Loss and Gain

The other day, I sat down to a plate of roasted squash and beets seasoned with the herbs growing on our dining room table. I was surrounded by friends, sharing wine, and helped myself to seconds of everything. I finished with banana “nice” cream and dark chocolate. I’m trying to gain weight, and lift my spirits. Despite all the home-cooked dinners with my favorite people, it’s been a tough month.

Ford, my agency, has closed a vast majority of the company here in New York. This means hundreds of models scrambling to find representation elsewhere. Most of the models and bookers I know have found their way to new agencies. A few have simply given up on the industry. I’ve been lucky enough to find something new, but it was still a hard farewell.

My board at Ford was precious to me. It was my home. All the models were close friends. Each of the bookers was a trusted ally. We were a family. Everyone was encouraged to be authentic and true to themselves. The models on our board were never told to slim down or trim up. We were all in it for the long haul. I often found myself describing how unique it was to be amongst all ages, sizes and shapes of men and women working with some experienced and hard-working agents. Looking back, we had some great times, from the company softball team to seeing our ex-ballerina booker cross-dressed in a Hooters outfit dancing on stage. I consider myself lucky to have been on the team for so long. It made a huge impact on who I am as a model and who I am as a person.

As I’ve reconciled myself with the end of that stage in my life, I’ll admit that I’ve been stressed. The end was sudden and unexpected. Up to the moment I found out the board was closing, I was excitedly working towards new projects and ambitions. All of my hopes and expectations seemed extinguished in an instant. It hurt like a bullet wound to the chest. Although I’m sticking to a nutrient-dense diet, I’ve still leaned out. My already fit body didn’t keep much in reserve, so such a ground-shaking event left a girl like me looking very underweight. As things reach a new normal, I’m gradually starting to feel better and look more like myself. Many who have reached out with concern or support have helped me greatly. I love all of you. I’m also extremely lucky to be roommates with a caring man who can assure anyone who asks that I’m not skipping meals. Just tonight I came home to Scott in the midst of icing a homemade cake saying, “Let Them Have Cake, no, Let Us Have Cake!!”

As I dug my spoon into some of the leftover frosting he packed away for me, I thought about all I have to look forward to. Work is coming in. I’m staying with part of my old team, following my old booker to her new agency. It’s a new chapter. Although nothing will ever replace the people and the community at Ford for me, my new life will be great in its own right. As I continue on into the future of the modeling industry, I will always have my past at Ford to look back on.

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