I've been kind of a studio hermit here for the past eight years. I don't get out much, and I certainly don't stretch my comfort level to places of... discomfort. Why should I? Hmmm... then again, why shouldn't I?
I am not a clothes person. I share half of a small closet with Rick, and pick from a standard selection of jeans and black things. For me, the most important part of any outfit is the jewelry, and that's where I put my attention. I'm not even particularly comfortable in my own skin, which makes shopping for clothes no fun at all. In fact those little dressing rooms feel more to me like tiny, personal torture chambers. You will put this on, and you will look at yourself, in harsh light, and from all angles! I generally cry and run away. Ask my daughter.
A couple of days ago, a friend called me and asked if I would be willing to model for the clothing store she works for. Yes, model was the word she used. And without thinking, some insane part of me said, Sure! It sounds like fun! Of course, after hanging up the phone I realized I had lied. It did not sound like fun. It sounded terrifying. And because of that, I decided to go through with it.
So I drove out to the Overland compound yesterday morning, and arrived at Blue Fish at the appointed time. Jill was there, the wicked friend who had called me to do this bizarre thing. And Karena too, who had modeled the day before, and was back for another round. Off we went, to the back rooms of the oversized log lodge, and along with four other models, we were handed layers and layers of clothing I had no idea how to wear. Fortunately, we had a stylist, who gently guided us to wear this, then this, then this, and to put us in the right shoes and check our makeup before sending us downstairs to the empty restaurant we were shooting in. All day, up and down the stairs, in endless combinations of the newest collection, all in white, purple, and green. Not a smidge of black in sight. I was, most certainly far, far outside my comfort zone.
Fortunately, some of the models knew what they were doing, and were friendly and willing to help us novices. And Carol, the photographer, coached us through, click by click, until, by the end of the day, it wasn't really all that horrible. We finished up and then went into the store to shop for our payment. They pay in clothes. And even though I'd been in the store before, I didn't own anything from there because I didn't know how to wear it. But after a whole day of sashaying around in the stuff, I was better able to poke through the racks and find some pieces that suited me. I even found something black, and went home feeling sort of pleased with myself.
As I was leaving, Carol asked if I would go back next month to model for the next collection. And what do you know - that same insane part of me again said, Sure!, and marked it on my calendar. I guess, as we go along, the main point is not to be comfortable at all times. I don't think it's to be miserable either. But maybe stretching ourselves a bit beyond our comfort zone now and then can have a ripple effect into other areas of our lives. In this case, at the very least, I might get over my fear of fashion. And if it works out, maybe I'll even fill the guest room closet with beautiful, maybe even colorful, clothes.
I'm not sure when my pictures will show up on the Blue Fish website, but I'll probably let you know...