Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When I Wanted To Be A Supermodel And How Science Saved Me

When I was ~13ish, I wanted to be a Supermodel. Being a model was glamorous and powerful in the early 1980's. Those ladies wore the sexiest clothes, everyone fawned on them, they lived the best lifestyle, they were beautiful and I wanted to be one of them.

My parents as loving as they were sent me to "John Robert Powers" Modeling School to learn how to walk, talk, and present myself, publicly. Since, I did not like singing or acting due to me not liking those rehearsals or understanding one has to rehearse to looked "finished", I erroneously thought that modeling would be easier.

It was in some ways. But I never thought I would encounter bigotry and have to face it at a young age. I don't think I ever told my parent's this because it was not something I did. I thought I could handle it on my own at 13 years old, and I did not have the experience and comprehension to understand the "beauty industry".

But, I grew up trying to present my best glamorous self to the public throughout high school. That was a mistake because it led to risky behaviors, which were manifest at the time in the mid-1980s. I was part of the "party drug scene" and most kids in my area were in that "meat grinder". I think that was part of the reason I pursued science, because, the ugly side of entertainment could be avoided.

However, I did participate in small "beauty pageants" and "fashion shows". Quite a few actually, both in high school and college. So, in some ways, my John Robert Powers education worked!

When I was near graduation from highschool, I was with my family in an exclusive restaurant in San Diego, for Sunday Brunch and I was piggin' out.  However, I wore this style of dress from the 1940s with spiked heels and glided to the food bin. Apparently, a director of the large pageants was watching me and spoke to my parents about me considering in the big competitions. My mother intervened and said I was going to Spelman College and that was it! That essentially ended my real pageant career -- LOL!

The reason why I brought this up is there is a new documentary on HBO, called "About Face: Supermodels Then And Now". These iconic images in a field disrespected but glamorized in the 1980s and the women who were the epitome of beauty in their time had to redefine themselves at 30 years old and somehow find a way to do it. Most have, but the current system has been lagging. As young women enter, by the time they reach 30 years old, presentation can only go so far, education is what takes anyone further.

Let me say one thing about the "beauty industry" specifically why I left it when I was young: At that time, in my life, I felt ugly. Depression had taken its hold. I just wanted to cut up my face and not be beautiful and be a monster because that was how I felt. As heartbreaking as it was for my mother to ever hear that coming out of my mouth, somehow, God (or whatever it is called) found a way for me to be safe in science. Oh yeah, the bad cliche that scientists are nerdy, physically ugly people shut off from the world. I can tell you, some of them are the sweetest most beautiful people in the world no matter their size.  It was science that kept me alive and allowed me to survive from that meat-grinder of entertainment in the 1980s.

Today, it is a tad bit different, but more people are aware of what it takes for entertainment. Training in not selling oneself to the Devil for 2 seconds of fame or doing things for a little bit without working hard for it. Sure, there are several people who take the easy route and only think of the money, but life sustainability and happiness comes through enlightenment, wisdom, experience and education.

I don't know how far this social media entertainment information will take me or if it will be profitable, but I do know I have a lot of fun doing it, my creativity in the work and wrought of it makes me the happiest I have ever been in 5 years. There are tears when it fails miserably because neurologically, that is something our brains do when we creatively express ourselves. Since my brain is prone to bipolar, I feel the ups and downs of my creative expression harder. Same as I felt with science, but my analytical side would lose to my creative side. Go figure?

Also, in both worlds, entertainment and science, I was incredibly lonely and insecure. I did not like myself a lot and it gave me a "stank attitude" that would lead me to tears all the time. My thoughts about life were poor and no one could help me but myself. Have a weathered that storm? No. But today, there are rays of sunshine most days.

As a child, I wanted to be a supermodel, and science saved me from it.

Here is what I looked like as young adult. There are many more images:

I was ~17-18 years old

~26 Years Old