Because I’m Worth It

Addison by @writtenprosperity and @peacecollective.

If you were to stop modelling today, what would you do differently?

Ask me this question more than three years ago, and my eyes would glaze over as I’d begin to rant, giddily, about diving into fresh baked baguettes, warm camembert and heaping spoonfuls of nutella … the list goes on and on…believe me.

Ask me this question now, and I’d probably shrug my shoulders and say “nothing.”

What, Addison?! Nothing?!

Let me explain why.

Addison for Elle France by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

Today, I find I don’t consume that much of the foods I used to spend so much time daydreaming about. Back then, they felt so distant, so restricted; the reason I would obsess over them was because I felt that as part of being a model, I couldn’t have them.

Recently, a friend asked me why I often say that don’t feel like I’m a model, or really identify myself as one. Some might find that declaration to be cruel, like I am denying what is, for all intents and purposes, a pretty blatant fact right now. What I think it kind of comes down to, is the reality that I never make any choice with the sole reasoning being “because I am a model”.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on the edge of this universe where everyone else in my industry is trying really hard to be this aspirational title of ‘model’ — and I’m on the edge, aware of the struggle in doing so, refusing to put my health or sanity over my career. I have times when I look around on set or backstage and feel a total wave of imposter syndrome wash over me — “why me?” “Why am I doing this?” I often feel undeserving of my success as a fashion model because I don’t kill myself to be a fashion model — meaning I work hard when on set, and ensure I meet the needs of my clients, but in terms of health and nutrition, I don’t diet or spend entire days at the gym. When I step back and think about it though, how fucked up is that? I feel guilty because I’m not trying to ruin my life?

Addison for Under.Ligne by Doo.Ri.

I’m a person who eats well and exercises because I enjoy the way it makes me feel. I got this way because, earlier on in my career, I wasn’t this way — I’d make completely drastic, fear-based moves because I thought that’s what models did, point blank. I approach it differently now, and it’s produced a visible shift: each choice I make in my life, I make because I am a person trying to be my best self. The secret to many models with long careers? — Living vibrant, healthy lives because that’s what makes them a really great human being … who then also happens to work as a fashion model.

The reasoning behind our decisions has great power to influence how we feel about ourselves. Our mentality, most crucially, is everything. Think about it (pun most definitely intended).

Making choices with your only rationale coming from your perception of what it means to be a model is not sustainable — the amount of pressure you put on yourself will build and build and build until you explode. What if we can go back and change our reasoning behind decisions… wouldn’t that alleviate so much of the pressure in our lives? The reason behind WHY you do things has great power in making or breaking healthy habits, including how you view yourself.

Break a leg, but don’t break yourself out there.

In love and #realtalk,
Adds (M/O/M)

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