Emma
10-29-19
Syracuse, NY
Photographer Erin Willey
Jumper: NY&Co

It’s almost an overwhelming amount of peer pressure to have self-love and confidence, am I right?

It seems like self-care is all the new rage – which is awesome, but there’s still a lot of us who struggle on a daily basis with finding confidence.

When I started getting serious about modeling, someone involved in the industry told me that my Instagram followers would have a heavy impact on my modeling career and affect my chances with an agency. They told me in order to build my Instagram, well, “sex sells, maybe take a few shots wearing just some nice underwear” or something like that.

So, I did. And heck, it worked. I gained an additional 6k in just a few months.

And I remember thinking, is this all there is? This can’t be all there is.

I knew I wanted to gain popularity; I still do – but, not like that. Don’t get me wrong -There’s nothing wrong with expressing your sexuality, but I think most of us can agree that when we see someone constantly posting half naked photos of themselves it’s like… enough. Like, calm down. Not only that, but it can make you feel insecure too, you know? I certainly do.

Emma
10-29-19
Syracuse, NY
Photographer Erin Willey

It’s great if you can post a ton of photos in lingerie and bikinis and feel confident. That’s not the case for some of us, if not most of us. I definitely have my days. But also, like, I don’t want to gain followers and popularity for just posting half naked photos? I’d like to have a little more to my name. Not sure what that is yet, but I’m figuring it out. Just being real.

& it’s hard when all your other local models are working with the photographer’s that do nude and lingerie as their primary. It’s tempting to want to reach out to them, just so I can do it, too. Be popular, too. Be sexy, too.

I did do it over the summer and I had a lot of fun with it. I’d do it again for sure, but it’s not always easy to. All I’m saying is that it’s hard when you’re insecure. Leading up to the days I did the photos and videos in lingerie, I was nervous af. I was nervous afterwards to get the photos. I wondered if I’d look good enough, proportionate enough. Could they edit anything out? I’d think, before they even sent the final products. Not even that, but the anxiety about what others would think after. The insecurity of not being sexy enough.

I remember when I was a few years younger, I asked someone if I was “sexy”, or “hot” because I just didn’t feel like I had that look. I don’t remember who I asked, just that they agreed and told me I’m just, “cute.” That stuck with me.

Emma
10-29-19
Photographer Erin Willey

How do I feel sexier? Be sexier? I still haven’t figured that out. I’m convinced I’m cursed with “cute” for life. You know how some people just have a sexy face? I always envied them. Knowing I was cursed with cuteness.

There’s no inspirational ending to that statement. I still envy individuals who just naturally hold this sexy, sultry, resting face.

But, you learn to live with it, right? Learn to work with what you have. That’s my advice.

I don’t like every photo taken of me. It’s rare that I’ll post every picture a photographer gives back to me. It’s tough when you don’t get to edit your own photos, nor pick them (most of the time). Photographers pick photos and edit them. I usually like most of them, but never all of them. It’s not their fault though, it’s mine as a model and my own insecurities. But at the same time, I also know that not everyone is going to like every photo of themselves. Everyone wants more taken so they can get the ones they look best in.

I try not to edit my photos. I also almost never use filters – like the ones on snapchat that completely give you an entire makeover. I don’t like to post stories using them. I will every so often, but I try not to, just to keep some kind of authenticity. Photographers tell me they don’t do much to edit my photos. The only thing I ever ask to be editted is my undereye. I have insane dark undereye circles. But wait, before you recommend any product, don’t. They’re genetic. I’ve seen a doctor. I’ve tried the things. They are immortal.

I do like to have those editted out. Not all the time. Sometimes they don’t look that bad in photos and don’t need to be touched. Othertimes, I look like I have not slept in a month. It’s an insecurity, but one I have to accept because I cannot change it (unless I got fillers or something, but like, I have no money). I wonder if it would be better to post the original photos – dark undereye and all. But also, like, who cares? If you feel confident with a snapchat filter over you, do it. I feel more confident editting out my undereyes. Do what makes you feel the best.

Emma
10-29-19
Syracuse, NY
Photographer Erin Willey
Dress: SheIn – similar

A big issue I find myself doing is picking out girls that I think would be better for Connor. I did this over the summer when we were not in a good place in our relationship, but lately I’ve found myself doing it again. He and I are very different. He’s an avid outdoorsy guy, and I’m just not. I’m more of a city girl. I like to be inside, out of the sun, away from bugs. I prefer going to the gym over a hike or something. I can’t ski. I’m trying, but I get sick of it after awhile and just don’t feel like trying anymore.

& I often wonder if Connor would be happier with someone else. Someone more like him. I remember when we weren’t doing so hot, I said to myself, “he needs a nice Vermont gal. One who hikes and bikes and skiis and won’t complain about camping.” Welp, even though he’s told me a hundred times that’s not what he wants – and that my differences are what make him love me – nope, still insecure about it. When I see a girl walking downtown with a huge camping backpack, hiking boots, and a gallon water jug – I assume she’s taking a pit stop from her long backpacking trip and I think “that’s who Connor needs.” Or just last week, a pretty girl came into where I work and she had the same skiing and VT stickers on her water bottle as Connor does. And I couldn’t help but ask her if she lived in Vermont and skiied, and she said yes to both. I remember thinking “she’s Connor’s type” and then feeling sad for the day.

Connor has told me again that it doesn’t matter. He loves me for my differences. But I still just can’t believe that, why?

I have no answer. I’m expressing this to let anyone else know that they’re not alone if they’re experiencing insecurities as well.

Emma
10-29-19
Syracuse, NY
Photographer Erin Willey

I’m not going to go into body positivity or “love yourself” quotes on this blog. Like ever. It would not be my place to do so when I face mad insecutiries on the daily. Just being real. If I can’t give myself that kind of advice, I’m not going to pretend to be confident and give it to someone else. We all have insecurities. Idc how many inspirational quotes you post. & that’s the tea.

If you want to post about ways to love yourself, that’s cool, but please include that you have insecurities, too. I’d rather take advice from someone I can relate to.

That being said – What I can do is provide tips I use to have confidence on days I don’t feel so confident.

Tips I use for self-confidence:

  • ***LEARN TO WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE*** I often don’t feel sexy. What is sexy about me? Well, I have naturally voluptuous lips. I emphasize them in photos. I have large eyes, I use them in photos. Or if there’s no photos… I use chapstick on a regular basis to give my lips a boost of hydration and gloss. I use an undereye cream that covers the dark circles (for the most part), and add some mascara to emphasize my good features over my insecurities.
  • Taking selfies. I know this may seem counterproductive, but trust me, take a million and pick the chosen ones. When I get sick of looking at myself, I take a break from editing the selfies and come back to them later on in the day.
  • Highlight your insecurities. But wait, doesn’t that counteract with the first statement? No – hold on. Emphasize your strong features and best assets – yes, but highlight your insecurities. I do bodybuilding. I have always had broad shoulders. I used to hate them. I started emphasizing working them at the gym to add muscle tone to them and highlight them instead of hate them. Sure some days I wish my shoulders/arms were smaller, but that’s out of my control. I learn to work with what I can.
  • Um, post those photos. Likely, you’ll get comments complimenting you. Some people say they don’t need validation from strangers. That’s cool, but I love compliments. I love attention. I’ll take all the compliments, yes please.
  • Dance when you feel confident. Just trust me. If you feel good, you look good, dance, it helps.
  • When it comes to the relationship anxiety… you just gotta remember that if someone doesn’t want to be with you, they’ll let you know. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make an effort to do so. I’m working on that, too.
  • Remember that you’re not alone in feeling insecure & that it’s only temporary. You have the power to change an insecurity into something else – like a motivation. Example: my dark circles. Ok, can’t change that. How can that motivate me? Maybe get better at doing my makeup, or editting photos, or focus on emphasizing my eyes to look bigger and better and hide the circles.
  • Forgive yourself and apologize to your body. Be grateful for it. Thank your body.
Emma
10-29-19
Syracuse, NY
Photographer Erin Willey

Signed, with love, from an insecure model.

– xx emma

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