It’s 2007 and I’m sitting in a chair in a funky studio in London. People are buzzing around me. They’re all telling me how beautiful I am and how I look just like so and so, the super model. One is doing my hair. Firstly it’s being blow-dried and then flat-ironed. Another is putting the finishing touches on my eyes. Firstly my lashes are curled and then mascara is painstakingly applied. I look in the mirror and I’m pleased with what I see. In a few minutes I’m going to pout for the camera.
Everybody may believe that it’s really glamorous to be a model. Let me put you straight right there. Obviously living the life of a super model is different but us run-of-the-mill models live an entirely different existence. There is some travel, you get to have your hair and make-up done, you get people complementing you and you get loads of time to go to the gym. But most of the time you’re going to castings and waiting and waiting and waiting and hoping and hoping and hoping. You sit there and check out the competition and say a silent prayer that they’ll choose you. She’s prettier than me but I’m definitely prettier than her. As a naturally insecure person I craved the attention and dreaded the rejection.
When I realised that I couldn’t sustain the weight without excessive dieting, smoking and other even more disgusting activities, I became a plus-size model. This is definitely the best side of a difficult and competitive industry. You still have to work out and be in shape but you don’t have to weigh next to nothing. As this is a fairly new market there’s a lot less competition so I managed to travel and work quite a bit. But it cannot go on forever. I finally gave up the life of gyming and partying and waiting and hoping for a much more stressful but much more authentic life. And then I became a mom.
Fast forward to 2012. There are still people buzzing around me. This time they’re pulling my hair and poking little fingers into my eyes. I look in the mirror and I’m not thrilled by what I see. (Please see previous post where I bemoan my fate as a far from perfect specimen of the female form). I have to lose about 8 kgs and really tone up. My body is definitely not what it used to be. I’m implementing measures but I will never be 100% satisfied. It’s partly to do with who I am as a person and partly to do with the fact that I made money from my appearance for over a decade, on and off. You feel when the looks go that you have nothing left of value. But back to the little fingers in my eyes and in my hair… My boys have definitely been instrumental in making me 80% happy with myself. They’ve also cured a very serious bout of jealousy that has plagued me since I was 16 years old. Most of that self-involved rubbish has just withered in their sunshine. They’re amazing little boys and I helped make them and I’m helping raise them. That’s an accomplishment to be proud of!