Modeling Post-Eating Disorder

Ever since I shed the oppressive weight of my eating disorder, I’ve assumed my modeling career to be over. Not just because it’s impossible to stay at or under 110 lbs on my frame in any healthy way, but also because, naturally, I’ve been getting older at the same time.

Modeling was never the end game- I always wanted to be an actress forever, a model for now. It was a way to make money without waiting tables. I liked getting photos in beautiful clothes and being spotted by friends in magazines, and I liked having my hair and makeup done and getting into character in front of a camera, but, if I’m honest, really the whole experience was hell.

I was always, always, always hungry. No matter what, I starved before every shoot. Sometimes, when I was busy, I was eating 300-500 calories a day for weeks. I will never forget that first bite of food in the car or on the train coming home from a job- usually a pop tart or something equally bad for me. It was the only food I ever felt I deserved. I worked, I starved, I posed, I was sweaty and shaky- this food was earned.

Sometimes I would cry while I ate it. From relief, or exhaustion, I can’t say, but I will never forget that feeling.

.

Modeling photo

An old modeling photo, staring into the distance, dreaming of food… trying not to snap that tiny wrist…

 

Obviously models can work their entire lives, if you’re serious about it, but since it was never my focus, I always assumed once I got a little older and the jobs weren’t coming as easily, I would transition into acting full time, as well as writing, directing, producing- the other creative things I can do no matter what age or weight I am.

Still, I’ve had a few calls for modeling jobs through my agents, especially in the midwest, and it’s been rather stressful.

On one hand, you see the day rate. You’re not keen to turn down any audition for anything, ever. It looks straightforward enough. You have new photos, new measurements listed, your agent must know you aren’t a willowy size 2 anymore.

I often find myself relieved, however, when I’m out of town, or already booked, and can’t make it. When I do go, it’s been less than comfortable, that’s for sure. Even if I’m not the only curvy girl in the room, I find myself incredibly self-conscious. I wrote a blog about a recent experience here, actually. I’ve considered just issuing a blanket statement that I’m done with the whole thing.

I’m glad I didn’t though because yesterday I had a great moment!

I went to a call for some modeling work for a company I can’t mention, but one that I think does a great job accommodating all types of women’s bodies. Because of this, I wasn’t nervous. I felt great. I put on some jeans that make my ass look fabulous, some boots that contribute to the cause, and I marched into that call feeling like a million bucks.

Instead of thinking, “Ugh, they are going to wonder why I’m even here,” I thought to myself, “I would make a great representative for this company!” I have a real woman’s body! I have boobs and hips and thighs and a tiny little belly. I eat. I workout, too. I look like a healthy human being. And, damn it, I felt gorgeous, too!

I really thought that I would love to look through a catalog of these clothes and see a body like mine. That it would make me want to buy the clothes more to see how they fit on a woman that looks like me. That so many women look like me, or variations of me, and how few women are represented by a size 2. There is nothing wrong with being a healthy size 2, but it’s a very small percentage of women out there!

For the first time in my life, including when I was crazy skinny, I walked into a modeling call feeling like I was a fabulous choice for the job, that I looked great, and that I deserved to be there just as much as anyone else in that room.

I treated myself to Chipotle after, but not because I was starving and shaky. Just because I was super proud of myself for showing up and bringing it!

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