The end of March signifies the slow opening of the modeling season and the auditions are slowly starting to trickle in. It's been fairly quiet, until last week Wednesday when I got a casting brief for a high profile clothing brand that was paying an extremely decent amount of money.
I really wanted to get booked so I studied the brief and did everything I could to match it, including dying my hair purple.
That’s right. I no longer have blonde tips but beautiful mauve curls that literally make me smile every time I see them.
Truthfully, I've wanted to dye my hair this colour for years but my modelling career never really allowed for it until now.
So when Thursday came, I selected the perfect dress and even put my enormous fake nose ring in, ready to conquer the world.
My fake nose ring
After a long session of makeup, wardrobe and confidence boosting, I headed out to the audition half an hour early to avoid queues. It usually works in my favour as I will get to audition and leave quickly, but for higher paying jobs- even half an hour early can be too little as was the case this time.
The long line of cars indicated that the stakes were going to be high, I just didn't know how high.
As I was filling my form in, I managed to speak to casting director who advised that I remove the nose ring, which I did instantly and then took a slow gaze around the room at the girls around me.
I was way out of my league. Like next level. These were the girls from the top agencies like Ice and Boss models. You know, the agencies that have minimum height restrictions of 1.75m? The ones who laughed at me when all those years ago, I sent in my photos and they looked down at all of my 1.58m. Big bushy eyebrows, long flowing hair, painfully thin, super tall models.
Seated in the waiting room next to the other models
Losing my confidence
I sat down next to a group of them. What can we use as a collective for fashion models? A face of models? A band of models? A squad of models. Squad, I like that. I was seated next to a squad of models who began discussing their international stints and what life was like in the fashion world.
I recall many years ago, when I had a contract with Legit clothing, I would go to these types of auditions. The ones that didn’t contain everyday street models but rather the angels who had fallen out of Russian catalogues. It inevitably made me feel like complete and utter crap. Every single time. I hated myself for being so short, not thin enough, not experienced enough, not beautiful enough. And they were mean too. Like seriously bitchy. I never got booked on those jobs because I was always shook. Shook right before my chance to shine.
Which is why, when I sat down amongst them, I felt a familiar trickle of self doubt. But then something happened for the first time in my entire life.
Back when I had a contract with Legit
My own voice, loud and strong came up in my head and said NO! You know what, screw you self-doubt. F!*&k off insecurity. I’ve been modelling for over 12 years now, yes only commercially but it is a huge accolade on its own. And it doesn’t matter if these girls do happen to be prettier, taller and thinner than me. Their journey is their own. You Samantha Desiree Snedorf, were born with very short legs and that is that. What can you do about it?
At this point, I then ran my fingers through my purple hair and drew every ounce of confidence I had accumulated since turning 30 recently (and there was a surprisingly deep well of it!) took a deep breathe and let go of all the negativity.
Letting go of doubt before I entered the casting room
I’ve seen my own battles, overcome so many obstacles.I have created my own work, my own blog and website. I’ve travelled the world and learnt so many lessons along the way but more than any accomplishment or achievement, for the first time in my life, I love myself.
Sure my thighs are a little thicker than they should be, there is a lovely layer of padding on my stomach that never used to be there before and it damn hard to shake off in spite of exercise. But this is me. And I love me. Flaws, scars, freckles, fat rolls, stretch marks and all.
I beat depression on a daily basis and make it to auditions, I write blogs and go out of my comfort zone to be creative which in the end makes me a fundamentally happier person.
And the recognition of that set my mind at ease.
I am weird and that is cool
I didn’t have to be ugly or bad mouth girls. Yes the competition is fierce but in the end, all I can do is give my best performance and wait to see what the client likes. I have zero say in their final selection and I am still learning to accept that. But I have to say, this liking yourself thing isn’t too shabby.
It’s nice not to have complete loathing for the person in the mirror, and I find that a little bit of love goes a long way.
I’ve learnt to love all (most) of the things that I once hated about myself because they make me unique and beautiful in my own way.
I love the phrase “be your own kind of beautiful,” which is something that sits just right with me.
Yeah, I’m not perfect and no, I am not sad or ashamed about that because I choose to be beautifully myself.