Thursday, March 24, 2011

What Has Modeling Taught Me...

If you didn’t know me when I was younger, you would not even see the same person today.  Always shy and reserved…scared to death to speak in public…never the popular girl…made fun of.  I was nerdy, taller than all the boys, and there were several times when girls were just down right mean to me.  Girls that I thought were my friends. 

The worst of it was in middle school.  A group of girls that I had been friends with for a couple of years, actually wrote me a letter and said that they didn’t want to be friends with me anymore because I didn’t talk enough.  Ouch!!  I look back on those days, when I had to switch lunch tables.  I could feel the stares and the whispers from those girls everyday…and now I think to myself, “Who did they think they were? They weren’t any better than me!” 

That’s Teisha today.  The strong willed, independent, take no crap attitude Teisha.  Modeling has definitely helped me form these qualities.  I see now that it doesn’t matter what you look like, what size you are, what color your hair is…all that really matters is what’s inside.  I know, I know…sounds corny, but it’s SO true.    

When starting modeling, I was a little skeptical.  Thoughts went through my head like:
1.  “Are other models going to be just like those girls from middle school?” 
2.  “What if I’m not accepted?”
3.  “I’m scared to try something new, and put myself out there like that.”
4.  “I’m not a size 0; can I even be a model?”
5.  “Am I too old?  Isn't 27 a little old to be starting a modeling career.”

If there’s anything that I’ve learned from modeling, it’s that none of that matters. 
  • “Are the other models going to be just like those girls from middle school?”
I have run into just a few girls that act like they are still in middle school…talk behind your back, make rude comments, think they are better than everyone else, but for the most part I have been so surprised at how supportive models are of each other.  I try very hard to be supportive of my fellow models.  In Kansas City, everyone in this business knows everyone.  You don’t want to get a reputation for talking behind someone’s back.  It’s bad business.  You’re promoting yourself.  If I were a client, I wouldn’t want to hire a model that can not get along with other people.  There is too much risk.

  • “What if I’m not accepted?”
Surprisingly, this doesn’t happen as much as you would think.  This goes hand in hand with question 1.  I have found that other models are helpful and really want to help you succeed.  When starting out, I can’t tell you how many girls that had been modeling for a couple years or longer, gave me great advice.  They were so helpful and caring.  I try very hard to do this now for any potential models that I meet.

  • “I’m scared to try something new, and put myself out there like that.”
It’s hard at first.  Especially when the middle school, shy girl inside, is saying…”STOP, what the heck are you doing?  People are going to make fun of you.”  But it does get so much easier. After your first photoshoot, each one gets easier and easier.  I was lucky enough to have my first photoshoot with a good friend of mine, so that made it a little bit easier.  My family, friends, and even people I meet through modeling, are so supportive.  You have to put yourself out there, if you want to succeed.  Make yourself just do it, and in no time, it will be like you’ve been doing it forever.

  • “I’m not a size 0, can I even be a model?”
The first thing you have to do is stop thinking like this.  Skinny…what is skinny?  Everyone has a different body type.  No two people are the same.  There are jobs out there for anyone and everyone.  There are so many different types of modeling out there.  You don’t have to be a runway model at New York Fashion Week.  I just tell myself that I want to be healthy.  That’s the most important thing.  Take care of your body.  If you eat right and get exercise, you are doing exactly what your body needs.  Who cares what the stupid scale says?  Right?

  • “Am I too old?  Isn’t 27 a little old to be starting a modeling career.”
Like I said before…there are jobs out there for everyone.  I thought I would be competing with 16 year olds on everything.  Yes, on occasion I do have to audition against girls who are 10 years younger than me, but I've found that clients look for people of all ages.  When I was interviewing at different agencies, never once was I told that I’m too old.  I was actually told, “There are a lot of opportunities for people in the 25-40 age range in Kansas City.”  And as you may have guessed, there aren’t as many models in that age range. ;)

So, if there is anything that I want you to take away from today’s post…be yourself, don’t worry about what other people think, and have confidence in everything that you do.  It will go a long way!

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