Many people are under the impression that models live this glamourous life, and they couldn’t be more wrong. A-List models who book high-end gigs and walk the most notable runways are the ones living lavishly; and even they experience many downsides.

Traveling takes up a large amount of a model’s schedule. Models that are mainstream ideally work within the country that they reside in and abroad. A model in high demand usually spends ample time in each major fashion capital, collaborating with the most famous photographers, directors and designers. As remarkable as that may be, it can surely become a lonely process. You can go weeks without seeing your loved ones, because work has to come first.

Then there are the unpopular models (like me) who are just starting out in the industry or are working to build new professional relationships and elevate their brand. The journey is even harder if you’re a model of color (also like me). Agencies will have several mixed models that are my complexion (with curly hair – never fails), maybe two dark-skinned models rocking a shaved head or another natural hairstyle, and the remaining models are usually all white. Agencies never have a large amount of Black or Brown models – for them, a few tokens always suffice.

As a model, you are either trying to prove that you’re relevant or you’re trying to remain relevant, depending on your level of popularity. As a model of color, you’re trying to do the above AND overcome politics, all the while attempting to look your best for people who don’t even like the way you look to begin with.

I know my work is cut out for me (to say the least). Although I couldn’t be more grateful to start this chapter, I know that I’m a long way from becoming the mature, established and educated model I need to be in order to survive the industry. So, with thick skin, intuition, an open mind and eyes, I prayerfully and confidently look to advance my career. Pray for me y’all.

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