A few years ago a modeling agency contacted me for collaboration. And then slammed down the size zero that swung the baggy clothes off the body I had back then. And in the depths of my disorder, I wondered wasn’t that what they wanted?

Nope, in reality, this person had picked up the telephone prior to picking apart a few of my posts and seeing me through social media scrolling. After a glimpse of a girl who photographed with a feigned smile and the favor of fancy lighting in the fresh air. In actuality they assumed that this slender thin figure that I had forced my body to become, to somehow be healthy. A girl who had got someone else to get “good angles” that were, in effect, the edges of her bones. They supposed that someone who had simply put a palette on pale skin and swished a mascara wand over jet lagged lashes would be just fine for some fashion photo shoots without fiascos.

I could talk about the mixed message in this mantelpiece media. The manipulation and filtered versions of vexations. The goggle eyeing of the “gorgeous” and consequently getting no glimpses of the nitty-gritty, the tainted tellings, and tinted to-dos. Then the editing and re-editing which rubs away rawness and reality. There are so many stories of social media marketing and money making strategies behind the screens and scenes. The basis where all the “be this.” And “no, be that.”s burgeon from in our bewildering books and all the beguiling blogs and magazines. But firstly I don’t have any truly clarified clue, because I never went into that world. And secondly, that’s not the one I want to write about right now.

What this is really about is role models.

There are people both personally and through publicity who have educated me on the beauty of being both barefoot and barefaced, as well as big heeled and airbrushed with blended bronzers. Who has taught me the beauty in trial and error? Who has taught me that talking and communication are just as creative as the caper of catwalk queens? Role models who have twigged to me that the definition of cheekbones can be done through childish laughter as well as a contour cream stick.

Who's helped me find that you can flaunt your freckles and flaws as well as your figure?

Those who’ve said to me “speak your mind.” Who has tutored me in the stellar stance of self-expression? The modeling in the metamorphosis of making mistakes. Muck ups that you don’t even realize are making more inner knowledge and know-how for your notions. People who have aided the acceptance I now have in looking straight at my stretch marks that are now learning curves of how to live in the body I have. Learning that my skin can be scarred, streaked, or smudged. That I can be myself, make up smudged or mentally struggling. That you can be yourself even with every blotch or blemish bespeckling your body that you make a bane of.

They have conveyed to me that I am more than the skin crawling and catcalling concepts. More than a coat hanger of clinging on clothes. More than my mind mouths me to be. More than a body. My role models have without realizing helped me to rise up from the underestimation and to some extent undermining of the unique. Helped me to unearth under the skin. Underneath the unseen self-deception and the pedestal of parroted promotions. They have voiced to me that I have a valid voice and with that, they’ve volumized my vocalizations. That rioting your ribs with raucous laughter can be the same stretch and strain as the sucked in stomach style.

And that there’s beauty in both of these two and everything and everyone else in between. They’ve twigged to me that there’s no catalog cover to convey your caliber on, no catwalk to shimmy your self worth on, no line to diva down, no chronological queue in order to start creating right where you are. There’s only a leap of faith in breaking through the body and beauty standards that sicken society’s state of mind more than the body itself. I’ll tell you what they taught me: The beauty of being myself.

It’s these idiosyncratic idols that stopped me measuring myself against magazines and manipulated media so much. And made me start realizing I’d rather be reading about role models instead. With the words and ways of creatives like @Khrystyana and @mscoffeeandcream and @msmaverickmuse, I let go of my own ill-lit literature and looked up to real life, living and breathing examples of empowerment. Beautiful beings who may be models. And then models who may be nowhere near that categoric criteria I was coined unfit for a few years ago. Role models who have their head in a bucket list or lost in a book in a library. Anyone who empowered me to embrace myself and my intrinsic idiosyncrasies.

You see, I was going to go for it. I thought about what an amazing thing. Me? A model. Magic. My life would be fashioned, materialistically and metaphorically. And then my lowest weight, my prize amount of penniless pounds, my “goal” weight with gravity, was not only never good enough for the girl I looked at in the mirror... but for what some movements of the media make themselves out to be, the body I was burning to the ground for some self-acceptance had another niggling of not quite rightness named to it.

But role models made me realize I can be a model. A model of my own life. Modeling my moments. Remodeling my mentality. Molding memories. Making magic from the mundane and extraordinaire events and each element of my life in the way I LOOK at it. I can be the model of me. So I would say model yourself. Make yourself and manifest yourself and your mind. By being yourself. I discovered the role a role model can play in your perception. And then I realized a role model is what I really want to be.

Gabi Morris Comment