Growing up, I struggled with a lot of things. As someone who is now 5’11”, I was always the tallest in my class throughout elementary school, even taller than the boys. In high school, I cowered, never fully feeling comfortable or seeing my height as a blessing like I tend to now. I was also fortunate enough to be one of many on the adolescent acne train, which only added to my insecurities. In college, my skin started to clear, my height became something people praised me for, and eventually landed me a modeling contract. I went from feeling awkward, to feeling beautiful, to feeling awkward again – incomplete. There are only so many times you can hear the same words over and over again before they become meaningless. I struggled as a model. I was 20 years old and had full hips, was in college, and attempting to juggle and define my priorities. There was a variety of stress attacking me from all different parts of my life and eventually I had to quit modeling because I was developing an unhealthy obsession with exercise and food.
My journey to self-love since then has been a long one and it’s one that I work at every day. When I stopped modeling, I lost a lot of people I thought were friends. People who I thought truly cared, didn’t. The fashion industry is highly exclusive – you’re either in it, or you’re not. I’ve come to terms with that now, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt at the time.
Since then, I’ve slowly come to realize that physical beauty is only so deep. I’ve implemented make-up free weekends (unless for a special occasion), which has allowed me to feel beautiful and powerful in my own skin. I’ve forgiven those from my past who aren’t in my present, as holding onto the feelings of guilt and resentment hurt me more than anyone else. I’ve forgiven myself and unleashed unhealthy amounts of guilt I’d been holding onto for years. Lastly, I’ve started posting make up-free selfies and before and after photos of different LOTDs. All of these things may not seem like much, but they’ve contributed hugely to my feelings of self-love, confidence, and my overall appreciation for inner beauty that radiates outwards.
Playing with makeup makes me feel confident and beautiful and being makeup-free has finally also started to provide me with the same feelings – an accomplishment I never thought could be possible. Thanks to everyone who is following me on this ride – I’d love for you to share any tips or tricks that you use to help remind you of the fearless beauty you are, whether it be certain books, hobbies, affirmations – anything that helps put you in your best frame of mind. Share them with me below! Until next time, here are two of my most recent ‘Before & After’ pictures. Positive vibes ONLY. Ain’t nobody got time for anything less. x