Models are competitive. I wouldn’t necessarily say we’re this way by nature, but the business is designed to foster a survival-of-the-fittest mentality. Every job produced in the industry—fashion shows, commercials, magazine spreads, advertisements—has a specific type they’re looking for. Exotic beauties might come to mind when you think of a Victoria Secret model, but the majority of fashion work goes to the blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl. It doesn’t have anything to do with art directors or agents insomuch as it comes down to numbers. Consumers are more apt to purchase what the Caucasian model is selling. That’s it in a nutshell—meaning less work for others.
In the fashion industry, I’m an other, but I never let myself give in to the competitive nature of this business, and I especially never let it stop me from helping my fellow Latina models. In fact, my unique position inspired me to reach out and create a network with other models. I never had a problem introducing competition to my clients because I believe in the power of destiny. I cannot prevent or control others, but I can prevent and control my own negative behavior. And I’m convinced that this positive way of thinking has kept me working in the industry for twenty years. But more than the longevity of my career, I’m most proud of the relationships, friendships, and trust that have been earned because of my philosophy.
Essentially, Model Behaviors was founded on it. I wanted to create a space that all women could be a part of. I wanted the best of the best to be involved to help this community grow, so everything had to start with me. It’s my responsibility to let each Behaviorist know she’s supported and her goals are our goals collectively. The Dallas Women’s Foundation calls this “the ripple effect.” That visual inspires me, but the desire to turn those ripples into waves is what motivates Model Behaviors. If we want to rise, then we must lift up others (all women). And that is triumphant!
What ways do you lift up others?