Saturday, October 3, 2015

Does "The Scarlet M" Exist?

You may notice there's not been a new post lately. Well, one big reason for that is a very nasty divorce. Kind of hard to be yourself when your ex is trying to engage in character assassination against you. Never mind the fact that the motherfucker knew all about this character when he married you, took wedding vows, agreed to set up a life with you, that kind of thing. For someone to claim you deceived them after being in a long time relationship with you when you always stayed yourself & you have a hair color that shouts "I am different from everybody else!" is absurd in my book. Thankfully, plenty of rational people agree with me. I have found some of those rational people in the fashion world.

Not sure if this is just a trait of me or if this is something applying to all natural redheads or all smart people but I'm the sort of person that if you tell me not to do something or try to discourage me from it, I'm going to make it my mission in life to do it more just to piss you off. I also never do anything in life half-assed; if it's worth doing, you do it right & do it well or you don't do it at all.

Since my ex & his horrible family tried sabotaging my career six ways to Sunday & then some, it's my goal to land some job where I end up in a huge national ad or billboard in Times Square so that loser is forced to see me. He'll be forced to confront the fact that he threw me away, treated me like garbage & he so fucking lost out. Have I won? I don't know; I like to hope I've won by being a human being who didn't kill herself or let that piece of garbage take away everything she worked for. People hear about the circumstances & keep telling me I'm strong. One friend even told another, newer friend that he respected me. I'd like to hope he respects me for going through all this & not doing what most people would have in my shoes. I could have easily become a hopeless drug or alcohol addict, gone back to Mama's house, murdered my ex or menaced him in some fashion (which he totally deserves but I'd prefer a more random misfortune like an anvil falling from the sky & hitting him in the head like in a Looney Tunes cartoon).

In recent times, I've been doing more modeling & found my profile increasing in that world. These days, I've gone places & people who didn't know I was a model thought I was one. When I've gone to casting calls, people took one look at me & assumed I was a model. Seems I'm carrying that model swagger more than I did when I started out. The model hat seems to be really fitting me well at the moment & I figure so long as that ride is going, I may as well hang on, enjoy the ride and keep taking opportunities as I get them. I've started meeting more models & seeing the same ladies more often at various events and shows. That's sort of a plus in my view since you can build your camaraderie & your network in that way. People are also starting to see where I'm going and how modeling fits in with what my role in the legal world always was. Stupid The Angry Redheaded Lawyer is not. This model stuff is also a fine distraction from things along with the ultimate act of feminism in my book. But more on that soon.

One of the observations I've seen in modeling is a lot of people outside this world don't get it. A model friend told me recently she'd wanted to give up modeling for fear of what I call "the scarlet M." She'd been told by an industry colleague that as long as she was modeling, she'd never have a serious relationship with anyone (including her present guy).

Having seen this with my ex-husband, I told her that modeling or not was a choice she should be making on her own & for herself. We're talking about someone over 18, after all. It's one thing to say you don't want to be a model b/c you're sick of wearing the heels or the hustle & bustle of it is getting to you or you don't like the world or the people as a whole. It's another to have family members, significant others or anyone else try to shame you or guilt you out of doing it. I lived having people not support me in my modeling career & simply didn't feel she ought to be making a choice like that based on what she thought some guy would want or how he might perceive her. I told her about my own experiences & that frankly, any guy who wouldn't give you a serious relationship or stand by you in something you love is a guy not worth having in your life. That is a guy who doesn't deserve you or respect you. That's someone trying to sabotage you, steal your soul, basically deny you of who you are & your potential. No one should have that kind of power over anyone, be it a spouse, parent, grandparent, lover, whoever.

Now I don't think this colleague was trying to be nasty in saying that. It's no secret that lots of people don't respect modeling or the fashion industry as a whole. If you asked lots of people's significant others, I'm sure they'd be secretly thrilled if their loved one left the fashion industry. Some of them just might have more tact & respect to directly tell the person that. Or they're also married to people with the stubbornness of natural redheads & know their spouse will do what they want to no matter what they say since some of us won't be in marriages where we're treated like 5 year olds. Whether you should tell people that or not at random is a whole other discussion but I felt it my duty to give some advice as a woman of the world who'd been there & is now far better off not letting her spouse steal her bliss or her identity. Nobody deserves the stuff I've had to deal with.

I think there's a scarlet M in other ways, such as hate from other women who aren't models or pretty enough to even be considered models if they wanted to (and not just larger women since there are plus sized models & I've met them in my travels; we aren't talking Hollywood "plus sized" either). I'm sure if you started out doing this without building your education or getting a professional license like I did you'd also have problems with people taking you seriously as a capable, intelligent person. I can also see guys just assuming models are good for a roll in the hay but not to take home to Mama.

Since I'm crawling out of limbo & completely fearful of getting hurt again, I could care less if a guy perceives me as one to get into a serious relationship with. I'm too "been there, done that" to be worried about getting married like the average girl who'd never been married would be, especially if she's pushing 30+. I'm also too tough & direct to tolerate being treated like some side chick or secondary when I'm from the tradition of manners and natural redheads tend to engender obsession in guys they get involved with. We're rare, we have some superhuman aspects about us (science even says so; go look it up) & we're far more interesting; it's us & then there's everyone else. We're the natural divas & most of us know it (especially those of us who are models); we just try not to be assholes about it.

The upside of making mistakes is you hopefully learn from them & shut down familiar bullshit quicker and quicker. Once you get punched from that particular angle or you recognize a particular look before someone punches you, no one has to tell you twice to avoid the inevitable since you'll see the punch coming before it happens.

I may have even finally found my tribe in that world. Back in the day, I thought my tribe was the goth/geek culture. Until I started modeling, I never felt I fully fit into the cheerleader/model/sorority/"pretty" girl archetype (this despite being a founding member of a sorority chapter; we identified ourselves as being the antithesis of the typical sorority girl image). I loved getting to be a cheerleader last Halloween since it was the prime symbol of what I'd felt for years I wasn't worthy of being & it felt fitting to do that after everything that happened the year before. It was like "I am worthy of this now & I will rock it." I did.

Now why do I view modeling as the ultimate act of feminism?

1. No slut shaming. As I said when I started out 2 years ago, no one's going to tell you "that's too short" or criticize you or a designer for his/her outfit being too showy. That'd likely be fighting words.
2. If you're doing it right, you are going out on the runway as a confident, bold woman. Confidence, boldness and bravery (since going out like that requires not being afraid to go out in public and put yourself on display) are the ultimate feminist traits. How do you think rights for women happened? Women had to go seek them out & demand them, despite men trying to hold them back and keep them down. They still have to do that today.
3. You are going out as a proud woman. Feminism is about being proud of being a woman, not trying to be a guy (in my book, at least). It's about celebrating & respecting women, which is what we do with models. We celebrate their beauty & as proper guests, respect them & the designers for their craft. A real fashion show isn't filled with people catcalling and trashing the models.
4. Finally, it was patriarchy that told women to cover up. Men in the Christian church and elsewhere are the ones that have been telling women sex was evil and they should be ashamed for centuries. It's men who've told women to cover up in modern times & shaped society to function that way. Violating the patriarchy & defying men is most certainly a feminist thing to do.

For my own part, I consider it an act of rebellion since my ex and his patriarchy supporting relatives were down on me modeling & having that pride in who I am or how I look (which is completely natural). I've always been in favor of rebelling against nonsense & that's probably a big reason I'm an attorney. I also feel if my religious conservative mother & sister respect me modeling and support me in it, no one else gets to tell me not to or bash me for it. I'll just view them as being jealous assholes who wouldn't last a second there; as I stated before, a LOT harder than it looks. Having evil forces in your life stressing you out & trying to sabotage you makes it even harder.

Whether I end up getting serious with anyone again or not, I don't think me modeling is going to make a difference there. At this point it's "I do this so you'll take me as I am or I don't want you to have me at all." That's with everything, in fact. My life is too short & my time is too precious to settle for anything less. I wish all people viewed themselves that way. It would solve a lot of problems & prevent some bad marriages.

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