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Dear diary: Vahiné Blaise
All adventurous women do
My name is Vahiné Blaise, I’m 22, and I’ve been modeling for a few years now.
I am currently lying under the Mexican sun, taking some time for myself after a 17-hour trip. A feeling of relief took over my body when the first morning rays gently kissed my skin for the first time. I had been cold in Paris for too long.
I’m here to shoot for a well-known lingerie brand to shoot their bikini line. It’s a full circle moment for me; I grew up in a household with a man who constantly compared me to the tall and thin models modeling for this brand. I remember watching their campaigns with him and hearing him tell me:
“This is what a beautiful woman is. Pay close attention; look at her hips-to-tits ratio. Do you see that defined belly?”
“I took a few deep breaths and remembered the oath I made to myself”
“Defined belly,” something I did not see this morning when I changed into a bikini after not wearing one for god knows how long. It’s funny how words stick with you even after years of hearing them for the first time.
The same anxiety I had developed from that specific moment slowly crawled back from the pit of my stomach when I looked at myself. I took a few deep breaths and remembered the oath I made to myself, “I shall not let people who are no longer in my life have a hold on me.”
And slowly, the beginning of what was going to be a breakdown slowly melted away. I saw myself in a different light. For a short moment, I saw what my lover sees in me: my curvy waist, my tanned and hydrated skin, my delicate wrists, and my unique features. I once told him, “I wish I could see myself the way you do.” Because I never understood why he liked to hold me so much, why he liked to trace my face with his fingers, and why he looked at me with such adoration. In some ways, I am jealous of the girl he sees when he looks at me, she sounds exceptional, and I wish I saw her in my reflection every day. I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of her today.
“I think some people like myself will forever have self-doubt”
I have accepted that I am, in some ways, scarred for life and that the terrible feeling of not feeling good enough will always be around.
But, I have slowly learned how to live with it, not necessarily accepting it but at least knowing how to take control and not let it consume me. I think some people like myself will forever have self-doubt, it’s the mistake many parents make during the earliest stages of socialization. I can sit and sulk at this tragic realization, but I think that I wouldn’t be able to survive. Constantly questioning myself would most probably lead me to suicide, and I’ve been too close in the past; I refuse to be sitting at the edge again. It’s a constant battle, and it is what it is. I don’t know how someone with so many insecurities is still modeling, but here I am.
Maybe in some ways, I’m facing my shit head-on, somewhat a form of exposure therapy. One thing I handle way better now since I’ve been working is rejection, and I couldn’t be happier because it is 90% of the job. It’s hard in the beginning, but once you get over it, it’s smooth sailing. I won’t be sitting here saying that modeling is a dream; it’s such a fucked up industry, but I’ve gotten stronger.
“I won’t be sitting here saying that modeling is a dream; it’s such a fucked up industry, but I’ve gotten stronger.”
But as I’m facing the beautiful glistening turquoise water and the few sailing boats, tipsy off of one margarita, I must say that all the hard work and pain brought me here, this paradise on earth, and I’m paid to be here too, who would’ve thought?
I don’t say this often, but I deserve to be here. A long journey this has been.