My mom always used to say I was a born model. When I was six years old I used to give mini fashion shows to my family and by the time I was ten there were more photos of me than any of my brothers and sisters- but did that make me a model? If you ask my mom, she’d say yes, but I know better now.

Even my friends seem to think modelling is a privilege saved only for those with the perfect skin, height and bone structure. While there are some prerequisites, having the right genetics doesn’t automatically get you a career in modelling. That’s like saying a high SAT score guarantees a high-paying career. It helps, but there are some broke geniuses out there.

Everyone who models will tell you: modeling is a business. There’s a reason we have the term WORK! It’s not about walking around looking cute, or taking some pictures when you feel like it.

I wish it were.

I mean, if someone had told me how painful and difficult modelling was I might have reconsidered. I love what I do, but sometimes I crawl into my bed after a shoot, exhausted, wondering what gave me the insane idea to do this as a career.

That’s why I keep lots of my photos around to remind myself of why I do it. Seeing the fruit of your labor is a great motivator.

See, there is a learning curve to becoming a model, just like there is to starting any other career, and some girls learn quicker than others. Perhaps they’ve watched models on television, or studied their poses in magazines and chose it as a career. Some girls even get actual training – taking years of modeling classes, learning poise through pageants, or growing up in the industry as child actors and models.

They put the time in – years before most people even think about going to college.

By the time they are 16, most professional models have had some sort of modeling education, either self-taught or through a class of some sort. They have been exposed to the industry, and they have the genetic prerequisites. Even the girls that are scouted out of nowhere, have, most of the time, seen a model before.

The point is, many of us wanted to be models because we were exposed. I never met any architects or accountants growing up, and it never crossed my mind to become one. However, the minute I saw a professional model I knew it was the career for me, and I worked my ass off to get here.