Let me answer first the question that leaves some with a bewildered look on their face. How did you go from being a supermodel to becoming a psychology professor and counselor? Maybe not how, because that can be answered easily: I studied, wrote a lot of papers and took a lot of tests. But WHY? The second question is, Why is it important for fashion models to develop their inner strength, CONFIDENCE and beauty?
I took on the study of the human mind and the emotional and spiritual make-up that causes us to act the way we do. Did I do it to help people? Yes, my favorite thing in life by far is helping. All my friends knew that if the shit went down to call me. Explaining what “that blood is between your legs” is, holding a hand through an abortion or an MRI, or helping with legal documents for a will are all examples of times when my internal counselor kicked in. The list is endless. I was born to be a calming presence. Yet, the impetus to embark on a 17-year journey to learn about the psychology of US for anyone else was ME. I was a hot mess and I needed to do something about it.
Very early in my career, even at the peak of my modeling success, I could feel the hopelessness of the world as it showed up in me as my own hopelessness. I felt the pain of the world. Not a news story or neighborhood story could brush my awareness without me feeling the intensity and devastation of the people involved. At the same time I knew the regular consciousness of the planet was changing and I had to delve into this world at more than a physical level of beauty. Hence, the longing I had to be loved for more than a pretty face.
I knew intuitively that in order to pass on real beauty to the next generation that I had to transform myself to be more. I had to seek guidance outside the world of modeling. People in the modeling world did not have the tools of personal, emotional and spiritual transformation that I needed to learn. In responding to my own pain I was preparing to respond to the pain of the girls and women in the future. I needed the guidance of healers, teachers, therapists and a Psychology and Counseling degree to learn about the inner world and not just the outer world. Modeling had been teaching me about one aspect of the outer world, but that wasn’t enough. The single focus on appearances just added to my hopelessness.
I needed to learn to separate myself, put myself first and take care of myself. I needed to recognize the drain on my system of so many people connecting with my energy and how to take care of myself around that. I felt this early and had to get mentoring, teaching and healing from spiritual healers, teachers, therapists, and others who could guide me to develop. So I “retired” from modeling at a time some thought I was crazy. The year I left I’d had my most lucrative year ever. “But why are you stopping now. You’re doing so well? You’re making so much money!” At the time I said my brain was dying. And it was. But the rest of me was as well. I needed to be an integrated human being, not one just playing in the outer realm of appearances in life. This is how a public person, or famous person can live in the public eye and not blow up. They need to be integrated. They must learn to be truly powerful people by caring for themselves first and developing all aspects of themselves, not just their appearance or talent.
Unless models know the role they play in people’s lives, they will run into a sense of desperation that is absorbed from the world and not know where it came from. A model may think, “Oh, I’m just getting money for pictures.” No. People are looking everywhere to find some peace, yoga, meditation and yes, even to the images in magazines. Young women particularly are looking to models.
Those in the public eye, while being wildly successful and blowing up the world financially, don’t want to blow themselves up in the process. Emotional and spiritual work sets a possibility to stand for more than a body, more than physicality and to radiate a certain kind of message about the consciousness we need to bring to everything. In other words, what’s coming through models and actors is really important because that is going out into the world. And it is really important for them to know that those that are viewing them are affecting them as well.
Hence why raising our confidence is so vital.
Be well, Susan