Updated: May 11
In 2015 I started dating a handsome young man from Worcester. He upset me a few times ‘cause he thought thats how he’d get a girl into him, he learned pretty quickly as we ended up together for around two and a half years after that. However, in this little ‘you know what I don’t need no man’ two week break from said young man, I decided I wanted to prove to myself that I was better than this. I wanted some attention, I wanted to feel good about myself for myself. So I did some research and went to do some test shoots in Birmingham and Manchester, proper ace photographers I’ve worked with one again since. I was nervous, Jesus Christ I was nervous as hell. You know when someone takes a group photo of you and your friends or family or whatever and its on someone else’s phone!? You haven’t a clue what you look like in it, and you know its only a matter of time before it finds its way to social media. Well thats what modelling feels like for a socially awkward, not very confident young girl.
After a few shoots I started to gain confidence, I used these shoots to apply for different modelling agencies around Manchester. I went in for an ‘interview’ with an agency just on the outskirts of the northern quarter, I got looked up and down the second I walked through the door and the actual models in there were tiny, beautiful and intimidating to a norm beginner who smelt like the prawn and cocktail crisps she’d eaten on the train beforehand. I had no idea I was considered ‘too big’, I was 5’9 at the time and 10 and a half stone, that was the smallest I have ever been with my weight. But this was too big, I’d have had to worked out for hours a day and starved myself to be as thin as the other girls. I’m so lucky I’m now looking back at it years later knowing that the best you can be to yourself is healthy, those girls are made that way their bones wont let them be any bigger and my bones let me be any smaller.
I wanted to prove myself so much to this agency that I said I agreed I would work hard and diet and obey every rule in their contract. I felt so lucky and it seemed so glamorous to be considered one of those girls I’d met in the agency, but I always knew I’d never really be one of those girls. I’ve grown up with two lads, I don’t look after myself I cant be arsed to straighten my hair every day I cant be bothered to wear make up and I just will never have the money to get any work done on myself and invest in really daft diets to fit in. So I went to castings whenever the agency told me to, I waited around and rarely got ‘chosen’ to model for companies and brands because I’m too common looking, I am commercial and ‘too big’. The agency knew this and sent me out to them anyway to keep me busy, none of the travelling expenses were paid for and sometimes I would travel from North Wales (uni) to go there for an hour’s meeting.
I started to not care about my Uni work, I just wanted to look better. I wanted to eat less and feel skinny like the other girls that made it look so easy. Funny thing was even when I was the smallest I’ve ever been, where you can see my ribs and collar bones sticking out, I still had my face to worry about. I’ve always been a happy smiley dopey kinda person, sunshine is ace and laughing at stupid shit will always be my go to. But since then I’ve hated smiling in photographs, my cheeks and my jaw line and my nose, all of a sudden alls I can do is pout. I look like an actual twat, but I still do it to this day because I feel insecure about having chubby cheeks because I am ‘too big’. I cant be the only girl who does this cause it’s just kind of a weird phase our generation have picked up but still, it should be a funny face to pull at kids not something young women do to appear more attractive in photographs.
I was soon asked to go to France with the agency for up-to-date shots to take to castings with us to ensure we get more work which therefore makes the agency more work. I’ve literally made more money doing freelance modelling with lovely contacts I’ve made from test shoots etc, modelling for an agency leaves you with nothing and much less confidence afterwards. The agency were manipulative, and pushed me and about 16 other people into taking this trip to France, claiming we needed these new shots etc and that we would make the money back with all of the promised work we would get afterwards. So we went to France for a week, we were barely fed, one of the photographers thought we were being treated so poorly he left after two days with us. It was a hilarious week to be fair but I lost a lot of weight that week, not in a healthy way at all. The head of the agency often looked at my stomach and thighs on the week away, I felt disgusting for the lingerie and bikini shoots. Couldn’t wait to shoot in baggy dresses and dressed down outfits, thats what I live in day to day anyway. Comfort comes first!
When I got back to my boyfriend at the time I told him what it was like, he saw I’d lost weight and soon fed me back up to normal again. Nothing keeps hol away from pizza for long. I was happy with losing the weight as I felt skinny but looking back I look ill, my flat mate at the time said it doesn’t look good, you’re going to get ill. It was lucky I was in uni cause I couldn’t help but comfort eat my way through assignments! I stayed the way I was and I didn’t lose anymore weight other than what I lost because of stress and working in a busy bar at the time too. At least I had a little break from uni in the French sunshine.
Things didn’t seem quite right with the agency, the atmosphere in France was very low at times and a few of the girls weren’t eating right. Was like a vain little prison apart from the trips out to different shoots on locations! I left the agency a few months after because I needed to focus on uni work, I didn’t like all of the travelling for no reason and the constant baggage of feeling shite about myself and having the constant reminder as I hadn’t become a model at all really.
After uni I did a few test shoots with some ace photographers, I’m still in touch with them now as they really grew my confidence back up and made me feel way better about myself. And here I am now writing this as though it never happened. I haven’t felt confident in a long time but I feel thats such a common trait across all women nowadays, if it wasn’t for my current fella, family and friends filling me with positive and motivational things I’d probably be in the same rut I was in. To be fair I still hate photographs of me and it takes about 40 angles and takes to get an okay Insta post. I still pout instead of smile but I’m doing a lot more smiling in real life and thats something!!
Now I don’t feel I need to prove myself to anyone, instead I feel I need to prove this to myself. Gonna keep working very damn hard with the health and fitness lifestyle I’ve started and enjoy the positive results in the mind and body!
If anybody wants to talk to me about anything regarding anything, I’ll try and make you laugh!! X