As a plus-size woman I’ve grown accustomed to being rejected because of my physical appearance. I’ve always been a big girl, so this issue is pretty moot with me on most days. However, once I decided to step out of my everyday life and into the spotlight, that all changed. I’ve gone from a simple life with the support of loved ones who don’t judge me, to a copious sea of harsh and hurtful critique from total strangers and the fashion industry.
Dealing with rejection is a part of the game and it’s just something to get used to. No one ever said the climb to the top was going to be easy. There will always be another model out there fighting for the same opportunities. On each job audition involves the risk of putting yourself out there. While you may think you’re the perfect candidate for the job, you have absolutely no say in the decision making process. There may be something about your look, measurements, personality, level of confidence, professionalism, portfolio, experience or lack thereof, geographical location, etc. that causes those who judge you to say yea or nay. All you can do during the auditioning process is go out there and give it your all, and hope that you make the final cut.
Some people tend to take things t0o personally when they hear the word “no” or the infamous phrase “we’re just not interested at this time.” It’s at that very moment when the reality of rejection is upon you that your heart begins to sink. Suddenly you’re trying to figure out what went wrong and why you weren’t chosen? Those simple words have the power to bring you to a screeching halt, and make you rethink your entire existence within the fashion industry. No one wants to hear the word no and no one wants to be rejected. What you really want to hear is just how awesome and amazing you are, and when can you start.
While it may be a little difficult to hold yourself together after finding out the bad news, you shouldn’t allow for this to personally affect your mentality and level professionalism simply because your ego got hurt. Now is not the time to let your emotions be revealed. The truth of the matter is that you’ve just got to shake it off whether you want to hear it or not. Otherwise you’re going to become extremely bitter, angry, and lose sight of why you decided to become a model in the first place. It’s OK to take a moment in private and cry it out, roll on the floor in an utter childhood fit, or scream at the top of your lungs. Once you’ve gotten that out of your system it’s time to pull yourself together, and begin to breathe again.
Some American’s tend to become very vocal and highly frustrated towards the working immigrant population at times because their extreme work ethic. At times I find myself reminiscent of the sitcom parody “Hey Mon” on television show “In Living Color”. The Hedleys were considered to be the hardest working West Indian family with always having more than five jobs at any given time. I laugh because I am a Third Culture Kid (TCK), and many TCK’s are raised to work hard because that’s the only way of life we’ve ever known. Our family members continuously strive for more because it has been proven that with persistence and dedication that all things are possible. To us there is no road block that can’t be moved, and the word no doesn’t stop us from trying again and again. With that being said, whether being an TCK or not, don’t let a temporary bout of rejection stop you from obtaining your goals.
Learning how to cope with rejection and constructive criticism is all part of the growth process. It may not be what you want to hear, but it may be what you need to make better and stronger in the long run.