By Kathleen Ebbs – www.callmekath.com
For me modelling never seemed like something that I would end up doing, I still don’t really recognize the fact that I do. I am short and do not own a pair of legs 11.
I do remember growing up as a little poser though, I would always want to be in front of the camera showing off to anyone that was around. The house I grew up in had a long hall way leading up to the main living space, I remember watching “americas next top model’ and then pretending it was a run way and when no one was around would walk like “the girls did on the show”. I also loved the stage as I was a dancer and enjoyed drama. My siblings and I use to put on concerts for anyone that was around, making up short plays and dance routines.
Getting into my teenage years I had very low confidence, it didn’t seem it to the people around me but I was constantly comparing myself to others on everything! I always thought I wasn’t thin, pretty or cool enough (I think this is something most teenagers go through). I was always in the what they would call ‘trendy’ crowd but felt as though I was constantly proving myself or trying really hard. Fast forward to around the end of year 11 Yasmin who is the founder of ‘Culture Machine’ found me on instagram and took it upon herself to message me in regards to possibly signing with her agency. I was really confused at first and to be honest thought it was a spam message lol!. A little while on I got signed with culture machine and was being managed from bali. The start of my journey was a funny one.. I hated it! I also thought I had to make up from what I lacked in height by being super thin which wasn’t good.
I remember when I got my first paid job…I also remember leaving the shoot that day telling myself that I never want to model again ahaha! I was cold and uncomfortable the whole time, I hated every minute of it! I felt like an outsider, still in that mentality of trying to fit in or be something i’m not. So that day I decided Instead of torturing myself I wasn’t going to care about it and that if I got something random that was a bonus. I was heavily into health and fitness at that time so I drew my focus there and planned my business for when school finished.
Couple of weeks after this time Yasmin invited me on a trip to Los Angeles with herself and “The Free Radical T.V crew”. I was sceptical at first as I had not yet met Yasmin in person as well as having no idea about the rest of the team. I knew I didn’t really want to model but I also needed to do something different with my life at the time. I had a little feeling this trip would help open up my eyes and get me out of my funk, so a few months later off I went..
In short this trip really changed my life. I was then stoked a few months after when the free radical crew moved down to my hometown Sydney. Having Yasmin by my side changed my views on being involved in the industry. She taught me there is nothing I can’t do and that anything is possible. I decided to be myself instead of what “I thought I had to be”. I was just going to stand by my own morals and see what came from that. This mental shift has gotten me to where I am today and I am so grateful.
I feel there is a lot that needs to be talked about not only in regards to the industry itself but also what it is portraying to the rest of the population, especially young girls! Like I mentioned before when I was in high school I had very low confidence. This came about as there seems to be this notion that you need a banging bod, banging hair and banging skin 100% of the time to even be looked at in society. We can all sit here and say “love yourself and what you got blala” but that is way easier said than done especially when there are so many mixed messages out there! I know this as I have been there, in and out of the modelling world. Both mentally just as brutal as one another. Not trying to point the finger, as it is no ones fault and I don’t think anyone is intentionally putting this message out there but at the same time I don’t think enough people stop and reflect on how much it hurts young peoples minds.
Of course a big part of my job is looking fit BUT I believe fit means… well fit! Eating a well balanced diet and exercising isn’t just important to models, but is important to everyone if you would like to be a thriving individual! Trying to fit into a certain ideal will only lead to heart ache. You need to learn to respect yourself first and understand health is just as mental than physical. I understand this is way harder said than done, you may be reading this thinking wow you must have so much confidence Kath..hell no! I am getting better at it but there are many days when I get down in the dumps and question the way I look too! It’s about re training the brain to not think like this and compare yourself to society. It takes time and I am still learning everyday too. This said, I have seen a massive shift in the modelling world. There are so many new girls that are helping shift this movement of ‘skinny’ to ‘strong’ and showing that you don’t need to fit the old fashioned ideals of beauty to be beautiful! Just the other week I stumbled across the likes of Steph Claire Smith and Lauren Hersward who are both young, very successful international models who have recently started their own blog called “Keep it cleaner”. I was so happy with to see two women who are at the very high end of the industry promoting health and a positive mindset so well. As they have huge followings the amount of young people they would be reaching out too is massive.
I think another important thing to do if you are modelling or wanting to pursue it as a career is to find other hobbies. This way you won’t over think not landing gigs and instead have something else to focus your mind on so you don’t panic when you’re not working. It can be mentally draining when one week you are really busy and then the next not at all. It also creates a safe zone as you never know when your time is up. Having something else up your sleeve will always leave you witha back up and surprisingly make you better at your job as you feel at ease, enjoying the process instead of wanting to “nail it” always. This is why outside of my work I am a personal trainer, I act and run my blog – www.callmekath.com.
I think there are good and bad things about working as a model but one thing I know for sure is to survive it you must be comfortable in your own skin and know who you are outside of the job. I love being in the position I am to hopefully inspire young girls to get confident and never let what society says stop them from chasing their dreams. This applies for whatever you are doing in life! People will say “you can’t”, “you won’t” and “it doesn’t” many times along the way. I mean look at me for example, writing an article on “being a model” when I was one of the shortest girls in my year at school… If I said to anyone before I was going to model they would of laughed at me, but hey here I am! Know who you are, what you want, be passionate, be kind and go for it!