“No makeup.” A request that shook me to my core. I was being asked to show up to a shoot barefaced and not because there was going to be a makeup artist present. For those of you who don’t know, often times models will have a face full of heavy handed war paint just to get along with the camera they’re facing. Some of you may be saying to yourself,
“I don’t understand! This girl just told the entire world last week that she’s fat. What could possibly be so scary about going makeup less?” Rationally I see where you’re coming from, now let me try to explain. Sometimes wearing makeup can feel like a mask or a security blanket. For me makeup has become part of my identity as a model and perhaps is deeply rooted in the “big girl with a pretty face” thing. Either way, when you’re asked to strip yourself of persona and show your underbelly to someone, it’s a little intimidating.
Regardless, I accepted the challenge. I showed up to my shoot nervous, vulnerable, and with knots in my stomach. Luckily my photographer, Mark, put me at ease and the session I had with him was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. This clearly was not his first rodeo. He asked me to warm up by stretching, he told me jokes, we laughed together, we spoke of life and philosophy. Coming out of my session left me feeling as though I had just stepped out of a yoga studio. I was absolutely glowing.
In the weeks that followed I anxiously awaited the return of my photos, as every good model does. I spent the time worrying that perhaps my makeup less face proved too hideous and Mark just didn’t know how to tell me. Finally, the moment of truth arrived in my inbox and while I had sat down to open the photos I received, what I saw nearly made me fall out of my chair.
I cried. I cried, not because I was dissatisfied with my photos, but because I loved them so much. They were me to my core. I had nothing to hide behind and all that was there was, well… me. The “me” that my partner sees when we wake up in the morning together, the “me” that my family loves, and the “me” that my friends know and it was beautiful.
Insecurities are funny things. They can be so small, but cause us to make such big decisions about the way we live. Confront the things that make you uncomfortable, my friends, because that’s when the personal growth and learning about yourself really starts to happen.