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As a young child, I was often associated with the labels such as: nerdy, gawky, socially awkward, and a loser. These labels travelled with me to middle school, where I was made fun of for my appearance and obsession with receiving good grades. As middle school was coming to an end, I made a vow to myself that I would change so drastically in high school, that I would pull myself out of those labels. During the summer, I was taking a trip to the mall in order to renovate my entire wardrobe. While scouring the racks of Forever 21, I was approached by a young woman, who turned out to be a scout for a local modeling agency in my city. She asked me if I was at all interested in becoming a model, and if so, I should call the number on the business card that she had given to me.

At first, I believed it was a scam. After all, who would want a nerdy, gawky, loser to model for them. After researching their agency and thoroughly investigating the previous models that had worked there, I gave her a call. The next week, I found myself in a room with other aspiring models, some scouted and some that had just heard of the agency. Each person in that room was assigned a number and was asked to step up to a platform in order to have their portrait taken, as well as be measured for their height. Once, finished, the team of agents and scouts clumped together and began picking out who they wanted. I was one of two people who qualified. The other woman who had received the job congratulated me and even called me beautiful. I was ecstatic! I could finally be in a place where I felt worth and could feel pretty in my own skin. Perhaps this job would help me build my self confidence and boost my popularity in high school.

I was constantly told where my flaws lie and was often given advice on how to fix them. I booked countless appointments for facials and eyebrow waxing. The gym was a top priority of mine and my diet was closely monitored.

For the next two years, I became a model for Muse Managements, and I despised every minute of it. I was constantly told where my flaws lie and was often given advice on how to fix them. I booked countless appointments for facials and eyebrow waxing. The gym was a top priority of mine and my diet was closely monitored. I was scattered with compliments and bombarded with insults during photoshoots. My mood was a constant rollercoaster depending on how well I was treated. However, all of this was worth it for the popularity I was gaining. I was suddenly known as the ‘model’ in our grade. I would have people come up to me inquiring about my experiences as a model, and I would always gush to them about the lavishes of it in order to seem cooler than I was. Boys suddenly found me desirable and would ask for my number and continuously compliment me. I was thriving off of the sudden attention I was receiving.

As a year went by, I had managed to be in several Nike and Adidas ads, and was offered opportunities to travel to France and Italy for small fashion shows. Instead of feeling the excitement that I had when first starting, I started to grow tired of it. I was tired of constantly being picked at like an animal and being told how to be my best self based off of nothing but my appearance. I found that I had become more critical of myself and was constantly battling hunger and depression as a result. It came to the point where popularity suddenly was not worth the extra effort. I had school to focus on, clubs to participate in, volunteering to accomplish, and soccer to lead. After a year of living the ‘lavish’ life of a model, I decided to call it quits.

As soon as I quit I could feel my popularity dwindling. Rumors emerged that I had not quit modeling, but that I was too ugly to continue modeling for the agency. Guys no longer wanted to hangout with me, girls no longer respected me, and my friends suddenly disappeared. I was in a world of social climbers where I had been dragged back down to the bottom. However, I would not take my decision back. Yes, feeling loved and appreciated just because of your appearance and job is a satisfying feeling. However, it was damaging to only see myself through what others saw, and I became the most critical person to myself.

Popularity was nice while it lasted, but most of it was forced recognition from a title and was not valued on any principle besides being considered pretty.

Modeling has it glores and fun, but it was damaging beyond belief.

Current First-Year Student at Babson College. Writer for Westview Newspaper and Babson Globe
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