I’ve always valued education and internal features (such as kindness, empathy, morality) more than external appearance.

I remember when in primary school, everyday we would sit in a circle on the carpet, talking with our teacher for an hour. Once she asked us the basic question that everybody ask children: who would you like to become when you’re an adult?.

Boys picked some really cool careers to pursue: firefighter, scientist, policeman. Jobs in which it really does matter who you are as a person. I was proud of their choices and visualised them becoming who they’d love to be with joy. Now, it was girls’ turn. Who would you like to be when you grow up? — the teacher asked once again. Model! the girls exclaimed. I was shocked. Only few of them would choose to be an actress or singer.

Among others, there was one girl who really, really impressed me. “I want to be a saint” — she said. Little laughter circled the line we’ve created around the carpet. I looked at her with pride and admiration.

I wanted to be a writer.

I turned 19

My modeling journey started shortly after I turned 19.

I graduated from high school and started to look for holiday job. Got an intern in upraising startup — cosmetic brand focused on natural ingredients and active social media promotion. Applying for a position where I’d be responsible for contact with influencers, bloggers and celebrities to promote brand’s products, I ended up as a main day-to-day graphic designer and copywriter for more than a year, hah! … But that’s for another story.

Particularly at the same time I started my internship, another girl came to the company. We quickly became really good friends and during one of our shared lunch breaks, she asked me if I was a model. “Never in my life” I laughed. She was surprised. It turned out that she’s one since almost 10 years. Without asking me, she showed my Instagram pictures to her agent. He contacted me, saying that they want to see me in person.

Back in that time, I actually started to consider sending some snaps to few agencies. I needed money because earnings from the internship couldn’t even cover my basic expenses. I was tall, naturally slender and photogenic. My mum always kept telling me that we should always try to make the most of what was given to us. So when they contacted me, I thought that maybe it’s a sign. Of course I didn’t want to drop off everything and throw myself into modeling. I just wanted to check how it is.

After reading tone of articles (Is it true what they say?), looking at hundreds of models’ photos (I don’t want to look like this!) I’ve made my mind and went to the agency. They took my very first polaroids (I was wearing a swimsuit hand-made by my grandma, just to boost my self-confidence) and measurements. Yup. The first problem occurred. “You’re way too big” — the agent said.

I couldn’t believe my ears. I’ve never felt fat. Nobody would tell me that I was, either. But here I was, standing in my bikini, discussing my body as if it was just a piece of meat. I remember how awful I felt in that moment. Some part of my brain was screaming that I should run away, leave it and never come back. But obviously I’ve ignored it. I’ve always been highly self-rewarding.

“I will do this” — I said to the agent, “I will loose weight”. It was not just a matter of few kilos, it was 10 kilos of my “excess” body.

But I don’t give up. If I say I will do something, I will.

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