Just doing my job

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

MP Fresh Face

Hey everyone! I was recently invited to be a Madison Plus Fresh Face, and couldn't be more honored and happy to do it. The ladies over at Madison Plus have their finger on the pulse of all things plus, fashion and in style right now for women everywhere. Check them out here:

And while you are there, check out my Fresh Face article with photos. This blog is going to be short since today is a busy one, but I will be back next week with more! Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A job is a job is a... lesson?

This blog is going to talk about a recent shoot I was on and subject matter the marketing campaign is about. Although I believe it is a topic of extreme importance, and something more people the world over need to know about, I want to issue a warning. This warning is mostly for my younger readers who are inexperienced in the ways of relationships and love, and ask that you first have your parents read this blog before you do as it deals with something they may not have brought up to you yet. I will say this, the research on this topic says girls starting as young as nine should be informed, but I realize that is a parental decision and not mine to make. So let's take a brief pause whilst you youngsters do the right thing and let your 'rents know before you read...

Good? Good.

Yesterday I was part of a marketing campaign (in the works) about the virus HPV. This research company is looking to find new ways of getting the word out about HPV, not just to young women, but to everyone. Considering it is linked to sexual health even though it is a public health concern, it can be difficult finding ways to market the vaccine and get information out in general. I understand it is a sensitive topic, but there is so much more that is involved with the over 100 known strains of HPV than most people know about. I hesitated on taking the job initially because my career is so new, and having my stamp on subject matter as stigmatized as HPV scared me a little. But there is one thing I understand: as scary as it is, it is something that deserves attention in order to help save young women's lives. When I arrived at the office, I didn't really know what to expect. And when I left the office, I didn't really know how I felt.

Since the campaign is still in it's infancy and production phase, I won't discuss much on the ads and approaches they are taking to get the word out. I do want to talk about the severity of the virus, and how important it is to take your life into your own hands and get tested. When you start a new relationship, or are in one for years, stay safe and smart and still get tested with your annual woman's exam. As I watched some of the ads they have already made on this topic, I found it really difficult to not get emotional knowing that so many serious health risks, including DEATH, could have been prevented for these women had they been informed, felt supported in seeking information and done something before it was too late.

At the risk of sounding like I am on a soapbox, which is not my intention, I will not go on and on about this topic. There are just a few quick facts I learned yesterday that stuck with me and I felt the need to share.
1. Over 11,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year stemming from the virus HPV.
2. Not all strains of HPV are incurable, lead to genital warts or cervical cancer, but with so many strains out there, is it worth the risk in NOT getting tested?
3. Pre-cancerous cells are showing up in women with certain types of HPV as young as 22 years old.

I apologize if this subject matter and this blog upset anyone or made anyone uncomfortable. Trust me, the whole time we filmed yesterday, I was uncomfortable. But sometimes it takes getting out of our comfort zones to really learn something important. Think of it this way: When you or someone you know and love finds out they have pre-cancerous cells or complications stemming from a type of HPV, and they didn't know it could have been prevented because they weren't informed, yet YOU did - how uncomfortable would you feel then?

I wanted to come back and add something very important that I left out earlier, and it's something that gets left out when talking about HPV quite often. If you are diagnosed with any form of it, it is not the end of the world. There are so many resources out there to help you live a healthy life even with HPV. It's not knowing you have it, not getting tested and being uninformed that leads to the most severe consequences of this virus. I just want to be clear on that. You can still lead a healthy, vibrant and happy life even with HPV. But knowing and staying informed is your greatest tool for success.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Always learning...

I think it's safe to say that since I have arrived in NYC in January, I have hit the ground running and done very well in terms of making progress in my quest. I do my best everyday to make new contacts, go on auditions, meet the right people and just put myself out there in general. I have learned a lot about myself in the years prior to coming here, and even more since being here - even if it has been for just a short period as of yet. For the most part, I am what you would call an idealist. I like to think of the perfect situation or outcome to a situation, and focus of that. I work hard to get what I want, and can sometimes be stubborn about it (and really bummed when it doesn't happen). I believe wholeheartedly in the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction. Whatever you put out in the world is what you will receive back from it. I don't believe in dwelling on negative outcomes or possibilities, and I try to distance myself from people who do.

What's the point of all this, you ask?

Well, I have done so well focusing and working hard on my career dreams of being a professional in the entertainment industry that I have lost sight of being a success in my day to day life of being a self sufficient, independent adult. Sometimes the downside to being an idealist is that you don't realize you are not being a realist. This is not intended to be a negative blog. I am not at all coming down on myself for anything, but I am learning. As much as, like Rihanna, I "want it all - the fame, the money, the cars, the clothes" - I also want to be completely self sufficient and strong within myself emotionally, mentally and financially. Modeling is a great paying job. One of the best. And for that, I am grateful. But it doesn't really matter if I don't make the effort to invest - not only in the stability of my financial future - but also in the care of my soul.

Maybe this blog is just a rant. Maybe its just a selfish, cathartic act. And maybe it's how I see it. A lesson. I read something really inspiring the other day from Rob Brezny. He said our hearts were made to be broken. Each time it breaks, it opens that much more for love to hold space. I like that. It's not just romantic love that causes our hearts to break. We break our own hearts. The important thing here is when it heals, it's more open for love to enter.

This lesson has been tough, but I think it's the best one I have been given in a long time.