Thursday, September 16, 2010

Celebrating the Path...and Emulating Gabby

How is it late-September already?! Okay, so I already know the answer... I've been, shall we say... busy. I would venture to guess that you all have been, too, and hope you are happy, healthy and enjoying the beginning of fall.

I finished polishing the final draft of my novel and celebrated with my mother and a group of close friends at a "Novel-Tea Party." I knew as soon as I started my novel that I wanted to share and celebrate its completion, before and regardless of agent/publisher interest. (It's all about the journey...right???) Thus, I scheduled the party before my up-coming meetings with two agents and before my truck-load of query letters go out. The party was a blast, its main hight light, hearing of dear friends' wishes, successes and dreams. I have a feeling that the lot of us will reap success from simply spending that time together... I feel I already have. (Thanks, you guys!)

Our collective dream-board:

Speaking of dreams, one has been drifting through my thoughts since I read Yahoo News this morning. The 25th anniversary edition of Elle Magazine features Gabourey Sidibe—the talented actress and star of the movie, Precious. In my eyes, there is no one better suited to grace the cover of Elle than Gabby. She is beautiful inside and out, talented beyond measure and inspiring to boot. I wish more women, men and children accepted and loved themselves as I've seen Gabby express in interviews. They lightened Gabby's skin substantially for the shot, however, and revealed very little of her physique.

As someone who has been on both sides of the photoshop issue (I've seen photos of mine photo-shopped in various publications and have had various parts of my body "stand-in" for other more recognizable peoples'...whom, I can't say...or I might end up in the hoosky...) I have a serious problem with the images the general public is faced, no—bombarded with. When I was modeling full-time, I often tried to justify my career path in my head. "It's like basketball," I once coached myself. "Some people are born athletes." And I was born...photogenic? Unfortunately it isn't simply about photogenic-ism or how well one moves before the camera. I'd feel far more pride regarding my modeling career if the industry portrayed, and society accepted or demanded, a broader definition of "beauty." Some days I feel we're making progress...others, not so much.

I hope we can all emulate Gabby's character. She is a model in truest form:

mod·el (mdl)
n.: One serving as an example to be imitated or compared; worthy of imitation; a preliminary work upon which others will be based