The organization Females Over 40 teamed up with the Darien Sports Shop, and the fashion line Layfette 148 and collaborated on a networking event to benefit Girls, Inc. Since I network regularly, and like to support causes that empower girls, I had planned to go.
The invitation asked for volunteers for models for the fashion show.
What the hell, I decided to volunteer.
First, because I think it’s important to push yourself out of your comfort zone often.
I do a lot of things that other people say seem “scary” like speaking in front of groups, traveling to third world countries, or dancing around in Lycra teaching Jazzercise. I don’t find those things too crazy.
THIS….however, felt crazy.
The other reason I volunteered was because after three abdominal surgeries, a long medical crisis and three years of menopause, loving my body is not something that comes easily to me.
This opportunity would be a chance for me to walk the talk, challenge my negative beliefs, be confident in my body, and embrace my own beauty. I assumed I’d be surrounded by fellow entrepreneurial women, who were all in fact, over 40, and we’d have a grand ol’ time.
Little did I know that since they hard time getting volunteers they were also bringing in REAL models.
Now, I am NOT model material. I’m 5’1″ ONLY if I round up. I’ve always had more of an athletic body, like a gymnast, not a model or ballerina. I had serious thoughts of dropping out.
During our fittings the day before, I could hear the woman in the dressing room next to me lamenting that the “size 2 pants were falling off her”……a phrase I’ve never uttered. Maybe I could call in sick. If I started coughing now…..
All of a sudden I was Carrie Bradshaw.
In one of my favorite episodes of Sex & the City, the main character Carrie Bradshaw, is invited to participate in a NY fashion show featuring real models and famous New Yorkers as models (as a writer, Carrie was one of the non-models).
She began to compare herself to the real models and her friends assured her that she was the ‘modeliest of the non-models.’
After the show begins, Carrie goes on stage and trips and falls flat on her face in her stiletto heels. Heidi Klum follows her down the runway, steps right over her and Carrie’s pal Stanford exclaims, “Oh my God! She’s fashion roadkill!”
Thankfully, I did not end up as fashion roadkill. I actually relaxed and enjoyed myself. Rather than chose to be intimated, all I could choose to do was to be me.
I ended up having fun with the “real” models and managed to get through all three of my outfit changes without incident (that’s a pic of my first outfit above – geez, those suede pants were NICE!).
One of the show producers (yes, they took this very seriously) told me the feedback she heard was that this was one of the most down to earth fashion shows they’d been to.
In the end, just be YOU. It works.