I started doing a bit of work in front of the camera right after I’d turned 18. It was exciting and different. It was a new way for me to be creative, but also a way to experience other people’s creativity.
Even though I did enjoy most of the modeling work that I did do back in the day, I do see a major difference on how I approached it back then and now.
I remember very well how it felt the first time a photographer told me that a certain company didn’t want to use me because I was too fair skinned. They wanted typical tanned Norwegian girls, and I did not fall into that category. It wasn’t a huge blow to my confidence, but I remember feeling it a little bit still.
There was another moment though, and that is one that I remember very clearly. I did an ad piece for a Norwegian shopping mall, and when the pictures were sent to me I was shocked to see that the face staring back at me was not one that I really recognized.
“I edited your face a little. Made your nose smaller and your eyes a little bigger.”
I had been struggling with insecurities about my nose for a long time, and I remember that as a point where it escalated, and every time I would look in a mirror all I would see was this big thing that was smack in the middle of my face.
It went as far as me booking a consultation with a plastic surgeon for a possible rhinoplasty, which by the way is a horrible name for that job! As if the people who reach out and consider doing something about their nose aren’t insecure enough about that part already!
I never went to the appointment, and slowly over time, I learned to love myself for who I am and what I got. Sometimes I still get really self-conscious about my nose, but it doesn’t overwhelm me like it used to.
Some people are so oblivious to the impact their words and their actions can have on other people’s lives. It’s frightening!
It took a lot of practice to learn self-love, and it’s something that I think is important to constantly work on. Our bodies change all the time, but it’s so important to be grateful. I have legs that walk, hands that can hold, arms that can hug, lips that can kiss and taste, a nose that can smell the things around me, eyes that see, no illnesses or allergies, and no pain in my everyday life. I’m so insanely lucky, and for many years I had a hard time focusing on that.
I was also incredibly lucky to get to work with some amazing photographers through the years that have helped me build my confidence and self-love instead of tearing it apart. People who make art because they love it, not because they want to make something that just fits into a certain box that is requested.
I am also very lucky to have grown up in families that are very body positive. Parents that have a very healthy relationship with their body and with nudity. Surrounded by people who were supportive and loving. If that hadn’t been a part of my upbringing, I’m not sure I would’ve coped as well with the comments and the insecurities that I’ve struggled with.
I also have amazing friends and we compliment each other all the time❤️ That’s something we always have and always will be doing!
I don’t work with photographers as often anymore, but it happens from time to time. I do however really enjoy taking my own pictures and doing my own editing in PhotoShop. But even though I love to play around with the editing, there is one thing that I’ve promised myself, and that is to never alter the look of my face or my body. I play around with colors and textures, and I might remove a pimple from time to time, but other than that I think it’s important to be true to oneself and to not let oneself be defined by fake reality.
My son will be a teenager in just a couple of years (I know!? Yikes!!) and I want him to grow up seeing real girls and real women being portrayed in movies, photos, and ads. I want him to appreciate real beauty and real human beings. And that does not apply to just women of course! I want him to grow up in a world where people are shown as the wonderful, fantastic, amazing and confusing creatures that we are.
I want him to have a healthy relationship with himself and his own body. To see the real beauty in the people around him, instead of searching for some unrealistic ideal of a human.
We all have the power to do something, and I think most of it starts with loving yourself. Find that self-love and that gratitude, and practice it as much as you can! Then go out into the world as a good example. Share the love and the gratitude!
And most importantly, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough! I know it’s hard, and I struggle alongside you, but the truth is that they have no right to tell you so! They have no right to try to define you or to change you. Set boundaries and don’t be afraid to let them be heard!
You are amazing and beautiful, no matter if some idiot(s) have told you differently!
And if you ever need a reminder of how awesome you are, then I am here! I will try my very best to share my love and my gratitude with you ❤️
Photo is by the wonderful and talented Isidoro Peregrino💛