Updated: Feb 17, 2020
I am a 25-year-old model, and have been modeling since March 2018. I was born in Ohio, but raised in Michigan. Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve always wanted to model, except I never had the confidence. I was that shy girl in high school who always thought people were judging her. My insecurities led me to become anorexia/bulimic. I started working out on a regular basis, hitting cardio non-stop. My weight dropped from 108lbs to 83lbs at the age of 18 and I still thought I was over-weight. I was constantly exhausted and drained, not giving my body the nutrients it needed. Then my love for weight training began. Fitness became a huge part of my life and starving myself was no longer an option. Once I became confident enough, I decided to take on my childhood dreams of modeling. I started shooting with local photographers and using my Instagram as my portfolio.
In the beginning, it was emotionally draining. Family and Friends constantly cut me down saying that I'll never make it in the modeling industry. Told me I was too short, and that it would be impossible. Despite the negativity, I continued to chase after this dream. I had to distance myself from anyone who wasn't supportive.
Growing up, you're taught to follow the rules, follow society, go to school, get a college degree, and work your way up in your career. Before I became a full-time freelance model, I was enrolled full-time at the University of Michigan in Flint, working part-time at T-Mobile, all while trying to build my modeling portfolio. After 3 years of school, I dropped out and decided that college wasn’t an option for me. I didn’t even know what I was going for. I was just going because I didn’t want to be judged for not going. Whenever a customer walked into T-Mobile, we would make small talk and the first question everyone would ask is, “are you in school?” And when I told them no, it was like the end of the world. “Oh no, Honey, you need to go to school and get a degree so you can get a good job, etc.” I learned quickly to just respond with the answer “yes” so that I didn’t have to hear people shame me for not being in school.
When I dropped out, it upset a lot of my family. But honestly, it was a huge relief. I no longer stressed about homework, my grades slipping, paying for classes, staying up late to finish essays and study for exams. I had more time to focus on my passion: modeling, but I was still working part-time at T-Mobile.
I truly underestimated how much work modeling would be. I just thought posing in front of a camera was going to be the easiest thing ever. Come to find out, that wasn’t the case. Being a freelance model, you are responsible for finding work, scouting photographers, reaching out to different brands and companies, putting your name out there, and doing it all on you own without an agency. The reason I didn’t sign with an agency is because I believed in myself, and I didn’t believe in paying a ridiculous amount of money upfront to an agency and then giving them a cut of all of my paid gigs. I shut down many offers from agencies, even when I had no clue what I was doing and how I was going to establish my modeling career all on my own.
At the time, Instagram was blowing up and became the most popular social media platform. I used that to my advantage, and started posting pictures of myself on my wall. Literally, photos from my cellphone lol. And then one day, a photographer in the area sent me a message asking if I was interested in modeling and doing a shoot. Excitement was an understatement. Once I shot with this photographer and started posting more of our professional modeling work on Instagram, MORE photographers reached out and messaged me about shooting. I was finally able to grow my modeling portfolio on Instagram and network with people in the industry from all over the world. This was the most exciting thing I have ever done in my life. As my followers continued to grow, more business opportunities slid into my DM’s, and I was able to book my own work through this platform.
Fast Forward to two years later, I am now a full-time freelance model, who is living the life of her dreams. Traveling the world, shooting with professional photographers, marketing with different brands, networking with creators and business owners from all over the world, and doing so all on my own time and schedule!
Looking back, I am so glad I overcame insecurities, judgement from others, and letting their opinions get in the way of my dreams. A lot of my motivation came from the people who told me I wouldn’t make it here. So here’s a huge thank you to those who didn’t believe in me and also to those who DID believe in me. The endless love and support from my fans is what keeps me going. I love you all so much!
I hope this message inspires you to chase after your dreams. Anything is possible when you set your mind to it. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Follow your passion, chase your dreams, and don’t let anyone get in your way or bring you down. You only have one life, and it’s only yours to live. So, live the life that your heart is pulling you towards and give it your all!
Thank you so much for joining me on my journey of a lifetime.