TURNING 60 (and the struggle to maintain elegance) – Part 2,
How difficult could it be to jump start my modeling career? After all, I did it fairly successfully at a much younger age. I am far more mature and worldly than that naïve young girl of yesteryear. Piece of cake, right? I know what it takes to be a model because I have been there and done that. Or so I thought. So let me recall what it takes in my opinion.
First, it takes good genes. Unfortunately, this is something you have no control over. One either wins the genetic lottery or not of good skin (which you must maintain religiously), runway height and slim hips or a proportionately curvy figure and phenomenal hair (good teeth do not hurt either). Otherwise, success is much more elusive.
Second, extraordinary discipline is required. There are lots of attractive, interesting looking people out there but success only comes with grit and determination and a willingness to make the sacrifices necessary to succeed. This is an element over which you do have control.
Third, above I mentioned good skin. Well, that skin also has to be pretty thick because the life of a model is one of constant rejection. I remember being rejected six times in one day, going home and crying then getting up the next day to tackle it all over again. You cannot let rejection erode your self-confidence. If you do you will not make it very far.
Fourth, when the rejection hits you have to maintain your determination and adapt to the circumstances realizing you exist in an ever-changing landscape. You have to update your look and not become stale or stereotyped. Modeling is a sales job. You are selling your packaging to help sell a product.
So there you have it. Now, let me jump back in the fray. I am ready to compete again. Uh oh, what is going on here? Am I shrinking or are these young models really that tall? Well, not much I can do about that. I now empathize with my husband who tells me he was once considered a tall basketball player but if he played today his moniker would probably be “Tiny.” I see these models eating, not starving, yet they are so fit. Quite novel; training rather than starvation. Well, at least I have that base covered with my vigorous weekly training regimen of ballet, Pilates and weight training. Dodged that bullet. I have updated my look naturally with my silver hair which is very age-appropriate. I have always maintained my skin, particularly when it comes to protection from the sun.
My husband rags on me for being the “sunscreen evangelist” because I go around preaching the gospel of skin protection to anyone who will listen. The grit and determination did not diminish with age. Now that I have come out of retirement and walked a fashion show and sat for several photoshoots the results of which have appeared in several magazines, I am focusing on that self-confidence thing. It’s there, just need to dust it off. I have to remember that “no” is just a word to be cast aside unless of course, I am directing it at my children or husband. Lastly, I am mostly adapting to the new age of modeling, just have to figure out this social media thing. Working on it.