Guest Blog feature for Cori Strong Photography
This year has been a challenge to say the least, but that is not the point of my story, or the end of it even. Today I am living in the present, and focusing only on the right now. For decades I've worried and worried about what's to come, or what can happen. We can easily get lost in the negative and be stopped dead in our tracks by the No's that effervescently flow through our community.
Everywhere we turn others are trying to put out our light, dull our sparkle, or tell us that we are not good enough. If you focus on that it will consume you, and change your spirit. I wanted to share my story with you, what I've seen, who I've become, and the photoshoot that changed my mind about what beauty was.
I started modeling in 2006, luckily, I stumbled upon some opportunities as I was working in the industry as a Professional Make-up Artist. As I spent more time in front of the camera I learned a lot about myself, but the biggest thing was the love for my craft. I seemed to be a natural in front of the camera, and I loved doing it.
As you can imagine the road before me wasn't paved with the perfect path, my body looked so different from others, I had never seen anyone like me in the ads. I started off on my journey anyway, and tried to always be true to myself. I've heard so many things over the years, yet here I am still plugging along. Too thick, too white, too light, too big, too tall, too much...
Earlier this year, I went on a casting call with an agency... It was an eye opening experience on what they think beauty is. I was told to lose 150lbs, change my eye color to brown, and we can talk. If I lost 150lbs I wouldn't be healthy, and tell me how I'm supposed to change my eye color, obviously with contacts, but really? So I walked out of there, CK Bold Collection clutched in my oversized hands. All I ever wanted was to be a model, I wanted to be the girl I needed growing up, some kind of hero with a big butt and a smile. At what cost?
I booked with Cori Strong Photography and became a Brand Ambassador all around this same timeframe. I never told Cori everything that I was going through with the Agency, I just kept working toward my goal the best way I knew how. When I arrived that morning, I was bummed out and excited at the same time. The VIP red-carpet treatment was incredible, in all my years in the industry I never felt like a real model until that day. Cori treated me with respect, kindness, and admiration... all things I wasn't used to. She also had snacks and coffee waiting, that is always a sure way into my heart!
Little things turn to big things, as big things turn to little ones. I brought all my boudoir looks, and mixed among them was the CK Bold Set that I was supposed to model for the Agency. I grabbed them and walked my big ass out with pride! By the time I was done, I found myself in a set of handmade wings... like the heavens wanted me to be there.
I didn't sign anything, except my brand ambassador contract with Cori. I don't give a shit if the Agency wants me, or CK. I want me, and that's what matters! I also filled Cori in on all the juicy details of my story throughout the summer and she inspired me to share it with you all. Here's a little side message to take away, something I should have said leaving the Agency office but I didn't because my parents raised me right.
"By the way, I started working out and getting in shape in 2017. Since then I've lost over 100lbs, and am in the best shape of my life. I know what I need to do PAL... I don't need your help or opinion either."