By Ellen Hancock – A Not So Model Life

Miami – the land of sunshine and bikini-clad women. Of course I knew coming here that I was going to have to buckle down on my diet and exercise routine. This isn’t San Francisco – I can’t hide beneath lovely coats at many of my shoots. It is bikinis and short shorts and little dresses 24/7. Honestly my biggest concern as far as being bikini ready was simply walking into my agency for the first time to say hi, because I had no doubt in my mind that they would immediately want to take digi’s.

I wanted to make a really strong first impression so that they would be excited to work with me and immediately start pushing me for castings. Very, very important. After eating my way across the US I was feeling a bit bloated and out of shape. I had only been able to squeeze in a couple workouts along the way. We arrived in Miami on a Friday, and my agency meeting was Monday. I had the weekend to prepare. Go time!

I worked out hard all weekend to make up for my time on the road. I ate light and super healthy. I got a spray tan. By Monday I felt much better about my body – but the agency would have the final word. When it came time for digi’s I faked confidence. In my mind I was waltzing around the office like a complete ninny… but hey – what else was I supposed to do?? Try to cover my body with my arms?? That would just look terrible. I tried to sell myself as perky and confident – as the girl I usually am when I’m not almost naked in an office full of agents. Ha! 😉

We snapped the digitals out on a balcony. I chatted with my agents for a minute, thanked them, and then headed home. I knew my lead agent would forward me the digitals to my email as soon as he had seen them and made his selections. So I waited. And I waited. And waited some more. Really only a few hours had passed… but I was on the edge of my seat. Finally the email came.

My agent’s words jumped off the screen – he loved the digi’s! I was so relieved! Then I scrolled down and saw the images myself. I can’t tell you how proud of myself I was. All my hard work over the weekend (and before the road trip) had paid off, and I could really see it myself in the pictures. I had been working so hard, and it was worth it. Happy dance! Then I posted the pictures on Instagram…

And that’s when my mood changed. The next time I checked my account I had several people telling me to eat and accusing me of being anorexic. My heart sank. How could it be that I was so happy with my body, that I felt so healthy and proud of myself, and yet these random jerks could say such negative and untrue things about me. Did I look too skinny??? I looked at the pictures again. On second inspection I made up my mind – I looked great, and that must be the only reason why these negative people felt they needed to tear me down. I wasn’t going to let them. I shrugged it off and got back to being happy.

The next day, however, I was on Instagram again and a photo of SI Swimsuit model Kate Upton popped up with the caption “Fuck Skinny Bitches.” I lost my mind. Kate Upton is beautiful, no doubt, but why is she the antithesis of skinny??? Why does her being beautiful make other people not beautiful? Why would someone use her image to tear down people who don’t look like her?? I had seen it so many times before.

With pictures of Marilyn Monroe captioned “Real women have curves,” for example. Because of my experience the day before with my digitals this girls’ comment about Kate Upton felt very personal. Skinny girls have feelings too. Skinny does not automatically equal bitchy, nor does it automatically equal anorexia.

I just hope all this comparing and tearing each other down can come to an end. Being comfortable in your own body is hard enough. I wish we could all support each other, compliment each other, and reward hard work and dedication. I will never be Kate Upton, or Marilyn Monroe, or anyone other than myself. If only society would see that as enough. I guess that’s my rant for the day…