Life Lessons

Life Lessons I've Learned From Modeling

Shape Magazine Image from my days with Wilhelmina

Shape Magazine Image from my days with Wilhelmina

Hi all and welcome back to Transparency Tuesday! Today I am sharing some of the key life lessons I have learned from modeling.

I LOVE this series and love learning from your comments, emails and messages so please ask and comment away! I LOVE IT. 

As many of you know, I am a model and have been in the industry for the last 7 years. I started modeling when I was 23 and am grateful that I was a bit older, unlike many girls that are 16-18 when they start. Being older helped me avoid some sticky situations where my 16 year old self might have easily been taken advantage of. When I started, I truly loved this new fast-paced industry and still enjoy certain aspects of it, but have learned a lot of tough lessons. I tend to be an optimistic person, giving people the benefit of the doubt and trusting them at their word. I like to believe the best in others, but in a cut throat industry like modeling where egos and money get in the way, there is very little value placed on loyalty, honesty, or even integrity. These are extremely important qualities of course to many clients, but in the agent-model relationship, I have found these qualities get overlooked often.

The fashion industry can be an awesome place when you are the new "it" girl at an agency or with a client, It's fun being loved and complimented, but eventually those girls lose their lustre. They often get shelfed where they don't go out on castings as much, aren't offered direct bookings anymore, and are kinda just old news, Even though these are not the experiences in corporate settings, this industry has shown me a lot and taught me a lot of vital life lessons that totally relate to everyday life. Below are some things I have learned:

8 Life Lessons I have Learned Through Modeling

1. You Need to Believe In Yourself First Before Anyone Else Will- Enthusiasm is infectious, especially when that translates to self confidence. If you don't believe in yourself or think you are awesome, capable, smart, resourceful, and worthy of opportunity, who else will? Taking risks and being fearless is hard but you can do it, I promise.

2. You Won't Be Everyone's Cup Of Tea-

Nope! And that's okay! With modeling, this is primarily referring to being what casting directors/clients/ and agents want you to be physically, but Im referring to even your personality. We aren't all meant to be besties and I know it sucks when people straight up don't care for you, but it would be strange if everyone LOVED you... because wouldn't that show that maybe you were bending to fit everyones preference of you? When you are yourself (while still being kind of course, there is never a good excuse to be nasty) and some just dont take to you, then good! They arent "your people". Moving on.

3. Losing Weight or Making Drastic Changes For Vanity Wont Increase Overall Happiness-

I used to think that if I could justttt lose that 10 lbs my agents told me to lose, I would work more, make them happy, and finally reach my potential. Such crap. I looked great and still do. Maybe not their idea of great, but mine. Yes, a few pounds can be the difference in life changing confidence or can be necessary for your health, but I'm not talking about that ( I mean just for vanities sake). Looking good feels good, but wont create long term happiness unless you have your heart, mind, and spirit in order.

4.  Have Mulitple Streams of Revenue-

Not trying to over share here but I made a ton of money the first month I got into modeling. I thought, dang, I can work a couple days a month and make a fraction of this and still be financially free! Wow. Well, I quickly learned that having one stream of income wasn't gonna cut it because I didn't get paid for months on end! Who knew? Not me. I had all this money coming, but none to show for it and it was stressful. One time, I didn't get paid for 13 months!  I started coaching, giving private water polo lessons, got my Pilates certification to teach, and was auditioning for commercials and shooting them here and there.  I had to because I didn't want to stress constantly as I waited for my checks. This mindset is how Chay and I operate even now. That's why we have investment properties. We want multiple streams of income incase a few dry up for a bit.

5. Rejection Builds Character and Is Not Personal (most of the time)-

Rejection feels awful, but a lot of the time isn't personal. For me, not getting hired for a beauty campaign has nothing to do with my actual beauty or measurements.  A lot of the time, it's about my hair color, shade of skin next to the other model they hired, height compared to the male lead, etc. It's logistics. And sometimes it works in my favor. I now know it's not personal and now have an easier time living my life and facing "rejection" because I don't want something that isn't meant for me. God has something for me that is better than what I have for myself, so I'm good with that.

6. Beauty is Meaningless Without Integrity and Kindness-

I have met some of the most beautiful women, who once they talk and reveal their personality seem so unnattractive. I get annoyed just thinking of them because they just aren't nice people. I have also met girls at castings that were more down to Earth in their beauty, more classic looking, but seem like a bombshell Victoria Secret model to me after a few minutes because their hearts are gold!  It might sound cheesy, but a beautiful heart makes a beautiful person. 

7. You're Not a Bitch if You Stand Up For Yourself-

I used to be so shy to stick up for myself and what I wanted or felt. I felt like I was challenging someone by asking questions. I have been in a few precarious situations in modeling where the photographer or client made me feel extremely uncomfortable. Watching me change, filming the shoot on a personal iphone, or asking me to strip down for an "impromptu look" thats more edgy are just a few small things over the years I have had to address direclty or indirectly. IT'S OKAY TO SAY YOU'RE UNCOMFORTABLE. In life or on the job. Speak up. I practiced in small situations so that when really uncomfortable things arose, I wasn't embarrassed to defend my rights.

8. Loyalty is often a one-way street so be certain who you give yours to-

I hope this doesn't sound negative but it's so true in modeling, relationships, and life. It may seem like someone has your back when things are fun and going great. But when push comes to shove and it comes time to stand up for you, many people won't risk it. Really know the ones who would and nurture those relationships because loyalty and honesty in relationships is priceless. 

I love modeling and being in an industry that is creative, fun, and ever changing. But there are many downsides that have taught me so much over the last 7 years. One thing I know for certain is that we all deal with so many of the same things, regardless of the industry we're in. Whatever the issue or challenge, know that you are innately valuable, worthwhile, and capable. If you relate in anyway, please leave a comment below. I love hearing from you ladies!

xo, Kim