There is nothing more gratifying than feeling comfortable and happy just truly being yourself. I love attending weddings as a guest because it’s such a direct reflection of who those people are as individuals and as a couple. Every ceremony is vastly different. Sometimes the theme is “country chic” serving BBQ on a ranch with daisies in mason jars listening to the DJ spin Zach Brown Band tunes. Or maybe it’s a sexy candlelit rooftop affair with Lucite bars and sweeping, downtown views being serenaded by a live performance from Sting. From traditional to rustic to contemporary, people express their personalities in so many ways. As a personal stylist, I make a living helping people create a signature style through the vehicle of fashion.
Fashion is one of the most powerful ways to express who we are. It illustrates how we feel about ourselves and how we want others to perceive us. Whether you care about using your image to your advantage or not, it still sends the world a message. Your image can say “I couldn’t care less about what you think” or “I am desperately seeking attention” or “I am confident in my own skin and a leader in my field” just to name a few. When I begin work with new clients, I ask them about their activities, lifestyle, hobbies, and goals. If they tell me they want a promotion within their profession, I then ask them if they think their personal style reflects that they are at the top of their game within their industry. If they tell me they want to attract the mate of their dreams, I ask them about the kind of person they want to attract and if they think their image is sending the right message to attract that kind of person.
This is where the fun part happens. Why not make it as easy as possible for someone to tell you YES! Knowing who you are and what you want is the first step in living your most authentic life. When you walk into a job interview, you should look like you own the company. When you go out on a first date, you should exude a classy, sophisticated sexiness from head-to-toe. When you look sharp, you’re perceived as being sharp.
So, when Model Behaviors wanted to introduce their lineup of superstar Behaviorists through a photo shoot, I had some questions. What are the core values of Model Behaviors and who is our audience? Why were these Behaviorists chosen and how do they represent the brand? I heard heartfelt responses with words like “diversity,” “welcoming,” “compassionate,” “informative,” “empowering,” “community,” “individuality,” and “talented women from unique industries and backgrounds.”
Tying all these ideas together, I realized the common thread was authenticity.
People respond to realness and truth. And what a relief to realize that being your wonderful self is the best way to achieve everything you desire. Think of your image as the opportunity to become your BEST self. I love the mantra “Dress, act, and talk like the person you want to become.” Project yourself as if it’s already the case, and then watch how quickly what you desire comes looking for you!
For this Fall/Winter photo shoot, we decided to create a group shot of everyone playing dress up in a beautiful closet. Going into this shoot, I knew I wanted everyone to wear something that represented who they are or that made them feel happy. I do a lot of work as a TV spokesperson, so when I’m giving my clients’ products an enthusiastic endorsement in public, I often describe myself as “my client’s loudest cheerleader!”
Before the photo shoot began, I asked each of the Behaviorists to share a little bit about who they are. The answers were as diverse and thoughtful as the women who flew from all across the country to be there. Some of the Behaviorists were so passionate about their causes that they could barely choke out their answers without being moved to tears. Others were animated and feeling playful with their responses. This is what I love most about humanity—we are all so unique and our gifts we offer the world are like a kaleidoscope of colorful blessings. Some of us are bold, while others are more introspective. Some of us easily express ourselves in a group, and others are better at writing to communicate our thoughts. One person’s strength is another’s weakness and vice versa. We all complement each other, and I find it so fascinating to see what makes someone who they are.
Normally when I’m styling people for a wardrobe photo shoot, I have pre-selected a few well-edited options for that particular person. In this case, I wanted us playing dress up in the closet to be more organic and fantastical. I pulled a broad range of fun, glamorous styles from Dillard’s department store and asked the Behaviorists to try on whichever dress, skirt, or top they liked best. With amazement and glee, I watched each woman gravitate to the color, fabric, or style she was drawn to the most. It took less than five minutes for all nine women to find the perfect outfit. I also laid out all the jewelry and accessories to help each Behaviorist add their own personality to their outfit. When you embrace who you are, what you love, and what gives you strength, you give others permission to shine their light brightly too.
We hope you enjoy learning about each of our strengths, weaknesses, and gifts. Because we can’t wait to hear about all of the wonderful things that make you YOU!