Support System

Natalia Zurowski, Associate Editor

How having a positive support system in your life is critical for overall well-being and success.

When you start a career as a model, you soon realize this job is not as glamorous as you initially expected. Modelling itself is easy and fun, but the potential stress associated with the job can be emotionally exhausting.

Agents, clients and even strangers constantly judge you, which is why having a support system you can depend on is of paramount importance. However, you may find some people in your life are not so supportive. It's a rude awakening but some people just don't possess the ability to be genuinely happy for others; even for their friends.

It's important to have people in your life who make the effort to understand you and help lift your spirits. For example, you have a casting for a big commercial job and you think it went really well. You get short listed and the job is between you and one other model. The other model ends up booking the job and you start to feel down about yourself (nearly every model has been in this situation, myself included). Although it may not seem like a big deal, losing a potentially large client is the equivalent to losing a large account in business. Commercial giants like Kohl's can pay tens of thousands of dollars. Really, any money is money a model may have really needed to pay for her rent and other expenses. Models work just like everyone else to pay the bills.

Related: "What Are You Going To Do After Modelling?"

In contrast, maybe you get excited about booking a job you really wanted. Although your friends may not be able to relate to your situation, they should still be able to be happy for you because they want you to succeed. You want people in your life who are going to be genuinely proud of your accomplishments and you should be able to do the same for them. There is nothing worse than a friend who pretends to have your best interest at heart who lacks sincerity.

If you feel your friends are not being supportive, try to explain to them how their lack of understanding makes you feel. Those that matter will not only stand by you, but root for you as well. Knowing there is a group of people supporting you can brighten your spirits and make you feel more confident. The last thing you need is those close to you making you question your self-worth.

A couple months ago when I was on contract in Hangzhou, China, I had a talk with fellow Canadian model Amanda Tataryn and she brought up a valuable piece of advice: "If anyone causes you to ever question your value as a human being, then they don't deserve to be a part of your life. And there are other people who would be honoured to have the opportunity to take that place." She couldn't be more right. The modelling industry is already tough enough and you shouldn't allow people especially those close to you - to make you feel low.

Although you shouldn't let them get to you, there comes a time in life when you realize you don't need certain types of people around anymore. It's a sad realization but people come and go for a reason. Moving forward in life is a natural process that symbolizes growth. And in order to grow, you must be surrounded by a positive support system that can help you to reach your highest potential. After all, you are the company you keep. Choose wisely.

Natalia Zurowski is a model with OMG in Los Angeles, and holds a B.A. from Western University


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