Twenty years ago this summer, I walked a Paris runway for the first time in Elite’s Look of the Year in France, my first real exposure to the world of modeling.
Certainly, in Paris, the scene was something like television’s popular shows—Gossip Girl or America’s Top Model. Mind-numbing, really, but for me, the 1989 Look of the Year also made for great experiences and fond memories. In the end, I was thrilled to win one of Elite’s contracts, and spent much of the following years pursuing that end in addition to balancing my education.
In the twenty years that have passed, I have tapped into those experiences I learned so early and so well—the times when people have offered their (kind and unkind) opinions of things I hold dear. Modeling, as with writing, is full of rejections. Models face the constant scrutiny of body parts, contours, and shapes, against the elusive “Look.” Writers stand against often only a yes or a no, all based on a subjective feel or sound or voice, as with many arts.
Criticism comes, whether we want it or not—everyone is entitled to their opinions. Our only choices are 1) to dig our heels down into our comfort zones and never take a risk, or 2) to take a bold step out of our comfort zones and choose how to handle what will inevitably come our way—someone’s opinion that is different than our own.