Unraveling Beauty

by

I have my modeling audition today.

I’m not really nervous anymore. (What’s the worst that can happen? They say no? Big whoop. I’m more worried I’ll put my foot in my mouth, or faceplant it.)

There are a lot of tangled threads here that I’m still working out.

Thread #1 – The Idea that I am Beautiful

This thought actually fills me with shame. The idea that I might be beautiful – and not only be it, but think it – is a difficult one for me.

“Who are you to think that?” yell the voices. It’s a familiar chant.

But I also fear the catty remarks, the sidelong glances, the disdain from other women.

“Oh, you’re going to be a model, are you?” someone mocked when I mentioned it.

I immediately went on the defensive, and shame welled up inside me.

There was the inference of, “Who are you to think you’re better than the rest of us? Who are you to think that you’re more beautiful?”

Oof. Yep. That one gets me. Especially because it’s about neither of those things.

I don’t think I’m better or more beautiful than anyone else. I only think I’m tall and slim, and am comfortable in front of a camera.

Thread #2 – That I’m a shallow, vain person for even wanting to try

You can’t deny it – there’s a stereotype.

Tall, blonde and dumb about sums it up. Vain and shallow would be great adjectives to add to it. You could maybe even add coke addiction and drama queen in there too. It’s a lethal cocktail.

And yet there is such a yearning in society to be “one of the beautiful people.”

I’m not saying everyone feels like this. But models are held up as the (ridiculous) ideal of beauty by popular media. Young women are desperate to be models, to look like models, to dress like models and now, even celebrities have become models.

There’s this strange push and pull, love and hate dynamic around this culture of beauty, and stepping into it is causing me some discomfort that I haven’t quite sorted out yet.

I don’t want to model to make someone else feel bad about their body. Of course, I’m also not responsible for other people’s reactions.

And it’s not even the kind of modeling this company does – it’s local, it’s small, and the girls are all shapes, sizes and heights. There are no cookie cutters here. It’s a company that seems to be run with ethics and respect for their models. I like that.

I’m not interested in gracing magazine covers or waltzing down runways.

Thread #3 – And then there’s Capitalist Me.

I’m going to France in 3 months. I need several thousand dollars. If someone will pay me to wear clothes, and pose in front of a camera (something I already enjoy) or walk down a runway for a local fashion show, then all I want to know is – where do I sign up?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the art and finding ways to keep doing it.

Thread #4 – Learning to embrace my own body

The sexual & verbal abuse in my past caused me to feel ashamed of my body for a long time.

I can see it my posture, when people snap pictures of me when I’m not looking – I slouch, my shoulders slumped, like I’m trying to disappear into the floor. You won’t see it in my face, but from the neck down, the shame takes over.

I sometimes feel like my body is anything but beautiful. The words damaged, broken, violated come to mind.

To model means I need to stand in front of a camera and own my body. I need to embrace it, to love it, to be truly in it.

I had to get some shots taken to bring with me to the audition tonight – a full length shot of my body and one of my face. The other night, I got out the camera and Jesse patiently spent an hour photographing me until I felt we had enough material that I might be able to find one that would work.

As I looked through the photos, a sneaky little thought came stealing through my mind…

Oh my goodness – I look beautiful in some of these…

Sarah Marie Lacy

Sarah Marie Lacy

Sarah Marie Lacy

Comments!

What about you? What are your struggles with beauty and embracing your own body? Have you find your beauty yet or do you find it hard to see in yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I know this is a pretty “feminine” topic, but Dudes! I want to hear from you too! Men struggle with “beauty” as much as women I think, it’s just more taboo to talk about it.

And I know this is a sensitive subject, so we’re all going to use our kindest, nicest voices, yes?