Clack. Clack. Clack. “Dad, film it again, I want my face to look more like Tyra’s,” I said while strutting on my make-shift kitchen runway. I was twelve years old, and it had become a nightly ritual to make my dad film me on my dinky aqua-blue camera while he was making dinner. I would do a runway walk, with some ridiculous outfit on and the poutiest face I could muster. And, ya know I really didn’t think anything of the fact that I wasn’t necessarily as thin as the girls on America’s Next Top Model. I thought they seemed glamourous, exciting and were beloved by all, which any middle schooler dreams to be. I figured if I was tall enough (5’ 9”) to be towering over the boys in school I could make all of the other model stuff work.
But, one day as I was doing my nightly ritual of strutting my stuff on the linoleum kitchen floor in see-through high heels and talking about how I could totally be a model, my mother made a casual comment: “Your cousin could definitely be a model.” She did not mean anything hurtful or mean, and she certainly didn’t want to squash any dream I had, but yet one sentence put an end to the practice and posing in the mirror. Why? Because my cousin was thin and taller and looked more like the women I saw on screen, more like a model was “supposed” to look. She was the pretty one, and I was the one who silently sat in the corner desperately trying to get my retainers out to eat popcorn. When my mom said that, my dream – something that I thought was achievable – felt like it wasn’t anymore. If my cousin was perfect for modeling, that meant I, conversely, was unfit with my bigger body and constant feeling of awkwardness.
After that comment, I watched That’s So Raven instead of watching America’s Next Top Model. I took note of how thin the models I saw on TV and magazines were. I started comparing myself and realizing that I didn’t fit the mold. I felt silly for ever thinking I could be one of them.
And this is why I want to be a Her Campus College Fashion Week Model.
I wasn’t silly for thinking I could be a model. It is society and the pressure that women have to look a certain way to represent beauty, fashion or be in the public eye that is silly. I want to help, along with Her Campus and other amazing collegiate models, of course, to get the message out that every woman can be a model – or anything else they want to be for that matter, even if they don’t fit the current standards. Because, maybe, if the 12-year-old me knew that there was a catwalk of fiercely awesome women who weren’t afraid to be themselves strutting their stuff, I would have aspired to be more like them and less afraid that I would never be the size to be the “perfect” model. I don’t know about you, but I think different is a lot more interesting than perfect, and I can’t wait to have the opportunity to represent Her Campus with all of the other uniquely amazing collegiates on the runway this October.