Meaning: the need that what we do in our life has value. A meaningful task, job, challenge or activity in which you can practise your talents and abilities can increase your self-esteem and the feeling of happiness, meaning and fullness of life.
[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ot taking that job at that boutique fashion store because you want to stay available for modelling jobs, but finding yourself waiting beside the phone for modelling jobs – with no end. If you have been modelling for a while, you probably know exactly what I mean. Modelling can be busy with work weeks up to 7 days and extreme working hours. On the other hand, modelling can be very quiet with days or even weeks with little to no work. These quiet periods are not a problem as long as they do not last too long, but personally I find it pleasant to have something substantial to fill my days with – besides filling them with social affairs 😉
Modelling jobs often come in waves though. This makes it hard to combine modelling with another job or to have another kind of daily commitment. For quite a while I had difficulties with this issue as well; I used to combine modelling with university and a job in a gym. After a while it became impossible to keep all three jobs as my modelling career got a boost. I decided to take a sabbatical from my study and quit my job at the gym and focus on modelling.
During that time the economic crisis had already set in. Fashion retailers and brands spent less on marketing and many of them, even big brands, collapsed. Those retailers and brands are our clients; no wonder a commonly heard complaint by models, photographers and makeup artists is that ‘the industry’ has changed a lot since the economic crisis hit hard in 2010.
Although I still had enough work to support myself financially, just like many other models, I experienced the waiting-beside-the-phone moments. What do you do on days like these when there is no back-up plan, no side job and your friends have full-time job commitments? In this period I started to long for more meaning to my life, do something substantial with off-time and being in charge of giving direction to my life. I decided that this was a good time to finish my study and write my master’s thesis. Meanwhile, I continued modelling.
Not my own efforts
After a while I noticed that it is so important to me to be doing something besides modelling. Don’t get me wrong: modelling is a great job that I enjoy very much; it comes with great social and financial benefits and travel opportunities. I have met so many great models and other industry people who shared their private, emotional and amazing stories with me, for which I am grateful. I just feel that success in modelling is not something that is due to my own efforts. To be a succesful model, genes are the most important asset. To be a succesful engineer, hard work and years of study is required. When I arrive at a set, I am not the one that decides on my hair, makeup and clothes. I don’t decide where I stand or what feeling I should give forth. Almost everything is decided for me and my input is low. Which is okay though! And remember; I still have to make great poses and give ditto angles. That isn’t something that anyone can do. Do you understand what I mean with “modelling is not something that is due to my own efforts”?
Self esteem, happiness and meaning of life
Success (in whatever you do, so be it at being a mother or a leading business woman) gives self-esteem, a feeling of happiness and increases the feeling of meaning and fullness of life when it is due to your very own efforts, talents and abilities though. So after I finished my study last October and ‘had’ to decide ‘what next’, I decided to continue modelling, but also to start as an independent, self-employed health educator.
Being a health educator besides being a model means a lot to me. This is what I have studied for and what I love to do. I know from kind messages that I receive from models that I actually inspire, motivate, inform and help other models to move themselves in a healthy way in our business. Noted modelling agencies are interested in my services. This is all such great feedback!
‘Great Body & Skin’ as a whole is my little baby; I have created and developed it all by myself. I have a feeling of proud ness (and I don’t mean this in a cocky way) when I think of where I started, what it means to models at this point and what it will hopefully mean for models next year (fingers crossed). Things are developing fast, especially when I think about the fact hat I have only graduated last October.
There is no person saying what and how I have to do something or giving me orders or instructions; everything I do at Great Body & Skin is my own decision and work. I did this all by myself and I am fucking proud of that. There, I’ve said it 😀
To get back to how I started this blog with “not taking that job at that boutique fashion store because you want to stay available for modelling jobs, but finding yourself waiting beside the phone for modelling jobs – with no end”: finding yourself a meaningful task, job, challenge or activity that you can combine with modelling and in which you can practise your talents and abilities can increase your self-esteem, feeling of happiness and the feeling of meaning and fullness of life.
I am so curious to whom my blog readers actually are and would love to hear more personal stuff about you girls (or maybe also guys?)! Today I would like to know if there is anything meaningful that you do besides modelling, something you are proud of. It doesn’t specifically have to meaningful to others, just as long as it is meaningful to you. Work at a fashion boutique, at a bar, study, work with the elderly, being a mom, take care of children … anything!
Last week I worked with a group of awesome, powerful women on a show job. They inspired me to write this post, as I discovered that we actually look so much alike in our private lives. Jana for instance just started her online travel magazine Soft Sandy Beaches, Natasja is a freelance fashion journalist, and Nicole is on her way to launch her own bags brand. I’m proud of all of you, girls!
From left to right: Jana, Leontine, Natasja, Kris, Natasja, Laurine and me