Supermodel Advice You Can Actually Use

Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
January is typically a month bursting with New Year's resolutions. The promises we make ourselves — and sometimes our friends and families — are most often followed by a well-intended fervor of commitment, several weeks of gung-ho excitement, and then months of trickling off into oblivion. Few things are ever resolved before the cycle starts all over again the following year.
How do we stop this madness? Having the best intentions means little if we can't manage to stick to the changes and meet the goals we set for ourselves. It's taken me some grown-up years, but I've come to believe that you have to look beyond those lofty, Champagne-drenched plans if you really want to make long-lasting changes. I'd say getting in touch with your deepest desires is the only way to make shit happen.
That's how I was with my modeling career. Once becoming a model became a clear goal, I quickly realized that the knowing was the easy part. I had to adjust my attitude and outlook and persevere like I'd never done before.
If you've got a dream you haven't made reality yet, now's the time to knock the dust off and truly look within. Reflect on what you want to change in your life and start making it happen. If you do it right, it's not going to be instant. Change is a process. It won't be easy, but I promise you can move mountains if you are doggedly persistent and want to badly enough. Here's my time-tested model of success.

Follow The Dream
Arriving in New York City to chase my dreams, I was admittedly not camera-ready. It was fabulous that I'd gotten a few agencies to agree to meet with me after seeing my photos, but I had quite a long way to go before anyone would even consider calling me a model.

I didn't get the first modeling job I sought, but luckily, I persisted and a woman named Faith Kates gave me my first ever big break; I’ve been with Next ever since because of that. When someone believes in you, believe in their belief. Don’t be overly humble or dismissive of the kindness or encouragement you receive when you're following your dreams. This way of thinking might just change your life.
Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
My struggles didn't end the day that Kates signed me with the agency. No, I had a lot to learn. She sent me to Germany for six months where I gained valuable modeling experience and built my portfolio. But, not so fast. When I first checked in to the German agency, I was told that I was too fat. Not only was I too fat, I didn’t have the right look. The German booking agent was ready to send me back to the States, jobless.

Cue That Tiger Tenacity

In spite of the booker's disdain, I begged him to just send me on a couple of castings so I could make back the money I owed the agency for my international flight. I believed in myself, even though no one else did. It's okay if at times you're the only one lending yourself a helping hand or being your own cheerleader. The important thing is to be confident, and remember that soon others will catch on.

Fake It & You'll Make It
You might not have it all together yet, but you just have to take that leap. Commit to the future you desire. At castings, I wasn’t always the prettiest, the tallest, or the skinniest. I didn’t have the clearest skin or the best body. I did have lots of determination and —more often than not — faux confidence. I’m a firm believer of fake it till you make it because you will make it. Did I always get the job? Nope. But, no matter how many times I was rejected, I held my head high, moved on, and focused on the next opportunity.

Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
Wait For Your Moment
Years later, after I had become a successful supermodel in Europe, I ran into that infamous German booking agent who'd rudely tossed me aside. I looked damn good that day: leather pants, designer pumps, healthy skin, and swagger. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was totally my moment. The agent, who was much shorter than I remembered, mumbled a halfhearted congratulations and I flipped my hair, cracked a smile, and kept on walking. I didn't look back because I didn't need to.
Thank god I'd refused to let his negativity sour my dream. If I had, I would not be where I am today. It is absolutely imperative to listen to what is within you, and don't be afraid to take your life into your own capable hands.

Design Your Own Route
The road less traveled is the more bumpy one for sure, but when you arrive, you'll know that the journey was worth it. Let the rejections you'll face along the way wash over you; smile graciously in spite of your desire to curl up in a ball and cry, and then move on.

Demonstrate Grace & Gratitude
My Mama taught me to always be gracious and grateful. It is an easy mantra to practice when you are winning but harder to execute when things don't go your way. That's where I believe the real inner beauty and growth lies. Don't let anything or anyone break you down. You are solely in charge of your power and self-worth. No boss, significant other, friend or family member is in control of who you are and what you're to become.

As you begin to wrap up January, reflect and recalibrate the path to your goals. Think of it as spring cleaning for your soul in the dead of winter when maybe you need it most. Stay positive and focused, and your turn will come.

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