Alas, I'm getting ahead of myself. Last week, I was interviewed by 16 year-old Bronte Martin for the fall issue of Off the Map (OTM) zine. I couldn't believe this confident, long legged girl wasn't even out of high school. After the interview I thought it would be a good idea to ask Bronte if she and a few friends would want to be featured on Not A Model.
I met with Nicolette, Cassie, Sophie, Stephanie and Bronte at a cafe in the Toronto Beaches to start the interview. I was impressed with how relaxed, confident and happy-in-their-own-skin they all were. I don't remember looking that stylish or put together at 16.
When I asked the girls about the pressures they feel to look a certain way, they all had different but similar answers. Most of them agreed that while there is pressure, it is mostly external and comes from friends, boys or other people's commentary. Nicolette said her two biggest pressures are the media and school. Stephanie said that she finds she can put pressure on herself. They all agreed that while they have flaws, they try to focus on the positive, and as they get older they gain more confidence. (It's only going to get better, I told them).
One of the best things I noticed was that they seem to feed off each other to build confidence and stay grounded. They all cited their friendship as the reason why they don't spend too much time worrying about their looks. I asked them to write down one thing about themselves physically that they liked, and one thing about their personality that they liked. They were stunned, nervous and no one wanted to play this game. I then asked them to say the exact same thing about the person sitting beside them. They found that super easy. I took out large sheets of paper (like in Kindergarten) and coerced them to write.
So I ask you to find the words they chose in *drumroll* Not A Model's first video blog!! Shooting videos and short films could be something that I start doing in the future. Although this video is a little shaky and forgive my cliche "rough around the edges," I had a great time filming it. I promised the girls that I would try to make something of the footage... so enjoy!
I want to thank all the girls for a fantastic day. I am passionate about mentoring and talking to young girls. Eventually, I want to start my own Not A Model program and be able to travel to elementary or high schools and speak to large groups of girls. I would love to write a book and have an army of non-models who want to express how they feel about beauty, life and self-esteem. Until then..
'Not A Model' is a state of mind. Live it. Embrace it. Be yourself.