How to be a Model

It’s pretty much unfathomable to meet a girl who hasn’t dreamed of being a model. Walking runways in Paris, going to the Met Ball on the arm of a fabulous designer, meeting Leonardo DiCaprio at 1Oak in New York City. You’d get to effortlessly pull off the wildest outfits, don Chanel Haute Couture and cat-sit Choupette (Karl’s much-adored Feline friend). 

I get it, who wouldn’t want this life?

Perhaps you, if you think about it. 

I get hundreds of texts, emails, and private messages asking me how to get into modeling, how to eat better (“cleaner”), and how to lose weight (which, from a developmental perspective, most don’t need to lose in the first place), all to serve a purpose I’m not sure even matters anymore. The entire repetitive nature of it, the certainty I feel each time I open an email, hurts. Yes, modeling was the best thing that ever happened to me. It was also the worst… but that, in turn, taught me so much, leaving me unequivocally delighted to have experienced the moments I did. 

You, right now, have been given two incredible gifts: the gift of life, and the gift of choice.

My initial question: Why do you want to model? 

Often times, I hear these words: “I don’t like my current job, I’m not happy with myself, I’ve always wanted to travel, wear nice clothes and feel good about who I am. I’d like to feel special, Madison.”

Reading that makes me want to rip my heart out and cry all over it. A part of me can’t help but think I was a piece of the equation that led you to think that yes, modeling is the answer to all of those things. My jovial Instagram posts (which weren't fabricated, just sun after some seriously torrential rain), the unreal amount of work that designers put into the clothes I wear…all of it does seem to come together and paint a picture of decadence, perfection…utopia. And heck, my life IS awesome. But, modeling is not the reason why. Modeling will not fill the bags you carry, dreaming of filling them with compliments and self-love. 

If you don’t like your current job, don’t work at your current job. Talk to your boss. Tell them how you’re being treated; give me no reasons why you can’t. The worse thing that can happen is you no longer have to work there, and this frees you up to try other things  you may excel at even more. There are always jobs out there. You just have to be willing to find them, work hard, and prove you’re worth it. 

If you’re not happy with yourself, figure out why. I can ensure you that commencing in an industry, if you are fortunate enough to be signed by an agency, that bases your initial worth off of your looks will not boost your self-esteem. It could, and it did for me, but that was after I learned to let go of my crippling insecurities that, you guessed it, modeling revealed to me. My head is too puffy, my legs were too big, my ribcage too large. All things I was told. All things I am totally okay with. But it took time. 

If you’ve always wanted to travel…why aren’t you traveling? If you had time to uproot your life to start modeling, you certainly have time to alter your life for travel. Most models have to pay their way anyways, so you’re not losing out. Plus, having the freedom to do whatever you want, wherever you want should be celebrated. Most models simply go where they’re needed. 

And darling…to feel special, you need to look in the mirror. Start there. You. so. are. Please promise me to never, ever waste this incredible moment in your life hiding; crouching behind opportunities that dazzle and sparkle and promise to change your life. You, right now, have been given two incredible gifts: the gift of life, and the gift of choice. Please use both to the best of your abilities. Say yes. Try something new. Offer new, innovative ideas that make your brain whirl and your eyes sparkle. Be a force of change…show your future generations that modeling is fabulous, fashion is a world of wonder…but all people should be able to have varying, multi-faceted roles in it.  
You don’t have to be a model to be fierce, admired, and fabulous. You just have to be you. 

Love you always,

Adapted from an original post on MindOverModel.
Images by Nicolas le Forestier, Premium Paris, W/E Magazine

madison schill