As part of the board, I was required to help with the biggest fundraiser of the year- the BPEC Fashion Show. Early in the year Melanie (the QUEEN of the Fashion show...this lady really knows how to plan an event and sure does a fantastic job at it!) mentioned the need for models. Basically stating "if you can walk in a straight line and don't faint with lights shining on you, YOU can be a model". Well I meet *those* qualifications. And I also figured, since I had to be at the fashion show anyway, why not be a model? It could be fun.
Being a model did require a bit more advance work (fittings, rehearsal). But still, I was feeling okay with it. Then this week, I needed to get a few things in order...new undergarments...you all heard about the new non-nursing bras - of course I was rather regretting having weaned Soren for my deflated breasts did leave a lot to be desired. I now understand the need for the "push-up bra" and some pantyhose with spanx to make the middle jiggly section less, well jiggly. My long black boots were in TERRIBLE shape, so I headed out to the mall for new ones (of course all boots are on clearance as it the end of boot season and finding my size, 8.5 proved difficult being its a very comon size). I did score boots at Sears of all places. Size 7, which were WAY BIGGER THAN 7! And fit just perfect. I almost didn't try them on except for desperation and that they were on sale for $29.99 (regular $125). Was I glad to have tried. They fit perfectly and I bought them, as well as a brown pair in my proper size that fit just as well as the horribly mis-labeled size 7s.
Wth l all my items secured and ready, last night I was starting to think about it and wondered *WHAT* the heck I was thinking when I agreed to do this. I'm not a shy person, but I'm not all that outgoing either. And I'm not necessarily all that comfortable with my body. Especially the post-pregnancy, post-nursing body I now have. I knew the fashions we had chosen were well suited for my body and that I didn't have anything to worry about, yet it did hit me and I was nervous. And I think rightfully so. Walking the "cat walk" in front of 200 other women is a big deal. I know they are all moms and grandmas, all part of our program and all supporting us models, yet I couldn't help but wonder what gave me the courage to say "I'll do it!" when those 200 others didn't have that courage. My friend Bobbi pointed me in the direction of another friend's blog about how she had gone to a fashion show with "regular women" modelling lingerie. She talked about how she felt she'd never have the courage to model, but then about how she thought all these women were so beautiful, never had a thought at all about any part of them being anything but beautiful and how they probably were really glad to have done it even if they were unsure of their own body-image. This boosted my courage some and I thought about how I would view ladies like me on-stage. I know I wouldn't be looking at their flaws but instead admiring their courage. It was just what I needed to prepare myself.
Bright and early this morning I made my way to the Castaways with a van full of opportunity baskets that had been piled in there the day prior. I had my make-up and hair done. The hair-style was *just* what Melanie and Melissa had asked of the stylists...sleak and sexy, NO Prom-night dos, but I had NEVER gone with a straightened hairstyle. It was not at all what I had imagined (I go for the flowing slightly curled natural do whenever I have it done at all) yet it was hip and fun and sleak and well, perfect for the occasion. The make-up while there was a LOT more than I'm used to (necessary with all the lights I'm told), was not at all clown-ish or overdone. I felt so Pampered. Something I would not have gotten out of today had I not been a model.
Then we waited. I helped with baskets, with balloons, with a variety of things. Then I enjoyed the company of friends and dropped my tickets hopefully into the bins for several baskets, but mostly in the basket with the Wii. call-time came and I got into my first dress in the tiniest room with too many of us crowded in there trying to dress. As we taped the dress to my breasts (just in case!) and I slipped my shoes on, I thought "this is it; no turning back...it's ON". We waited backstage; all a bit jittery and talking about nerves, fixing tags and little showing bras, etc. and the music started. I was THANKFUL to be in the middle of the group. not first, not last. And when the time came, I took a deep breath and walked confidently on stage. My floor-length green dress (from Diana's Boutique) flowing as I walked. I remembered to take my time, look both directions into the crowd and Strike a pose at the end of the runway. Turned to show the outfit to the side audiences, and to show off the back, and then stepped down off the runway and backstage. It went so fast and such a BLUR. I don't remember making any eye-contact with anyone on that walk, and I *think* I remembered to smile, maybe not while walking but at least when I posed. I didn't trip and 1/3rd of the show was now done!
We were excused to our tables (after changing back into our own clothes) and I got to eat most of my salad, when it was time for us to get dressed for the second segment. The gals at my table graciously held my food for me as well as my opportunity basket tickets so they could claim the basket for me in the case that I actually win one when not sitting at the table (wishful thinking huh?). The girls all thought I had done a great job and loved the dress thinking I should purchase it after the show. I might have, if I could imagine wearing it enough, but being floor-length its not one I can wear to casual events and realistacally, I just don't have enough formal opportunities to warrant another formal dress.
The second segment was from a store called Volume Jeans and we all had jean dresses, jumpers, or pants. Mine was a zipper-front dress, which was a great length for walking the fashion show but I doubt I'd be comfortable in it for anything else as when I sat in it, it krept up tooooo high! It was cute none-the-less and the black boots went fantastically with it. This walk down the runway was more relaxed (I had enperience now!) and I KNOW that I smiled more. As I was walking off-stage this time, I heard a few compliments on the boots, which made me smile.
The final segment I wore an extremely cute handkerchief hem green, black and white dress. Casual, yet able to be dressed up or down. It was one I would NEVER have pulled off the rack at a store to try on, except that the store-owner had suggested it. When I put it on; it was PERFECT for me. Highlighted my cleavage, showed off my legs, yet was conservative enough that I was comfortable in it. My confidence was much higher for this last segment and being that I loved the dress, I felt all the nerves go away. I KNOW I Smiled a lot and I made eye-contact with several audience members. I can actually say I FELT GOOD up there. And as I exited I got MANY compliments, that people liked it and it suited me well. I had intended to buy the dress from the day I had tried it on two weeks ago, but following that segment when about 10 people said it was great, I should get it, there was no question. I purchased the dress from Divazz and was thrilled to have *something* to bring home as I was *not* among the lucky winners of an opportunity basket.
I am so thankful for the opportunity I had today to step out of my normal comfort-zone and model. I am so glad I did it. So glad I put my inhibitions about my self-image behind and took the courage to step out on the runway and so relieved that it is over and I can go back to my "normal" life. Will I be a model again next year? I think so. Why not? I've done it before!