Maybe I’ve always wanted this. Maybe I haven’t. It depends on the day I’m asked, how recent experiences have set into my mood.

This question is a frequent one. It is also one I have become more than fatigued of.

“How did you get into the modeling industry?”

I so badly want to give a line from Superstar and laugh myself away, but it is much less glamorous and definitely as boring as the inquiry itself. I’m from Alaska. No one is going up there to find a damn thing and the gold rush is long over. There was no agent plucking me from my hometown and hurtling me to stardom after scouting me at a beach. Shit, there is no beach. I worked for this – in a mundane and unexciting way that mostly involved the local YMCA, broccoli florets for every meal, and my sister-in-law.

I wanted to be a model. For how long, I’m not sure. But I did want to be a model. The prospect of being involved in something that inundates society seemed enticing and I pined for it. My sister-in-law is a photographer and opportunity opened by way of familial bonds. She took photos of me, I built a portfolio, and sent it out.

Of course it isn’t as nuanced as that. There was a lot of work that went in. Countless hours spent watching the black of a treadmill disappear and appear again, celery seasoned with the salt from my tears, and sacrifice like I had never experienced before.

In the beginning, it seemed much easier but that was probably because I was more naive. My first professional contract was from Vivien’s Model Management in Sydney, Australia, and despite my initial protest and hesitation (because it was on the other side of the world), I signed and left the United States shortly after.

That was how I got into modeling. That was how it started. How it has transpired from there is a convoluted tale of tumults, ups, downs, and heartbreak.

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