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Reasons I (Almost) Didn't Post These Photos - Part 2

Insecurity strikes again, although it's funny how it has a way of taking different forms.

One day as I was walking through town, I found a skate park decorated with graffiti that happened to be a perfect match to a dress I'd recently purchased online:

Absolutely brilliannttttttt! Right?!! I love this dress so much, the color and the geometry make me feel like THAT girl.

But there's always gotta be something...

The morning of this shoot, I spent a bit longer than normal on my makeup because my room here with my host family in Costa Rica doesn't have a mirror. It would have been selfish to occupy the bathroom for an extended time knowing I had four other people to share it with.

I didn't realize until after I'd taken these pictures that my lashes were lifting - and probably had been for the whole day. Thus the question of whether or not to post. I mean yikes, how could I call myself a model when my makeup isn’t up to par? And my underarms! They looked dark and splotchy even though I’d shaved them that same morning, and I hated the fact that you could see specs of deodorant, too. Not to mention the fact that this was only a week after I'd gotten my braids done and yet a woman in the park came up to me and said it looked like I'd had them in for two months!

In the grand scheme of things, I knew there may only be a few people to see (and then bring themselves to comment upon) these things without zooming all the way in or going out of their way to find something to scrutinize. Yet for some reason, those were the people whose opinion I cared most about in those moments of self-doubt.

There’s something about respect and approval from people in your niche that validates you uniquely. It means a lot to get support from friends and family, but the impostor syndrome starts talking when the people you aspire to be like reject you in some way. An established influencer or makeup artist would notice the "flaws" almost immediately, and such amateur mistakes seemed like deal breakers for establishing my own credibility and reputation.

But did I post?? Umm....YEAH.

Beauty and fashion are industries that have evolved so dramatically in recent years because of people who dare to push the boundaries. I’m not sure I’d call myself a revolutionary in that regard, but I have grown to appreciate the shift in the way we conceptualize imperfection (if perfection itself even truly exists) and I want to be part of continuing it. After all, the quickest fix to all these problems would simply be to pop the pictures into Photoshop and make some easy tweaks. While I'll be honest and say that's something I don't know how to do (go figure), I can also say I don't want to invest my time into learning how to hide things about myself that I should inherently be able to accept. That's just a recipe for internalizing shame.

The beginnings of my spiritual journey have coincided beautifully with the changes I decided to make in my career. I’ve made a conscious decision not to chase. I attract. And by posting when I’m my most authentic self, I am creating a community of people who support the real version of me instead of setting a precedent I can’t maintain without compromising my integrity.

In reality, I want nothing to do with people who doubt my beauty, my skills as a model, or my potential as an influencer. I get to have those things and claim them without having to attach myself to negative energy that punishes me for doing so. And to anyone with complaints about my underarm? Of all things, an UNDERARM?? ...It's best as a lion not to consume yourself with the opinions of sheep.

- Who knows, maybe one of these days I'll land myself a deodorant campaign... 😉

Now, remember: you will always be your own worst critic. Don’t let the voice telling you not to do something overtake the motivation you had to pursue it in the first place. You have the power to create your own reality. Do it according to what truly feels right for you and only you.

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