Updated: Mar 11, 2020
I've been in the modeling industry for about 2-3 years. And these 2-3 years have NOT been easy.
At the start of my career, I was extremely blessed with amazing opportunities by people in the fashion industry that took a liking to my look. Within a few months of trying to get into the modeling industry, I was on billboards, online advertisements and store posters. I was so happy and so confident in myself, I couldn't understand why people were telling me that the industry wasn't nice and that I needed to make sure I had thick skin before I got more into my career. I would soon learn why those things were told to me.
About six months into my career, I was introduced to one of the top teen clothing stores, who wanted to meet me for a possible campaign at their headquarters in NYC. My manager at the time was so excited for me and this opportunity, and I was so thankful that I had been given this opportunity. I had been working out a lot more, eating healthier, keeping a strict skin care routine. I felt like I was doing everything right. The night before my meeting, I got my outfit put together, made sure I got more than 8 hours of rest, and made sure I cleared my schedule to attend this meeting in NYC.
I finally made it into the city and at the building. I was 20 minutes early, as planned. So I got some coffee and decided to check in at the front desk. I was given a badge (Fancy) and then was directed to what floor I needed to get to. I finally reached the desired floor and walked into this huge open work area. I was introduced by another front desk receptionist who was very sweet. I told her my name and who I was meeting and her eyes lit up and she called for me right away. I waited in the waiting room before two females came to introduce themselves. When I got up to introduce myself, I could see their eyes harshly looking me up and down. I had never felt so uncomfortable before in my life, but I shook it off and kept talking. I was shown their office before being brought into a changing room area. They looked at me and said "So what size jeans do you fit into?" At the time, I didn't wear a consistent brand of jean, so my numbers fluctuated. I averaged a 0/2 at the time, so I said 0. They said "Ok good," and handed me the only jeans I saw they had in the changing room. I went behind a curtain and changed. I was able to fit into them, but damn, I felt like I was squeezing into children's clothing. I buttoned up the pants and walked back in with a smile on my face. They both looked at me, and with a disgusted look on her face she said, "Are you SURE you normally fit into size 0's" I said "Yeah, I mean, I do with some brands, and with others I vary in size." She quickly took my picture and said that they would be in touch. Let's just say they were not in touch.
I walked out of the building so embarrassed. I looked at my reflection in a cafe window and all I could see were my thighs. I was so disgusted with my body, a feeling I never really felt before. I had never felt so judged before, and the fact they did not even care to try to disguise their judgement made me feel even less of a person. I called my manager crying, saying how gross I felt. She told me to forget them, and to continue being true to myself. With that pep talk, instead of giving up on my dream of modeling completely, I decided to pursue my career, without changing my body. Of course I continued to eat healthy and work out, but it was not because I felt forced to. I did it because I felt good doing it. At the end of the day, career or not, I was doing this all for MYSELF. My thighs have not gotten smaller, and I have actually gained a lot of muscle, but I have still been blessed with a consistently growing career in both the modeling and acting industry.
To this day, it's crazy to me how we are supposed to put a number label on ourselves. Growing up, I never knew what my "jean size" was. I just tried a bunch of pants and wore what fit me. We need to remember that every jean clothing brand, styles and cuts, are different, so we as a society need to stop putting so much pressure on being just a SIZE 0.
To prove my point, I decided to take a picture in all my jeans that I've had since high school, to show you that SIZE NUMBER DOES NOT MATTER. Don't be ashamed to pick up those size 12 jeans. DO NOT LET A NUMBER DEFINE WHO YOU ARE AND HOW IMPORTANT YOU ARE IN THIS WORLD. Do what makes you happy, LOVE YOURSELF AND DO NOT RELY ON ANYONE ELSE TO MAKE YOU HAPPY. I hope this can reach a guy or girl today that is really in need of this message.