Make your own Mold: A model writes a letter on Perfection, Evolution and Health

Today, IMG-signed model Liza Golden posted a side-by-side image of her evolution in the fashion industry, and it caught the eye of everyone; or, at least, everyone who has ever felt the urge to suppress their authentic selves in order to make others happy. In the post, Liza beautifully opened up to something we as models are so afraid to admit; that though we may look like the epitome of perfection, perfection is a very toxic word; one which poisons the perceptions not only of the young girls who cling to it, but those of us who endorse it's shallow definition, who are too in love with fashion, too scared to lose everything, to raise our voices and ask what it even means. 

Our objective should be health, for all of us in this world. And I personally am so glad to see Liza, and now my friend Jane, with their eyes on that prize. Jane's beautiful letter to Liza's new chapter is something I am so grateful to share.

With love and empathy,

Dear Liza Golden,

I saw your recent post on Instagram, and I just wanted to thank you. Thank you for posting that photo.

I modelled for 3 years. 2 were part-time during high school and one was as a full-time model during my gap year. Your story felt like a mirror of the experience I went through, a feeling that I thought I was alone in. Seeing your post come up in my newsfeed felt like a breath of fresh air to read. When I saw it, I was sitting in my dorm room at university, looking at my thighs thinking, “Why aren’t they my modelling size?!” I’ve been ashamed, seeing old high school classmates around campus, knowing that they’ve noticed the weight gain, and wanting to go into hiding until I come out again as a 34-inch hip. Sometimes I hate my past for that reason, other times I just want to go back and live in it. And then I saw your post and it reminded me that I’m not in this alone. I’m not the only girl who struggled with her body image, during and post-modelling. 

Sometimes I hate my past for that reason, other times I just want to go back and live in it. And then I saw your post and it reminded me that I’m not in this alone.
— Jane Bradshaw

Thank you for that. 

Thank you for making me feel like it is okay not to look like a model post-modelling. 

Thank you for showing that putting my health first doesn’t alienate me from the modelling industry, the fashion industry, the beauty industry. Thank you for showing me that being a model doesn’t mean you have to look like a 16 year old, starving herself, but that you can actually be a women with experience and a little bit of curves and THAT IS OK. Thank you for showing us that sometimes, the industry puts you through shit and you might not come out of that experience a size 0, but that doesn’t make you less of a person or less of a model. That is just you dealing with it the best you can. That is humanity, and the beauty in this process of breathing and loving and forgiving our bodies is truly bar-none. It's everything. 

Thank you for making my experience feel normal, and for proving to everyone that beauty isn’t fitting into a standard, it is loving yourself. 

Wishing you all the best,

Jane Bradshaw

Jane Bradshaw is currently studying psychology at Queen's University and has her sights set firmly on giving back to a creative and compassionate fashion industry. I am so proud to know her.  

madison schill