Watch Jean Kilbourne's Ted Talk above and check out more of her brilliant thoughts here.
Read the captions to the photos featured above. This is how the daunting entertainment industry took place in my life. In, what I like to call, my past life. I grew up with influence to become a model. And knowing it to be a lucrative business, I sought it out. When I graduated from high school, I wanted nothing more than to become financially independent and to create my own life, with direction and structure, a few aspects that I felt were missing in my upbringing.
Within a few months of living in Southern California, I was posing for the camera. I've always had major stage fright and a high level of self-respect. I did not want to sexualize myself and I did not want to perform. I wanted to use the "tool of modeling" to gain financial independence. Those of you that know me well, know that I had to have a deeper purpose to it. This deeper purpose was to gain a name for myself so that people would listen when I shared what really mattered to me - my pursuit of natural wellbeing, health and vitality (visit www.mintaallred.com for this backstory). Just like most young adults, I was figuring things out, searching approval and falling a victim of perfectionism. This industry did not help.
It was a short eight or nine months before I was out! I was asked regularly to try this diet or that one to "just lose those last five pounds." You were never good enough. Whether I was making money for the agency or not, I was never good enough. You might question why they even care about the form of the model if they end up altering him/her altogether with photoshop.
Point being, the modeling and advertisement industry does its very best to narrow the definition of beautiful to our society. Thus, causing endless shame and feelings of inadequacy. This feeling of lack is exactly what's needed for the ad industry. Then you must buy their most recent concoction that will transform your skin, lift your breasts, synch your waste, lengthen your legs, increase your height, ultimately, make you look better, younger, and more appealing to the opposite sex - The end goal right?
I feel compelled to get real with you to encapsulate the need for authenticity in our world. Due to social media and small town gossip, many of you reading this were likely already aware of this time in my life. And for those that knew nothing until now, here I am exposing a piece of me that I have struggled accepting since the day I said goodbye to it all.
Once I said "peace out" to modeling, I was deliberate in shifting my life for the better good, in the pursuit of wisdom. When I chose to change my path, I hid this part of my life like the plague. The relationships, connections and communities I gained in this newfound pursuit meant everything to me! I wanted to avoid being judged and/or defined by a piece of my past that I did not feel was worthy. I have had an incredibly hard time owning this part of my life.
Through years of practice and loads of support, I am learning to love myself. It ain't easy and there is no quick fix, but let me tell you, there is nothing more powerful that you can do for us all. Loving myself includes fully accepting this piece of my past. I hope that this article is seen as an avenue of exposure of an often corrupt and twisted industry that messes with our self-acceptance day in and day out. Here's to self-love, redefining the worlds beauty ideals and uncovering the badasses that we truly are ;)
"Only when you make things unnatural, do you have any chance of changing or intervening into the social process of advertisements. We must make what is invisible, visible, so we have a choice to make about how we want to participate in the world we inhabit."
by a cumulation of the Iyengar, Ashtanga and Viniyoga methodologies. Dedicated to teaching intelligent yoga through proper alignment and awareness. Aspiring rock climber, snowboarder for life, practices aromatherapy and rebounding.