Turn your MESS into your MESSAGE ...

This is real talk ... it's Nicole's story, a girl who turned her back on modeling for a different type of message to women...

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When I was 14(ish) I had a dream of becoming a model ... You know, those fun loving beautiful girls you see in Target ads wearing the cute shorts and tees; that kind of model.

So I began my journey; I started with a Miss Teen USA pageant, then went onto a modeling school where I went to LA for a week to audition. However; when I tried out for this school, I had to walk across a room full of people in booty shorts, and was told I have "some work to do," and I wasn't their ideal height and weight. (I was 5'6” and 124 pounds) So they sent me as an "actor" instead - HA!!!

I was pissed. Actually, I was crushed. So I went through the McDonald's drive thru, ordered a McChicken, fries, a pop AND ice cream and cried.

I was determined though. So I did get to participate in their runway event. I worked my ass off to lose weight that I really didn't need to lose, and I ate less than I ever have in my life ... Meat & cheese, that was about it.

Nothing big ever came from this experience, other than the courage to keep trying. So I built a portfolio, and started reaching out to photographers in the cities to help me get into that damn Target ad. Funny thing is, the photographers were all male. I was never physically violated, thank God. But, every single one of them wanted swim suit shots (preferably white ones), booty short shots and it even got to the point where one wanted to do body painting ... That's when I quit.

Only it didn't stop there. Power Sports are a hobby of mine. So when I was contacted to do some modeling in this industry I jumped back in. I thought I'd be the cute girl on the Four-Wheeler but instead I found myself back in those same booty shorts. This time we were doing promos in local bars, normal places where people can bring their kids for a burger. But since sex sells, we were supposed to get flirty. It was all around uncomfortable.

That's when I said this isn't my gig. I left believing men were disgusting creatures that used women as props. But then it got me thinking ... WHY do WOMEN do this? Why do they think they need to listen to a guy behind a camera? I'm positive they didn't grow up thinking, I want exposed pictures of myself plastered all over the internet...

Anyways, I guess the reason I am sharing this is because this struggle was very real for me, and I still deal with these thoughts in my head. I guess if I can help someone overcome something like this, maybe it will give me clarity. I pray every day to find my purpose in life ... And maybe this is it.

I've since traded those high heels for gym shoes and become a personal trainer, coach and mother. I am so thankful I found healthy ways to take care of myself and I am seeing what confidence truly is. Now I'm able to help others do the same. As a mother, I want my daughter to know that women aren't props and our beauty isn't defined by the clothes we wear. We deserve more than that.      - Nicole
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Here at Ali J, we know that we're in an industry that can perpetuate this cycle of feelings in girls and women, but we're speaking up in a new way. With education. We are teaching women how to wear their worthiness, which means finding your own personal style, not what someone tells you it should be and embracing your body for the beauty it is. Once you have this, confidence follows. 

We love Nicole's message and her bravery for telling her story. It's not an easy thing for everyone to share. She's so right, “We deserve more than that.” You are lovely our Lovely.

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If you have a story you want us to tell, reach out. Let's connect. Message us.