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The Inside: Maintaining Confidence As a Model

As a model from a small town in Alberta, I get a lot of questions about what I do. People are curious since they’ve usually never met someone who’s doing what I’m doing. Of all the questions people ask about modelling and my life, they ask about my confidence the most. How do I stay confident? Am I confident? Do people often comment on your appearance and weight? Does that get to you? And a million other similar questions. And the honest answer is, sometimes I pretend that it’s a lot easier than it is.

While I know I am luckier than a lot of people in being naturally slim, and have not had severe body image issues, that doesn’t mean I’m always confident. Comments from clients, agencies, and even other models can be extremely harsh, and people often find the tiniest things to complain about. You really have to build up a thick skin in this industry, which is much easier said than done. People do not feel bad telling you the things they think you should change about yourself. It isn’t only about your body either. I have received comments on my acne, my hair, my size, my skin colour, my eyebrows, and much more. Models are expected to look perfect, or at least fit exactly the image the client is expecting, no matter how unrealistic an expectation. The reality is, we are just humans, and no one can possibly have it all.

Physical appearance is a main point of insecurity for models, but there is also the issue of confidence in yourself as a model. Even if I am not feeling insecure about my appearance, I have to worry about my posing and my facial expressions and all the little details that make the perfect image. It is important to show up to set feeling confident in those abilities or the entire shoot won’t turn out right. I used to feel much more confident in myself, and as I continued to experience the rejection that is inherent to this industry, I started to question myself. Often, the longer you do something, the more comfortable and confident you become, but I have been having the opposite experience. Sometimes when showing up to set it would be really hard to get into the right headspace, which then shows on camera, making you feel worse.

I think I was underestimating how the criticism and rejection would actually feel, I was sure I wouldn’t let anything get to me because I was so confident and I knew myself. But after a certain point, it’s pretty difficult to ignore. Maybe you lost out on a job you really wanted, or a client gave some very harsh feedback, and you start to question what it could be. Why am I not working as much as I hoped? Why did they book her and not me? The cycle never ends. Models often put on a very confident, sometimes arrogant face, to make people believe we don’t feel insecure, but we all do. This life is challenging and being in a judgmental, competitive environment is bound to make anyone question themselves.

I don’t want to claim to have it all figured out now, because I definitely do not. Some days are worse than others, but it isn’t ever easy. There are moments when I think “What am I doing here?” And I want to go right back home, but I have to take a step back and remember what brought me here. For example, booking a big job that my younger self would’ve lost her mind over. I’m here doing something I love and accomplishing dreams, so I have to decide if it is worth it. I could be at home in school or working and feeling like I’m missing a chance at something special, or I can be here and struggle but ultimately know I’m taking advantage of every opportunity given to me. I’m not going to tell you that I know the secret to being confident because I don’t think there is one. You just have to take everything as it comes, and trust yourself and believe you are deserving of the things you have. I’ve gotten the opportunity to be here and work, which is more than a lot of people will ever get, so clearly there’s a reason for it. At the end of the day, what is meant to come to you will, and you just have to allow yourself to feel everything as it happens. Until next time,

Sammie Taylor

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