‘Ah, you’re a model! So, you fly around the world to nice places and you get your picture taken. No skills involved. Easy and overpaid job.’
This is the reaction I have received so many times over the years that a big part of me believed it as well. However, to do modeling as a job involves a lot more things than most people can imagine. I think, especially in the beginning years I would have agreed with those who said this. Yeah, piece of cake.
Yet now I don’t agree anymore with this ‘modeling=easy’ reflex many people have. So what’s changed now? The actual work? No, I don’t think that has changed for me. I would still not describe it as at the same difficulty level as rocket science. What has changed my mind more and more is all the other circumstances that you must deal with as a model, which are foreign to most other professions.
Think of both job and personal insecurity. Think of the times away from your normal social environment: family and friends. Think of being alone in a very foreign place. Think of what to do when you don’t get booked for a while (not sure how many models will admit it, but 99,1% of us do hit the occasional dry spell). Think of the temptations a model faces when he or she decides to party a bit, or a bit too much. Think of how to deal with disappointment if a big option falls through. Think of how to handle too many compliments at a too impressionable age. Think of how to handle too much critique at a too impressionable age. Think of the pitfalls of the irregular life. Think of how to prepare yourself for a life after modeling (it does arrive for most of us) and the difficulties and temptations that come with it. And I’m only getting started!
Being both a student of psychology and a model, I would like to expand a bit on these topics over the next few months. Not so much to convince readers we got a rough life (tough sell), but more to expand a bit more on the part of the lives of many, if not most models. A part that is mostly overlooked, since it is not so glamorous and possibly also not openly talked about. Yet still a part of the models’ life!
Who knows, maybe you find it interesting to read, maybe you’re a model and you feel like I am overlooking something important, or you just think I am plain wrong. Should be interesting, no?