to mid 20's were the hardest emotional and mental years of my life due to the insecurity, lack of clarity, feelings of worthlessness and confusion that came with not having my life completely "figured out". The odd thing is, I have also always been pretty confident in a general sense when it came to my work ethic and personality. I know my inherent worth through my faith and feel strongly about Gods plan for my life as well as knowing I am loved and cared for. Yet, I still had a side to me that felt lost and afraid to take steps because I had already pursued some lofty careers and feared becoming that "dreamer" that had her head in the clouds.
When I look back and realize how young 25 is, I wish I wasn't so hard on myself. I hope that if you are in your mid-twenties and reading this, you will realize it's a different world than the world our parents grew up in and we don't need to have it all figured out with babies on the way at 25.
My Top 3 Insecurities When I was 25
1. Living with my parents and not taking the leap to get out.
I love my family and felt so close to my parents that living at home while being able to model, save money, go to castings and pursue acting felt natural and smart. However, I was ashamed to tell people that because I felt like I was doing the safe thing rather than the adventurous thing. Also, with modeling, you get paid months later and never know if you can make those large monthly payments like rent, student loans, car payments etc. It has taken up to 13 months to get paid for a job and regardless of how big it is, you never known when the next one is coming. I know I did what it took for me to pursue my dreams, but if I could go back I probably would make the necessary changes to figure it out and get my own place due to the shame I felt for so long from this one thing.
2. Body type and image in the modeling world.
I wasn't insecure as a person in life, but I would get super anxious walking into my agencies or on set when the wardrobe stylist would ask me what size I was (when she had my measurements right there in front of her) to verify if what she was seeing in front of her could possibly be the model (shock and horror!). After a few years of people asking if I was curve or straight (plus-sized model or normal), It got to me. I never thought I was fat, but I knew I was looked at by some agents, models, and industry people as the "relatable one", the normal girl due to my 4-6 sizing. I was told that if I did "want" to lose 15 pounds, I could work wayyyy more and be more catalogue and fashion because my face could do those jobs, my body was just " too thick". I never thought I was model thin and had no qualms about people saying I was athletic, because I was! I tried to fit their mold in the healthiest ways I could for years, but at my thinnest I was still too thick and muscular, so I stopped trying to be their idea of thin and did what it took for me to be naturally fit and healthy. When I stopped trying so hard, I actually dropped a few pounds because I didn't care anymore and did my thing. I stopped obsessing with food intake and working out and my body evened out. Go figure. ADVICE: as women we tend to get hard on ourselves about our body image. Please don't look and compare youself to others, it's a losing battle. There is always someone thinner with a better booty and fuller lips. Do your best and let it go.
3. Career Choice
I always thought that I would be in the business world, heading up some company or being some kick ass lawyer because people always told me they saw me in those positions. I was tall, confident, and strong and felt good about my my future because I loved to work hard. Deep down though, I wanted to be an actor. When I graduated college, I felt pushed into modeling and tried to use that to pursue acting, Everytime someone would ask what I did, I was half embarrassed, half proud to answer. Embarrassed because I truly felt I was not reaching my potential at all because I knew I was a capable and smart person. It doesn't take a ton of smarts to model. It takes guts and perseverance, it just doesnt take a lot of brain power to do the job. (No shade, I am one remember?)
I was also kinda proud in a weird way because it was validation that someone else thought I was attractive enough to be a model (as embarrassing as that is to admit). Growing up, I was teased a lot because I was so much bigger than my classmates and kinda awkward. I was a major tomboy for most of my childhood years. It made me feel good that I could be seen as beautiful because I felt like the opposite of a model for so much of my childhood.
Top 3 Insecurities Now
Every year in my 20's was a learning curve which helped my confidence grow and allowed me to feel more comfortable with my career and body image. I don't even recognize some of those feelings I discussed above because I feel so far from that now. Below are 3 things I tend to overthink and sometimes get insecure about now.
1. People comparing me to Chay in the finances we bring into the household
In recent years, Chays career has blossomed and we have been in a different financial place than we thought we would be at this age. I cringe even saying that because it's weird to discuss this topic but this is an insecurity. I work and make money, but I am in an industry where it's feast or famine. This year was amazing from commercial work, but next year can be totally dry by comparison. I know that I bust my ass and that I am a hard worker, but so often I stress that people don't know that and think I am some stepford wife by their comments.
" You are so lucky to have Chay!"
"Congrats on the new house Chay!"
"Man you're a baller Chay. Kim, I bet your stoked!"
I'm liiiiiike "errrrr what?" . It's just so weird that people feel comfortable congratulating the guy assuming he makes more. He does, but I work and bring in money and always have so it totally gets to me. I know the comments are innocent (most of the time), but I take pride in my goals and efforts and know that just because I am not "rewarded" monetarily in the same way (although he is next level when it comes to hard work), I am still a contributor to the household. Even if I didn't work, these comments would still be strange and inappropriate.
2. Wearing many hats
Being a model and acting in commercials, managing our investment properties. blogging, teaching Pilates from time to time sounds like a whole lot and also sounds unfocused to me. I am a creative person and love to learn new things and pursue lofty goals. But on occasion I'd love to pick one and be certain in my answer. But the truth is, these careers are ever changing which is why I have a few. Because I dont go to an office, my careers often don't feel legitimate to me.
3. financial stability and comparison
Over the last few years, it's been an interesting learning curve to see first hand or "over hear" what people have to say about Chay and I investing in property, going on trips here and there, or getting a new car when mine died. It's been super uncomfortable for me at times. It has actually really hurt my feelings because instead of being happy for us, it's pretty clear some people get competitive vs. supportive. Making comments about their car, their house, their "things" when it's like "whats that got to do with anything?" We have never thrown a housewarming party because we don't want to seem like were "celebrating too much" or bragging (although I think we finally will!). Even when I have mentioned we are going somewhere for vacation, the response is like "cool." Another friend says they are going on vacation with their hubby and its like " OH MY GOSH I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO GO THERE! GOOD FOR YOU GUYS!" I don't need this intense validation but I really just want my friends/siblings to feel happy for me like they do for the others in our group. I get the dynamic and understand the insecurity, but it's tiring after a while because it makes me realize something so small as money can get in the way of others having genuine happiness for you. That's been a bummer to figure out.
It's interesting to me how my "insecurities" have changed so much over the years. I never thought I would be freed from the burden of negative body image. I have heard people say it's a life long battle, but if you're dealing with this right now, know that it doesn't have to be. Knowing who you are and not being swayed by comparison was the start of my healing.
We also live in a different world today and many people are pursuing multiple passions. I want to feel good about myself, and if I do, then that's it. No one else gets to have a say. (Or at least that's what I am working towards.)
Lastly, finances shouldn't define or change the way you view your friends. (regardless if they have above and beyond or are struggling) Let their character and the way they treat others dictate that. Have any of you dealt with any of these things in the past? I would love your input if you relate to either side.
I appreciate you guys and value your honest feedback!