March 21, 2006
I have decided something. Now this may sound silly, but I'm serious, and I am really deeply addressing this... I have decided, that I need to... accept myself for who I am.
I can hear the groans and moans already. "Poor model." But seriously, I think I fell into a negative body image of not liking what I look like. And I know I'm not the only one.
I honestly thought that I had already worked through this, that this business of "loving me for me" was well in the past. Well, it is. So far in the past that I almost forgot to follow through with it.
I started to find myself looking in the mirror and pulling back the skin around my tummy, to make it look smaller, wishing that it was. I would look at my legs and think "Yuck, hips!" I wanted to be that image that I felt expected to be. Thinner, taller. Smaller. More defined. Flat and full in JUST the right places. That ideal image of what a model should be... perfect.
What the hell was I thinking? "Yuck" to that perception of myself! And I say YUCK to that perception of the female body! I must have watched too many episodes of the O.C. or studied too many editorials too closely. Robin get a hold of yourself! That's not real!
What is it that really makes me me? It is not the inches around my waist or hips, or how tall I stand on someone else's door frame! Didn't I once scrawl at the back of my day planner: I am perfect, not from my normalities, but from my imperfections? My sister would say that I don't need to conform to the "Dominant Fantasy" (look it up). And she's right, I don't need to try and be that image of perfection... I already am in my own way! I'm weird. I'm freckled. I do have hips, nice hips! And my stomach is very strong, thank you very much. I'm now taller than both my mom and dad and that in itself is a childhood dream fulfilled. I am enough.
And that's enough. God, aren't we all enough? Why can't we all see ourselves as perfect in our own, diverse ways? It's so hard sometimes to truly love ourselves, love our image. I know I'm not the only one out there thinking "I wish I had her hair, her eyes, her great cheekbones. I wish I had her toned arms, her small waist, her long legs. I wish I was her. I wish I wasn't me." But you know what? I'm not her. I am me. And I am who I'm stuck with, so I better make the best of it!
Working out is a great way to feel better about your body, but its not the solution any more. Not for me. I love to work out, to stretch. To get a great hair cut, to go shopping. All these things that make me feel better about being myself. But these are all outward things.
If I am to truly accept myself for who and what I am, I need to do the inner work too. To be honest with you, I'm not exactly sure how to do that... and that's ok. I am going to try. I am on a quest to accept myself, and love what I see when I see my reflection. And love who I am... on a job, on a casting, on the street... and alone in my room.
In this industry, actually, in this society, we are going to hear every day other people's projected fears about beauty and perfection. And after a while, we start to listen and think that what we too are not good enough. To really love myself as is, this is what I think I'll do. I am going to stop listening to other people's projected fears, and start dealing with my own.
Robin Buss (B&M Models) is a 19-year-old who recently travelled to Hong Kong to start her international career. The 176 cm (5'9") model was in Asia for the first time in her life and shared her experience with modelresource readers. Those stories can be found here.