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Monday, May 2, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #136

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi Dania,
My name is Jennifer. I am kind of paranoid when it comes to fashion shows. I was in some and I am uncomfortable (this is also the part I am paranoid with) with the boys walking passed the girls dressing room. It just makes me want to close the door even though we can't. I feel so exposed. is there any way I can stop thinking of being so exposed? I would appreciate your help. 

Hi, Jennifer! This is definitely a sensitive subject and I hope some of my suggestions are able to ease your paranoia somewhat, although each person deals with this situation differently. Below are some points that I think you should take into consideration that may help put things into perspective so that you aren't as aware about being exposed:
  • Fashion shows are go, go go: Any fashion show involves a lot of running around, quick changes and models trying to make sure they get into their place in the lineup on time. Even though you are changing, chances are the male models that are passing by aren't concerned with trying to play peek-a-boo--they want to make sure they're in their places for the show. And if they happen to be gay, well, you don't have anything that would interest them anyway haha.
  • It isn't anything they haven't seen before: I know, it sounds a tad insensitive but it's the truth. Unless the models are completely new or complete pervs (or both, haha), chances are they've seen their fair share of nude models of both genders and for them, it's just another day at the office. Semi to experienced fashion models aren't even phased by a naked body.
  • Any possible exposure is short lived: Similar to the first point, the time actually spent naked or partially naked is so quick that most times, it isn't long enough for anyone to see anything significant or give them the opportunity to stare.
  • Be confident with your body: We're all human and have our insecurities but if you are comfortable in your own skin, this goes a long way when it comes to potentially being seen by someone of the opposite sex. This doesn't mean prancing around in your undies. I find that the more confident a model is with her body, the less shy or paranoid she's likely to be when it comes to being around male models in situations that deal with changing.
One suggestion I would also make is to become friends with the male models in the show. The more comfortable you are around them, the more of a connection you'll establish. To clarify this point better, I always introduce myself to the male models and talk shop during rehearsals, in between shows and during any other downtime. We usually end up becoming friends pretty fast and from there, they develop a higher level of respect towards me. I know that when it comes to shows with male models I've worked with before, they know to turn their heads if I have to change in the same area as them and they also make sure any male models that don't know me behave. It kinda turns into a big brother type of thing. Of course I don't expect you to make friends or even get along with all of the male models you'll do shows with but if you become familiar with them, it can help you feel less paranoid because they won't feel like complete strangers.

It also helps to learn how to dress in a way that won't cause you to be as exposed. This may be more difficult to do since fashion shows require models to change quickly but experiment with ways to remove your top and/or bra while putting on a new garment at the same time, instead of completely being topless briefly when changing in and out. If you can find a corner or area of the changing room where you can be out of eyesight from the male models, that's also an option. Or you can change behind the girls that don't mind being exposed--they can act as a shield for you lol. I've seen girls do this before. So you have options to choose from until you feel comfortable enough to change without thinking so much about who could possibly be looking in.

I hope that helps. Another thing to keep in mind is that the more shows you do, the more accustomed you'll be to the whole changing thing. For some models this level of comfort comes much easier, while others need more time to adjust. But just know that it's all business and all work. If, in the end, you still feel as paranoid as you did in the beginning, don't force yourself to do these types of gigs where you know you'll feel uncomfortable and instead of focus on booking other types of modeling work.

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