photography by Julia Trotti
Hair and Make-up by Lidija Jevremovic
My welcome basket to a new place or a place that’s new again is always, without fail, some sort of upper respiratory infection. The skies were clear, there was even a drought. Then I arrived and the clouds came with me, bringing rain and the weakening of my immune system.
I write this from bed.
My throat feels like needles are set up to prod at every swallow, burning and scratching until I cough up an irritant.
But alas, I’m still here.
This week, I pushed through photo shoots, even stripping down to bikinis (which couldn’t have helped this ailment whatsoever). I am consistently amazed at what my body and psyche are capable of taking on.
Of course I have felt the strain outside of this infection. Doubt and frustration have crept in again, making me feel useless in the mornings and defeated at night.
Some things have changed.
The work is slower here than I had anticipated. Too often, I’m sitting in my room when I know I should be working (if only there was work for me). I realize now how much social media has taken over this market and how I should refocus myself towards that. I feel old. I feel out of touch.
“I can’t sell health and not be healthy. I can’t sell nature and not be natural. Its not how I work; its not how I exude myself. It never has been.”
When I was here last, social media and its consumption had been on the rise. As I try to keep myself and my writing as honest as possible, though I do know I can be hypocritical, its difficult for me to play the game as hard as others do. I can’t sell health and not be healthy. I can’t sell nature and not be natural. Its not how I work; its not how I exude myself. It never has been.
So, as I type this, I have to refigure out this business and how to tackle it in a way that is true and authentic, rather than something that I feel would damage myself, my image, and those who watch me. This proves to be a more daunting task than one could think.
And I’m still here. I’m still wriggling my elbows in for my spot. I’m still trying to champion for those looking up to me, those young girls and young boys who need a champion.
I’m still trying.
The game has changed, but I’ve never been in the crowd. Always in the arena.
And though my voice is breaking from this sickness right now, I will always use it to speak the truth. I promise.