A few months back, while watching IG stories, I came across a rather interesting one. A swimwear brand was calling for volunteers to take part in a photoshoot meant to showcase their pieces on a range of body types. At first, I thought nothing of it. Then, as the day went on, I kept thinking about it. As someone who struggles with body image, I thought taking part will be a step forward. Plus, growing up, I wished there was more representation, especially when it came to swimwear. Perhaps then, I would not have shied away from wearing swimwear that shows my stretch marks and cellulite. So, I took a leap of faith and applied to take part.
Although there was no guarantee, a little part of me hoped to be chosen. After all, I’ve always wanted to know what modeling felt like.
When I finally heard that I was chosen, I was overjoyed. However, as the days passed, I started to get anxious. Coming from a more conservative family, I started to wonder if I should let my family know. I even worried about not liking my photos, which will be up for the whole world to see.
As the day grew closer, I made up my mind. I ended up telling my mother. She understandably shared her concern about whether the brand could be trusted and if I would be wearing the swimwear would be too revealing. We had a good conversation and after reassuring her, I had her full support. When it came to the rest of my family, I decided not to tell them for the moment. At that point, I was feeling good about the photo shoot and didn’t want to potentially change that.
When it came to preparing, I did want to be at my best in terms of appearance. I had this mindset because I thought that such an opportunity would be hard to come by again. However, things didn’t go as planned. Leading up to the day, I was inconsistent in working out, experiencing breakouts on my face and was turned down by the person who threaded my eyebrow twice. So much for not wanting to ruin my good mood.
Eventually, I realised that trying to look my best defeated the purpose of taking part in the photo and I should just accept myself. I have to admit when I finally let go of that mindset, it was liberating.
On the day of the photoshoot, I wore a bikini in public for the first time and boy did I love how I looked. My acne, my eyebrows and my body were the last things on my mind. Not to mention, how I saw beauty in a new light when I saw all the other models with different body types embrace themselves wholeheartedly.
When I received the final photos, did I love all of them? No. But was I proud of taking part and do I feel good about my body? Definitely. It was an experience I am grateful for and will forever treasure. Who knows? Maybe I might try my hand at modeling again in the future.