What is it like to be a model?
This may just be my first and last time talking about it lol. If you meet me, it's usually the last thing I mention, or you will most likely find out from someone else, or notice it immediately from my social media. It's not because I'm ashamed of being a model, I just rather people get to know and like me for me, and not for what I do.
But okay, let's get this one-timer out...and quickly. So, modeling. It's stressful!! I drink lots of coffee, I don't sleep, and I always want my mommy lol. No, modeling, yes it is a lot of hard work, long hours, a lot of coffee, and you're on your feet most of the job [And in heels] but like any job it's super rewarding when you love what you do.
I've been so blessed to work with brands like Michael Kors, Brandon Maxwell, Zac Posen, Carsons and Sears/Kmart, Project Runway, and be in magazines such as Marie Claire, Ebony and Essence. A week of mines NEVER looks the same. From castings, to being stuck in traffic on my way to castings, to last minute bookings, to seeing clients and never knowing what they think of you until you get the "Yay! You booked this client based off the casting you went to this week" or "Maybe next time" or just not hearing anything back at all.
It's a tough industry and being a believer and a professional model, I've had people question the sincerity of my faith based off the industry that I work in. They tell me the fashion world is shallow and vain so why would God have a place for me there? But truthfully, God has a place for His presence EVERYwhere. He is not confined to a church or going out the country on missions trips. But He is in every corner of the world, including mine.
I grew up on the Southside of Chicago and studied Health Sciences in Bloomington Illinois at Illinois State University. My dream was to work as a Medical Lab Scientist and travel the world eating food professionally [Is that even a thing? lol]. I never thought I was the most beautiful girl in the world, nor have I imagined I had the kind of face that would work for big name brands but the Lord has a way of directing you even if you don't understand the "why" behind it at first.
I remember how it all started, I went to Paul Mitchel hair school for a hair cut and this hair stylist named Tommie asked if I modeled. I told her no and she told me I should and instantly connected me with this photographer named David Beasley who was looking to shoot beginner models.
I took photos with him [The photo to the left is his work], I submitted them to agencies, began going to open castings in Chicago on the weekends and next thing I know I was scouted at a runway show by a boutique agency in Chicago called Lily's. It was a one year process. I stayed with Lily's a little over a year before transitioning to one of the leading modeling agencies in the Midwest called MP Chicago [Formerly Elite Model Management home whom discovered Cindy Crawford and Gisele Bundchen].
Early on, I knew three things. I wanted to be a Medical Lab Scientist, I wanted to be a professional model and I wanted to help people. And almost instantly I realized how God can fit into the modeling industry.
I've been modeling since 2010, professionally represented since 2013 and I've been able to connect with SO many women. From 6yr olds to 60+. I'm constantly around young ladies who are still teenagers trying to figure out who they are, where they fit, and Whom to believe in. I entered an arena where Christians rarely go and it's been SO encouraging and fulfilling but not too long ago I began to struggle. I would sit up at night and ask my husband "Kevin, do people see me, or do they see the Lord?" I would text my friends the same thing. "Jenean, Brittney, what do you see when you look at my modeling career? What does my social media display more of? Me or the Lord"
What most people want to know about my modeling...
"Dominique, do you get to keep the clothes you wear?"
"Dominique, who have you worked for?"
"Dominique, what magazines have you been in?"
"Who have your favorite clients been?"
"Do you travel a lot"
"What does your husband think of your modeling?"
All those questions are so...blah lol. I'll answer them if anyone responds asking me to but what I want people to know about being a model is that the Lord has called us to practice Christianity in our every day life. Not just on Sundays during a two hour service, or during those food drives around the Holidays or on missions trips. He doesn't want to be involved, or be just a side piece to "your plan". He IS the plan. I remember being a child, you could catch me at EVERY Sunday service [including Sunday school], let's not forget choir rehearsal on Monday, praise dance rehearsal on Tuesday, ROTC rehearsal on Wednesday [Yes, we had an ROTC team...and it was lit!], Bible study on Thursday, youth night on Friday, and i'm sure Saturday I was somehow in the church. But the thing is, I wasn't any more saved than the worst sinner. Like my brother in Christ Dewayne Reed said recently in church "The only difference is, I heard Jesus name more".
Being Christian is NOT about performance, it's about Jesus changing our heart and our lives being a reflection of that. It's friendship with Him, knowing Him, and being known by Him and letting your life and relationship point others to the Good News that friendship with Jesus is extended to them as well! Jesus is the only God.
My heart is for the Lord. Whether i'm modeling for Michael Kors or at home "modeling" a house coat while washing dishes, whether i'm out the country eating the finest of food or eating Chik fil a on my couch with my husband in my pajamas, my heart is for others and what keeps me up at night is not knowing I just had on 5 of my mortgages in a dress, 6 car notes in shoes, and 8 round trip tickets to China in jewelry [SERIOUSLY not even joking... it's crazy what people spend their money on!]. It's not even the hype of the music and flashing cameras as I walk down the runway... what keeps me up is if I let God use me enough that day. Did I make his name more known or mines?
Take a few minutes of silence. Think about how you can let God into your everyday life/career more