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you vs. me Tyra ūüėČ

So I did a photo shoot the other day with Vivvos (www.facebook.com/vivvos) and it was a mix of things- nervewracking (seriously what qualifies me to be doing a photoshoot?), exciting (yay I get to do a photoshoot!), easy (just smile), difficult (look intense?), and fun (Tomasz you rocked!¬†http://mananetwork.net).¬†¬†Just standing there looking like myself brought all of these experiences to me and what seemed so simple… “look like you”, has much more complexity than I thought.

Looking back on my small obsession with America’s Next Top Model (ANTM), I had never really understood what made a good photo from an average one. ¬†Tyra would say

“it’s not this -[insert dead eye, “pretty”pose here], ¬†“it’s fierce like this- [insert new and improved ¬†pose here], as she demonstrates the difference.

As much as her shameless self promotion annoyed me, she had a point.  It was all in the eyes.  It was about convincing people that you were fierce, in that moment.

I alike it to someone telling you about something in their life… maybe it’s about their job, or their plans, or their boyfriend or girlfriend and even though their words say one thing, you just absolutely know that they feel differently? ¬†And it comes off as fake, as trying, and as inauthentic? ¬†Maybe they are telling you about a new guy, trying to act like it’s no big deal and you just KNOW its more – and they don’t get why you keep grilling them! ¬†It’s because their words are futile…. you can see the truth in their eyes. ¬†And we all have this ability to be able to see the truth, even with strangers.

That’s what a bad picture is. ¬†Trying to seem fun, or intense, or powerful. ¬†It comes off simply as trying, and there’s a weirdness to that. ¬†I got some amazing advice yesterday from a woman who is a networking whiz. ¬†We were talking about a project of mine and her advice was simple – be yourself. ¬†Find a way to make this project about the depths of who I am so that I never come off as selling, or convincing or trying. ¬†That is the authenticity in it. ¬†And what an amazing way to live, to work, to date. ¬†Know who you are and just do things that you are about!

It all becomes easy at that point. ¬†When I was on the beach, the real turn around happened when I started to actually have fun, to feel intense, to feel pretty. ¬†When my dead eyes came alive with energy and passion… When my inner Tyra stepped in and rather than worrying about how it would turn out, I just made it about that moment. ¬†And while I am clearly no catwalking diva, for a minute I was a model (damn, anything is possible!)

So as in most people’s life, as one project is done, ¬†new projects will emerge, new games will be played and the goal is just this – keep creating depth about who we are. ¬†Be it and be true to it and the rest falls into place. ¬†In volleyball, I think it’s official that I am not this zen chilled out player. ¬†And that’s okay as long as I don’t keep trying to be! Just like when I date a guy just because he is successful, or really cute and I just don’t have that feeling. ¬†My doe-eyed ANTM look comes out and I coast through the conversation, uninspired and definitely not my best. ¬†Because it doesn’t ring true to who I actually am.

So here’s to knowing who we are, digging deep and, of course, “working the camera” ¬†[insert annoying shameless self promoting Tyra pose here] ¬†ūüėČ

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