A little over a month ago I did something completely out of my comfort zone. I walked in a fashion show for the new bridal line at Anthropoligie called BHLDN. I have NEVER walked in a fashion show before and I have NEVER modeled before. I have no idea what I’m doing half the time when Rowell takes my pictures for the blog, let alone model for a (very popular) retail store.
Before I get into the details of why I decided to do it, let me tell you how it came about.
I came across Anthropologie Palo Alto’s Instagram account (@anthro_paloalto) and they had posted a photo of a model wearing a bohemian style wedding gown. They were asking for models to volunteer for a fashion show to showcase their new BHLDN bridal line at their new store at the Stanford Shopping Center. No prior modeling experience was necessary. I was just at that store days prior and fell in love. This particular location is two levels with an expansive home section and a cosmetics and fragrance section. BHLDN is located on the second floor. Oh and did I mention they have a Terrain shop and Terrain cafe attached? It’s beyond amazing.
Anyway, when I saw the posting on Instagram, I showed it to Rowell and jokingly asked him if he thought I should do it. He enthusiastically responded with a yes! He was insistent that I do it because, “it’ll be a good experience”. I was so hesitant but direct messaged Anthropologie and said I was available if they were still looking, kind of hoping they weren’t or that they would not respond. A couple of hours later, I received a response saying that they would love to have me and wanted to know my availability for fittings.
Okay, so I guess I’m doing this.
I don’t like to back out on people once I commit to something so I knew I had to go through this, even though I was super hesitant and nervous.
When I went to the fitting, they basically told me to pick two gowns that I liked. Um, just two?! ALL the gowns are AMAZING!!!!! I mean, I wish BHLDN was available when I was getting married because their dresses are so dreamy. From classic gowns to beaded to non-traditional, it was all so nice that it was hard to decide. After trying on a few, I decided on two that fit my body type. One was a three piece (which I LOVED!) and the other was a maid of honor dress that had beading at the top and chiffon at the bottom. I left the fitting feeling pretty good about myself.
The big day came and Anthro had all the girls get their hair done at Dry Bar and make-up done at the store in their cosmetics section. It was nice being pampered for a change because I’m just a mom whose days consist of sweatpants and hair in a pony tail, sans make-up. The time came to put on our gowns. This is where I saw the rest of the girls who would be modeling with me. They were all so sweet. Some of them were professional models, you can tell. I’m talking 6 feet tall and had the walk down. But most of us were just regular people who have never modeled in our life.
I’m not in my twenties. I’m not 6 feet tall. I’m not a size 0. I’m a mother of two who is barely 5’2″ and still struggling to lose the baby weight.
I felt completely out of place to say the least. I was nervous and felt awkward and wondered what the hell was I thinking. During the show I just kept telling myself to smile and relax but you can tell I was so serious. Even Rowell told me afterwards that I should have smiled more, like I usually do. My favorite moment of the show was hearing Gabe yell out “That’s Mama!” when I was walking down the runway. I felt pretty cool at that moment knowing that he was so proud of me!
Looking back now, I have no regrets. I’m so glad I got out of my comfort zone and got uncomfortable.
When we push ourselves to do things that scare the shit out of us, it’s then that we grow.
I learned a lot from that experience. I learned that it doesn’t matter how old you are, or what you look like or what you think you are capable of. If you think you can do something, you can. If you think you can’t do something, well then, you can’t. It all begins with the thoughts in our heads and what we tell ourselves. Sure, I have insecurities. We all do. I stood there amidst these young, tall and gorgeous women and thought ugly thoughts about myself. Until I caught myself doing it and had to snap out of it. That is not the example I want to set for my daughter.
I want my daughter to stand tall, even if she is the shortest person in the room such as I was that night.
Everyone has doubts and fears in life. But not trying something new simply because I am afraid to fail is not going to get me anywhere. Failures lead to successes. It’s that simple. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. I don’t want to look back in life and regret the things I did not do. I’d rather look back fondly in my life and relish in my experiences, whether good or bad.
Self-confidence is a tricky thing. Just when you think you are a confident person, you get put in a fashion show with taller, beautiful, younger women.
But it’s all perspective though isn’t it?
We are all different in our own ways and the moment we start accepting ourselves and loving ourselves the way we are, it sets the tone for how everyone else will see us and more importantly, treat us.
My last takeaway from this experience is that women supporting other women is so much more fun than competing against each other. During the show, we were zipping each others gowns, fixing a hair out of place, and putting on each others shoes. If we as women can continue to be that support for each other every single day, we can accomplish amazing things.
Community over Competition wins. Always.
Empowering each other in a society that is clearly still so sexist and male dominated, is the only way we are going to succeed. Let’s cheer each other on and help each other out. It’s not about what you’re going to get out of it in the end.
If SHE wins, we ALL win.
Have you ever done something that really scared you at first? Taken a leap of faith and did something completely out of your comfort zone?
Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear your story!