4: 4 – A IS FOR ADVERSITY
by Jeremy Danté
the last and stongest, yet most fragile of all our agency values is adversity. i sat and contemplated so much about what adversity means to the industry, to the culture, to the models and lastly, what it has meant for me. there is an interesting cross over of the creative and personal, the logical and the emotional that has become highlighted for me. aspects of process that i find successful creatively or in business have an alignment to things i am aiming to do emotionally, or even romantically. all relationships connect. success should connect not separate. the greatest adversity that one can face is that of themselves. and in the process of development, or even re-development- especially for models, is them facing themselves. to tackle the uncomfortability of body image, unrealistic societal beauty standards versus contrast to fashion fantasy. to face yourself is the ultimate bravery. the hardest challenge of life is to consistently change, and grow past what you even thought possible.
through the development and re-branding of dehonney, we did a lot of emotional work, and built a bond like family to really take push single aspect of career and comfort against the rails. challenging gravity and rejection aggressively, but strategically. knowing when to listen, when to speak, when to push, and when to ride the current. it’s all a delicate dance, and adversity has shown its face in the industry in so many ways. in this space, the promotion of models of color has been what set us apart. with the creation of LITA, this is the same mission; almost an extension of the cultural activism that was represented through the content here on my site. as it is more than a blog, i say models do more than model. they represent the similarities and dissimilarities of culture; they are the fixtures that fashion cannot survive without; they are the silent power players who are gracious enough to say nothing, and let their presence do the speaking for them. this requires great concentration, thorough understanding and true loyalty.
all around the world, girls are vying for the opportunity to model; but the market is not an easy one to survive. those that do, have overcome financial hardship, emotional sacrifice and even time away from family. doing show season, shooting editorial, hitting show room appointments in the off season and still managing to keep a 23-inch waist while standing 5’10” is not for the weak. theres a reason why they’re strutting with confidence in the highest heels- they’ve overcome. girls have moments, some burn out; some get tired, others keep going. there are layers to the adversities that models face. among them, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, racial bias among many other things. what is normal, as an industry hardship could go into a whole other exposé; we’ll save that for another time. the last of our 4-part series of values, the “A” is at the front of the alphabet and leads. adversity sitting at the back end of our acronym, is almost symbollic; in that, you cannot discovery the mastery of the other values, without having to face the most challenging of them all- adversity.
i focus adversity, on the ability to recognize oneself. that recognition, for some, never comes. they live their lives in the ideas of others, existing in the circumstances and critiques of others, without learning to elevate past that. some may find this a challenging notion, as models are expected to fit into ideas. but for women, as a whole and societally; it’s almost as if they need to know the rules in order to break them. the challenges i’ve faced as a mother agent, have resulted in time spent developing models that never get to see the agencies, because creative pathways differ after a year. another adversity. but there is power found alongside the pitfalls. and while i speak intentionally vague to leave room for interpretation, for all- not just model; recognizing yourself, the error of your ways, and how to move forward with corrective action that is self directed- that is the real adversity to face. adverse is to oppose ones desires; but those desires need to be yours before they are defined by anyone else. you are first, always. and the centering of that focus is not selfish, it’s success. to align yourself align, truly, is to do so with the higher power that rules over all.
this is the fourth and final installment of this series
read all 4-parts of this series, for the full development methodology of LITA
for more information visit http://LITAmotheragency.com