What Models Don’t Say
This is the second post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, model, author, and anti-bullying advocate.
Hey everyone, Mak here. If you missed my first post, this year I will be writing about my experiences as a student and in the modeling industry. This week, I wanted to inform you on what the fashion industry is really like – and how it changed my life for the better…but also the worst.
Fashion is the most cut-throat business. One day you feel like the most wanted person in the world, and the next you question what made you join the business in the first place. Many people assume that it’s just fun and glamorous all the time, but it’s not.
When I 14, I was told to look and act a certain way (more on that in a later post), but the point is, I was asked to become someone I was not. I shouldn’t have let them change me, but how was I supposed to know?
My once happy-go-lucky personality dwindled, and instead, a shell formed around me. I found myself more self-conscious than I normally was and I often had to be the loudest person in the room so I would be taken seriously. I started modeling at a young age, and the younger you are, the less experience you have –which means you have to impress everyone or be forgotten.
I remember one of my first castings for New York Fashion Week. There was a group of 20 girls (including myself) all dressed up in our heels, jeans, and tank tops. The director seemed to not acknowledge our presence, so he lined us up as quickly as he could. He suddenly barked, “too fat, too short, too tall, too young…” and when he got to me, I feared the worst and he said, “perfect.” The word perfect is an odd word; I had never imagined being called perfect. I had many flaws, and trust me, I was told about them by many men and women like him, but this one wanted to work with me and for that, I was grateful.
I won’t lie, I missed out on a lot of normal festivities such as homecoming, football games, formals, and even eating junk food. Modeling became my world when I was 14 and has been ever since. But the more I think about it, I wouldn’t change a thing. I love modeling and the opportunities it has given me. I have met some of the most amazing people and have gotten to do things some only dream of. We are given opportunities that only we can handle, and none of us are in the same boat. My life is different from yours, from my friends, and from people I meet, but that’s the greatest thing about life. We’re all different.
Stay tuned for future posts about why being “perfect” is really just about you being you!
In the meantime, stay different!
Mak Nichols is a model, author, actress, and student advocate on a mission to inspire and support her peers through philanthropic initiatives including the Great American No Bull Challenge and the release of her first book, Blatantly Honest: Normal Teen, Abnormal Life, available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indie Bound. After taking FLVS courses in high school, she is now studying business, entrepreneurship, and writing at the University of Central Florida. Learn more at makailanichols.com.