I thought I bombed.
The theme of the show was self-love, and appreciation for being exactly who you are, imperfections and all. My Aunt Robin Barré said at the top of the 11pm live show on TSC, “I spend a lot of time in my store, and what I hear most often is negative self-talk.” It has been through these experiences working alongside women of all ages and sizes that Robin decided to change the fashion landscape for women, promoting radical self-love and sisterhood among women.
I have been a long-time proud brand ambassador for Artizan, it has made up the bulk of my wardrobe for years now. So how ironic that my experience modeling on live TV for Artizan actually challenged my confidence in ways and depths that I could not have ever anticipated!
My father passed away suddenly on May 3rd of this year. As we were eating dinner on the night prior to his Celebration of Life, my Aunt turned to me and said, “You should come to TSC next month and model for me!” We realized in unison how much my father would have loved this. And we like to think that during this momentous occasion he was definitely smiling down on us.
He was always extremely proud of his sisters and daughters, and to have us appear together on TV would have made him smile ear to ear and tell anyone who would listen, about his baby sister and his baby girl. After the initial excitement of appearing on live television sunk in, so did the panic!
From the moment I realized what I was about to do, to the exhilarating moment I stepped off stage for the last show, several lessons presented themselves that I wanted to capture. Some say you learn best through teaching others, so this is as much for me as it is for you as the reader.
Lesson 1: Beat your Inner Saboteur with Positive Self-Talk!
As I mentioned at the start of this post, I thought I had bombed. And in some ways, I totally did. There was a million thoughts running through my mind during the show and the moments leading up to each of the five I appeared in between Thursday and Friday. I cannot even begin to tell you all the self-deprecating things that my inner saboteur said to me.
“You don’t belong here”
“Nobody likes you”
“You bombed! You looked completely lost out there!”
And then, after my first appearance when I wasn’t given an outfit to change into, I think I my face may have switched to beat red to white.
“You’re fired. You did so badly that they can’t risk having you walk out there again.”
My inner saboteur again. I wanted to cry. Why was I saying all of this to myself?!
My Aunt Robin explained during the live show, “These thoughts are ingrained in us from childhood. Messaging we received that we are dumb, not pretty enough or whatever, they stick with us! That’s why we have to take a stand and reverse this through positive self-talk” Yep, I had no idea, but that bullied 6th grader is still alive and well inside me, trying to protect myself from being hurt. Meanwhile, my inner ‘little girl’ is actually holding me back!
Robin had each model share an “I AM” statement as an exercise and example to those watching at home. When it was my turn I said, “I am BRAVE and also terrified”! Haha! It is ok to be honest, but I will be doing the “I AM” exercise daily as an antidote to the negative self-bullying I allowed myself to engage in.
Lesson 2: Beauty Is An Inside Job
Appearing alongside the TSC models was a brilliant example of how energy affects how the world perceives you! The best models weren’t the ones who were the youngest or most conventionally attractive, but the ones who radiated confidence, grace, kindness and authenticity. Those models OWNED it and carried themselves as goddesses.
You would think that their graceful runway movements and coordinating walks and turns was choreographed, but it was all improvisation. They were able to do this fluidly through their confident awareness of themselves and everything and everyone around them. It was awesome to witness. I soaked it in, studied them, and listened to their helpful pointers. It was really cool to witness their behind-the-scenes camaraderie and how the women injected humour and fun into their work.
I believe this is why the viewers at home watching are so captivated. The models presence, without even speaking any words, conveys the characteristics each of us deserve to possess! The hosts messages are using fashion as a conduit to educate and empower women! It kind of goes back to my previous lesson, that we can only experience true joy and connection through first loving and appreciating our “perfect imperfections”.
The biggest problem for me is that even though no one could hear what my inner-critic was saying, it absolutely influenced my behaviour and actions which had a ripple effect. As Brené Brown says, “Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance”. This is a lesson I am needing to really let ruminate, sink in and apply if I want to receive future opportunities of this kind.
Lesson 3: Growth Comes from Discomfort
I have always known that my life is it is up to ME and no one else. It is up to me to notice opportunities and seize them. It is all too easy to play victim and be done to, and I was raised not to do that. I was brought up empowered to choose not to take the lazy way out and to try to do that which scares me.
If I think about what terrifies me most, that can usually be a good barometer of what I most need to do. If I fail, if I flop, if I chicken out, I observe whatever experience it afforded me. What could I have done better? Why did those negative voices crop up? Why did I become defensive in a situation? Why was I talking down to myself? How can I do better next time?
My third and final lesson from my modeling experience is this: seize the opportunity to challenge yourself. Be curious about why you are scared. Life is simply a culmination of moments, so curate them with intention!
The blue butterfly is the new symbol for Artizan and could not be a more perfect representation for my experience. The blue butterfly signifies transformation, change, joy, happiness and brings sudden good luck.
Words cannot fully capture the feelings of gratitude I have for my Aunt, the models and staff at TSC and the beautiful women of Artizan who took such good care of everything during the last two days. This experience was appreciated tremendously and will forever change how I see myself as a Perennial Woman. Thank you 🦋