"You're basically doing porn."
"What would your grandfather think of you doing this?"
"What is your future husband going to say when he finds out?"
"What are your children going to think? What if they tell their friends? You're going to be the mom all the dad's are going to want to fuck!"
"You are closing so many doors to your life."
"You're a slut."
"You're a porn star."
"You don't have the body for this."
"Don't be so pitiful."
"You are so selfish. Go be useful to the world and stop focusing on yourself."
"You're cheap. Maybe this suits you."
"You don't have conventional features to really make it far."
"You'll drop this endeavor just like you've dropped everything else."
"You need to lose weight and get a boob job."
"You're only doing this because you're rebelling against your parents. It's a phase."
"I can't have you around my family if you're doing this." <= (It's my family, too)
That's a pretty decent list, don't you think? Truth be told, it could be longer, but that wraps up most of the unfavorable responses I have had concerning my adventures as a nude model.
If you ever wanted to wonder how other models have dealt with family members being non-supportive, I'm definitely one who can related and understand. So, lets answer a few frequently asked questions:
- How did your parents find out?
- I told my dad. I figured he could respect my decisions as an adult. That turned into an immense stressor for him in which I must promise to never do such things again or I would be kicked out.
- My mom and her new husband (not my father) are very nosey and happen to be a little crafty with computers. They found my Model Mayhem profile and another girl I went to high school with.
- How did they take the news?
- My dad initially went to his room and cried, came back and scolded me, but eventually calmed down, though he did NOT like ANY of this. He is very concerned for my welfare and my safety and didn't want me to be hurt by anyone I didn't know. Fair enough. He even offered to get me in touch with a friend of his who needed extras.
- My mom blew up my phone. When she blows up my phone, she calls 12 times in a row and sends 20-30 texts in the course of a couple of hours. Needless to say, not very positive.
- But they eventually got over it, right?
- Nope. Nope, nope, nope!
- How have you handled it?
- For quite a while, I was heartbroken. Both of my brothers were still minors at the time and the thought of losing them due to my choices killed me. I later realized I would never lose them. Even though we don't talk much these current days due to leading our own lives, our loyalty to each other is far more deep than to our parents due to the hell of the divorce. I knew then and now that the threat of preventing me from seeing my brothers is pretty shitty - especially the calling of cops.
- That list you saw above? 90% of those were told to me by my parents and grandmother.
- I kept quiet about it. I didn't offer any information and simply did me.
- Did other family find out?
- Oh, yes! I got a call from my aunt. Concerned, she tells me the following: "Hey, I just got off the phone with your mother. She was sobbing and angry and saying something about you stripping for money or getting naked for photographers and how it's not moral and something else. What's going on?" I explained to her what I was doing. "Oh, okay! She made it seem like you were prostituting yourself or something! I have a couple questions for you. Are you having sex with people that you're working with?" Nope. "Are you making any money doing this?" Yes, ma'am! "Is your boyfriend supporting you?" You betcha! "Are you having fun?" Oh, hell yes! "Alright! Great! I love you! Have fun! Bring me along to a shoot one day, okay? I wanna see!" Awesome! Love you too!
- My grandfather was disgusted that his daughter and her husband were sending him pictures to look at. He hasn't seen anything nor wants to. We still have a great relationship.
- I no longer speak to my grandmother.
- How do you feel about it now?
- It doesn't bother me. It's not up for debate. Should my youngest brother be prevented from seeing me, it would not be in favor for any party. He and I will be fine.
- Do your brothers know?
- Yes, they do. I made a point to tell them both when my parents went on a tirade so that they wouldn't be fed lies and horror stories and had a chance to hear it from me first. The older one has even seen pictures. I showed him. I wanted to tell them both what the fuss was about, what I was doing, why I was doing it, and my way of seeing things. Coming from a very conservative home, it's natural that nudity be a taboo. Oddly enough, they were both very alright with the situation. They both asked me the same questions. Are you doing porn? Are you having sex with photographers? No and no. Is it fun? I enjoy it.
- You SHOWED your brother your pictures? Wasn't that uncomfortable?
- It was for a couple seconds, then I didn't care. I wasn't doing anything sexual in my pictures.
- And that was it, right? No more?
- Oh, contrare. At one point, my mother started to harass other photographers, claiming I was underage, that they were immoral beings, how dare they do such things to me, etc. She went as far as to call a photographer in the middle of the night.
- At another point in time, she tried to get me kicked out of my house at the time by calling my landlord (who happens to be my boyfriend's mother) and railing her up one side and down the other. She needed to kick me out so that I could "crawl back to my dad so that he can put my life back together."
- You have a lot of drama in your life. Are you okay?
- Hahaha, I love this phrase and question. Yes, I'm fine. I used these experiences to mold myself into a better person. Recognizing opportunities to verify your reasons for doing what you're doing is invaluable. I did quite a bit of growing through all of this and continue to do so.
- Is modeling really worth putting your family at risk for never associating with you again?
- Yes. Here's why: No one can live their lives at the whims of others. They cannot reach for a star if someone tells them no. If he or see reaches for a star and discovers that this star is not for him or her, he will have learned something along the way, at the end, then redirect his course. Consider the words of others, the values, the pros and cons. Seek guidance and be very conscious of yourself and your reasons for any action that you choose. That's why I have been able to stick with modeling for over three years. I didn't start this out of rebellion, though it was a little highlight.
There you go. If you think you've got it bad, I hope I have you beat. I wouldn't wish my experiences upon anyone, but I do know that I learned much from these past few years. It has been ultimately worth it.