I was recently touched by a social media post I saw from a “Curvy POC” model. (I use quotes, because I hate that we must label people as anything other than human. Because from my standpoint, all I see, good people and bad people). This model recently attended a large model/photographer gathering and the observations she experienced so closely hit home from back in my modeling days. Photographers tended to gravitate to the thinner standard type of models, while expecting the curvy or different model to transform into a vision of perfect elegance or to have a crazy amount of creative energy, because apparently that is what all models that don’t fit "the mold" are supposed to do to attention.
I myself have experience this in my days, but I kept fighting, I kept knocking down those doors that were pushed shut in my face. My perseverance gave me great opportunity such as the honor of gracing runways, publications, hosting modeling events. One particular fashion show really inspired me, being one of the only plus size models one year, to come back the next and low and behold their was other plus size models, which made my heart happy. Why, because the organizer of this event was so amazingly open minded and saw the need for representation. ( No names, but she really is a pillar and leader on our community, and truly an amazing person) This one experience really opened my eyes to my choices as I advanced into my role as a photographer.
I have seen so many amazing local models/artist make post about feeling discriminated against based on size, gender, race, age or even as so far as being picked on based on political views. This 100% infuriates me. As a creative, I want to embrace diversity. I feel it is my job to be open and available to anyone that wants to experience the level of insanity we offer at GCPU (Those that have been understand what I am talking about. Teeeheee). The level of acceptance that was given to me by so many during my run as a model, really inspired me to make sure I give the same back to each and every person I photograph. Not because I have to, but 100% because I want to.
I so often see people saying the words “body positive”, but what does that even mean anymore. I’m guilty myself of using it, but what if we just start being accepting of everyone and as artist/model do our part to make sure we represent all people. My advise as an artist/photographer/model, Don’t be afraid to put a ripple in the water when encountered with narrow minded people, as they often may not even realize they are narrow minded. Be Bold, Be Yourself, Be Seen, show others what they are missing. Most of all be proud of who you are, because I know I have said it before, Be UN-Apologeticaly who you are. (only exception is, don’t be an asshole. I know I can be one sometimes, so I have to check that at the proverbial door, but occasionally it sneaks out for a night on the town. LOL)