Best Self Magazine

From #MeToo to #WhatNow: A Former Fashion Model Puts The ‘Self’ Back In Self-Empowerment

From #MeToo to #WhatNow: A Former Fashion Model Puts The ‘Self’ Back In Self-Empowerment, by Kristen Noel. Photograph of Kristen Noel as a young fashion model.

After being contacted regarding a #MeToo article, a former fashion model revisits her own story and finds inspiration to shift the bigger picture narrative

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I don’t talk a lot (if ever) about my former modeling career. It feels as if it’s a distant and closed chapter, long tucked away like the heavy portfolio I used to tote around on ‘go-sees’ as they were called, which were appointments to see clients. Yes, this was long before the digital era, long before selfies, mobile phones, social media and iPads and constant connectivity by virtue of our electronic devices. Calls were made from public payphones. Modeling was real. Very little, if anything was ever retouched. Photos were shot on film and carefully rushed by nervous assistants to photo labs to be developed at the end of the shoot day. There were no filters and there was actually something raw, simple and pure about it. Unlike today.

But within that purity and that lack of digital interconnectedness, lay a world where information was hard to come by and deviant behavior could go unknown. There were no online forums, no cross-referencing and researching — no way for young models to warn each other about smarmy photographers or agents or any other number of predators aside from the good ol’ fashioned way: word of mouth.

When I ended my career promptly after my 30 birthday, the tides were changing and so was I. The ‘waif’ look was in and I

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