From a model backstage: Why we all need to stop comparing ourselves to perfection on the TV screen


Sitting backstage at L.A. fashionweek, a man with purple hair held a brush to my face. Waving it around like a magic wand, he poked and proded relentlessly. This magic spell took Two and half hours to cast. He stood between myself and the mirror against the wall, so i couldn't see the final result of his magic. "Are you ready?!" He excitedly squealed. I smiled, nodding my head. As he stepped out of the way, my jaw dropped. It was not myself in that mirror. I literally looked like a different woman all together. This man was a wizard... I stood up to see how the other wizard's spellcasting was coming along. All the girls who showed up barefaced, tired, and average that I sat with before, were now glowing and beautiful seductresses.

Okay, so maybe these people are not Harry Potter, Harmoine, and Ron. Maybe they are just makeup artists.

And perhaps when I say that these women are not really supermodels, except for the five seconds that they run down the runway, are average human beings like you and I, you should take my word.

I have been a model for a long time. I've seen every kind of societal standard for 'beautiful' women under the sun, live and in person, and I promise you that a models job is not given to her because she is perfectly gorgeous all the time. Models are not airbrushed walking perfection, in real everyday life. Models are chosen on how well they portray that illusion.

From a model backstage: Why we all need to stop comparing ourselves to perfection on the TV screen

All models are illusionists.

Companies know that these models aren't ariving to a shoot or a fashion show perfect in every single way. That is why when I, or any model, shows up for a job a company has hired a model for, they have a whole team of people. My smoke and mirrors if you'd like to say, waiting for me. A hair person, a makeup person, a camera person, a lighting person, a person for wardrobe, and the list goes on.

When you look at an image of a beautiful woman, it instills a jealous feeling. I know this, because I also know that exact reaction we all have, is the goal of that illusionist on the billboard, or the television. It is their job to make you feel insecure, so that you buy a product to improve your appearance which never needed improving in the first place. Its a way to cut down your self esteem in order to get to your wallet. And it works alarmingly well in our society.

To all of you lovely ladies, you are exactly that. Lovely. Believe me when I say it. No matter what special effects and photoshop try to say, your exactly perfect as you are. Now don't get me wrong when I say that models aren't airbrushed beautiful. Every woman is beautiful, they are just not perfect like they are portrayed by their job. And again. Modeling is a job, because it makes money for big companies. It is cruel to play on womens insecurities, but it is a reality that our world is facing because it works, because it pays off. But think about this for a moment. Let's pretend that beauty was no longer profitable, and that women wised up and said "I'm beautiful in my own skin, I do not need makeup or these clothes or those glasses." Etc. Those standards and women on the billboards and TV would be a lost investment. And that form of advertising would dissappear, because there would be no reason to pay a hair person, a makeup person, a wardrobe person, or a model to create those illusions. The key to changing our societies standards of beauty is not by waiting for the media to change what they put out, it is for women in society to learn to be more comfortable in their skin, and be careful where they put their paychecks. Because we control the media, they don't control us. Things that dont sell, don't exist for long.

Learn to stop investing in your looks, because no matter what, they won't last forever. We all get old, and with that we get farther from achieving that ridiculously high beauty 'standard'. Being older doesn't mean you aren't beautiful, it just means that you are farther from the false portrayal of beauty that the media sells to you. Many women who used to put high investments in their looks to achieve those standards when they are young, are inevitably let down in the future when their looks start to go anyway, even with all that work and money. And trust me, when you are feeling your lowest, the media will be there to remind you of how low you feel, and sell you something.

Invest your money in a hobby, in supplies for a project, anything that stimulates your mind and develops your character or your skills. Your oen skills and interests will last you forever, they will make you smile time and time again, and you can actually feel proud, and happy with yourself. They will never let you down. Invest wisely ladies. And be happy with who you are.

From a model backstage: Why we all need to stop comparing ourselves to perfection on the TV screen
22 Opinion