Are you someone who has wanted to be a model but have been told by one person or another that you’re not model material?

When I was a teenager I wanted to be a model. I was silly enough then to believe that a person could be anything they wanted to be. That’s what they tell us when we’re young after all. They tell us we can be anything we want to be. And so we go off believing we can be anything we want to be not realizing that some ambitions are impossible dreams if certain prerequisites cannot be met.

A person doesn’t necessarily have to be one of the best looking people in the world to be considered “model material”. But there are certain criteria that have to be met. And if you don’t have what it takes as far as possessing the qualities that agencies look for in determining your worthiness to be signed to a contract, no amount of thinking you can be anything you want to be as long as you persevere is going to get you strutting down a catwalk during Paris Fashion Week all decked out in Chanel.

Pretty girl modeling pretend eating tangerine
Image via – An example of what the average person would consider “model material”

When someone tells you you’re not model material they’re essentially telling you that you’re not pretty or beautiful or in anyway physically remarkable.

Models are considered to be beautiful or otherwise attractive people who make ideal subjects for capturing in photographic format. Whether it is true or not, right or not, they are considered to be more physically interesting and worthy to be photographed than the rest of us.

Being told you’re not model material, whether directly or indirectly, can hurt. Because it’s perceived as a judgement of your attractiveness. And most of the time you aspire to be a model because you think you’re physically interesting and worthy to be photographed. Or maybe you just want to be a model because you like to pose and you like to be photographed while posing. So when someone tells you that you’re not model material, you interpret that to mean they don’t think you’re attractive or interesting looking–certainly not attractive or interesting looking enough to be a model. And yeah, that can hurt. Especially when your desire to be a model is tied up in feelings of insecurity about your looks and you feeling like you have something to prove to people who don’t seem to see you the way you see yourself, which is sometimes the case for people who want to model.

When I was a teenager I was delusional enough to think I was beautiful

You’d think it would have occurred to me that the reason no boys ever liked me was because I wasn’t attractive. But that never occurred to me. Even before I started wearing makeup I thought I was a pretty decent looking girl. After I started wearing makeup you couldn’t convince me that I wasn’t the most beautiful girl in the world.

Well, that’s not completely true…

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t really think I was beautiful at the end of the day. Deep down inside I was tortured by a conflicting belief that I was the ugliest girl alive.

Some of you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes you look at your face and you can’t believe how hideously ugly you look. Then there are other times you think you’re decent enough looking even without makeup on. But those times when you see yourself as ugly, the ugly is so tremendous that you know it’s got to be the truth. Because no pretty person could ever look that ugly under any circumstance.

So I didn’t really think I was beautiful deep down. After all, I saw myself once I took the makeup off my face. But with makeup on I did get called beautiful often enough to buy into the false idea of myself and go around thinking I was model material.

But the truth is, I wasn’t “model material”

In the first place I was only 5 feet and four inches tall and apparently you had to be much taller than that to be a model. Maybe it’s different nowadays, but back then, the rules were more strict. So, Strike One. I was ordinary (if not ugly) without makeup on (and if you ask some people I was ugly even with makeup on). And apparently they decide your model worthiness using a headshot where you’re not wearing makeup. At least that’s what I was told back then. So, Strike Two. I wasn’t photogenic. Strike Three. Sometimes you can be ordinary by the standard definition and still be model material because of how photogenic you are.

But in my case, my modeling ambitions were impossible dreams because on paper I just didn’t have what it took. In the eyes of the rest of the world I wasn’t striking in any way. There was nothing photograph worthy about me.

So what did I do?

I setup my camera and took pictures of my own damn self. You can call it pretend modeling, and you can say it’s pathetic, but my “pretend modeling” over the years has helped significantly in building confidence and elevating my self esteem.

I was not and am not model material; but that didn’t stop me from striking a pose and photographing myself for my own enjoyment

And thanks to the pretend modeling I have done since I was a teenager, I have a relatively healthier view of myself even while knowing that every modeling agency in the world would have declined to give me a second’s consideration.

So say to heck with who thinks you’re model material or not. You might not have what top modeling agencies and brands are looking for; but that’s okay. Because you’re not trying to be Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid.

If people tell you that you’re not model material, don’t take it personally. Don’t feel all dejected and depressed. Don’t go hating yourself and thinking you must be ugly.

Put on your makeup (or not). Get all styled (or not). Set up your camera on a tripod and model to your heart’s content. Get to know yourself.

Okay so you won’t get on the cover of Cosmo or Glamour or any of those other magazines. So what? So many people are out there doing their thing regardless who thinks they’re model material or whatever. You might not be so lucky to win over millions of fans on social media. But again, so what? Do your thing. If you get fans, great. If you don’t keep doing your thing anyway. Do it for yourself. Your opinion of yourself should be the only one that matters to you.



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