STRUGGLES YOU WILL FACE IF YOU WANT TO START MODELING - BTS OF THE MODEL INDUSTRY

Behind, glamour, shoots, and magazine covers, somewhere hidden in the dark lies the reality of a model's life. From living with the constant fear of fluctuating weight and revolting against stereotypes to the pressure of growing a successful personal brand, models rarely ever have a worry-free life. It's not all Pina Coladas and Bali beaches.


People are quick to assume a model is a perfect human, living a (seemingly) perfect life in their gorgeous high ceiling villa at a picturesque location. However, the reality is far away from that. Tbh probably every person's reality than you ever imagined to be having a perfect life is far from perfect.


The societal standards can shatter a model's confidence, which is highly detrimental to her physical and mental health. Models may fear leaving the house looking mediocre; whether it is at the crack of the dawn or eerie midnight because the fear of judgment consumes them.


A model is not a mannequin. They are as human as you, they eat, poop, breath, get sick, get pimples, struggle with eating and fitness habits just like you, but as soon as someone is considered a model people seem to sharpen their eyes and look for those so-called flawed (human) behaviors everywhere possible. Just check a couple of glam magazines, or the comment section under a model's IG feed to see how people are looking for the imperfections to find a reason to body-shame or insult models. I'm telling you that it ain't fun.


When modeling brings somewhat of financial independence, the pressure to sustain success can be so destructive that models become mentally unstable or even depressed. Apart from that, there is also a risk of sexual abuse inside the industry. Remember the #metoo debate? Exactly? Or the 97% of all women debate? That's what I'm talking about....

Depression is not always sadness, crying, and dressing in black head-to-toe. It is not annoyance when someone snaps you out of the haze. It is waking up when all you want to do is sleep for hours on end, the stench of what once was your favorite scent. It is the comforting sun rays that now feel like pellets against your skin, the plastic smile plastered on your face when you are sobbing inside relentlessly. It is the chills that run down your spine on a balmy summer afternoon, and the fog on a clear day. It is empty, hollow, and incredibly tiresome.


1. Instability:

From Instagram models to lingerie models, many suffer from labor exploitation, sexual harassment, or borderline body shaming. In some parts of the industry especially women get denied basic protections and wages. Hence, it leaves them highly vulnerable.


2. Inappropriate behaviors:

Moreover, numerous so-called "photographers" sexually abuse young models in the name of art. When a model attends a casting and gets forced to appear topless or even nude even though it wasn't part of the agreement, it is not art, it is not professional, it is not a real photographer. Unfortunately, it is hard to call them out and hold them accountable as there is a fine line between art and abuse, between agreement and fear. That is why it is so important to raise your voice and speak up for yourself and the others in the industry.


Be careful what agency you sign up for, what contract you agree to and who you meet all by yourself for a photo shoot. Always check references, especially as a freelance model, to keep yourself away from dangerous situations.


From the sexual stares raking down their semi-naked body to non-consensual touches that make their eyes close in disgust and hands clutch in fists by the sides of their bodies. It all needs to come down to an end!


Real talk

When I call myself a model, I want to tell a story through pictures, not just beauty. You might know me as Kathy Peters, a model/actress. Whereas Kathy-in-frame is not only an advocate for depression, anxiety, BPD, and other mental health issues but also a spokesperson for sexual assault. Why? Because I know the scars, I have known the pain and the fact that I have bled the same. I believe silence is violence. Just because something does not affect you directly, certainly does not mean you get a pass to remain silent and keep nibbling on the pieces left of you.


3. Rejection

Besides, one of the biggest problems an aspiring model has to deal with is rejection. Maybe they are meant to look a little smaller, taller, or leaner. "NO! NO! The problem lies in her nose that is too big and her teeth that are too crooked. Or she is too flat-chested and her hips too wide. Ah! It is her hips dips. Or she looks too pale and her freckles ugly."

Maybe, it is the curves of her body or the curl of her hair that is not enough to fit in the high standards of the modeling industry.


To this day (27.04.2021) not a single model agency has accepted me but I ain't giving up.

Rejection is painful, but part of growing as a successful person. Rejection makes you stronger and includes valuable lessons for you to learn and get better. Every single no is one step closer to a yes. Don't let a "no" bring you down, let it motivate you to get closer to a yes.


4. Working for free

I have been doing modeling for nearly 10 years now and I spent 98% of that time working for free. I have modeled in Germany, Spain, Bali, and New Zealand and built up a great portfolio over the years to show many different facets of myself. However, I still mainly work on tfp (time for portfolio) projects (for free) and rarely get paid for the work I do.


That is the sacrifice you have to make if you want to be successful. (You need to eat sh*t) Work for free and paid work will come to you eventually. Every single year I get more opportunities, more paid work, more experiences. Every single year is one year closer to financial stability.


As I sum this up, I will say the good and the bad; Some have it easy, and others do not. It is okay. Never give up and stay resilient. If you are looking for comfortable and easy, the model industry probably isn't for you, but if you are passionate I believe you are able to face the struggles on your way to become a successful model.


As Goldie Hawn once said:

"The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. For growth and gaining wisdom, first, you must have the mud --- the obstacles of life and its suffering. ... The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. ... Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying, and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness, and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one."


So make sure to grow your seeds in the dirt, where you have nothing, to start blooming more beautiful than you can imagine and build your own little empire.


I believe in you.


Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below or if you have any questions slide in my Insta Dms.

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