The day I saw Kuro’s photography in my news feed I thought, “Who is this photographer?” I found his work so beautifully understated and enchanting. I started digging and soon discovered ‘SLV Models’, an up and coming model agency that Kuro had founded at the start of the year. We met soon after for coffee and talked about his life in Holland and the inspiration that led him to launch a model agency that breaks the mold, in terms of what we perceive to be “model material” here on the island.
Now, obviously, I am not a model! I have never had illusions about walking down the pasarella hand in hand with the likes of Alessandro Michele. And yet, there I was, in Rooi Spoki taking “spontaneous” photos with Kuro. And then he said it: “You should try modeling!” (Immediate shock and horror!) Uh, what? How did we get here? How did I get here? In the back of my mind, I could hear the voice of my friend, Joann, saying, “Abo tin durf pa haci e cos n’ey!” Me? The durf? Does it really just come down to that?
The truth is, she’d be right: durf or confidence is a key ingredient to looking and feeling stylish. Even to the point where you might find yourself feeling comfortable enough to strike a (maybe awkward) pose for the sake of a good photo. This is what I try to instill in the people I style and in those who invite me into their homes for Closet Overhauls.
Personally, it took me many many years to develop the durf to do this sort of thing, but here are some tips that can help you to feel more confidently stylish:
1. Get Naked
We spend a lot of time covering up and manipulating the illusions created by our bodies and I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “I will wear this when I lose weight” or the even more popular, “I bought these jeans two sizes smaller because I plan on fitting into them someday.” We are constantly wishing for what we used to be or for what we think should be. How about loving the body you are in now? Doesn’t matter if you are chubby or skinny, tall or short, young or old. Take a few minutes every night before bedtime to look at yourself in the mirror,…naked. Yes, naked! Just as we have grown accustomed to the sight of our clothed bodies, this exercise can teach us to accept things as they are, build self-acceptance, high self-esteem and confidence.
2. Listen To Uplifting Music
Name that tune that has the power to wake up your inner diva (or divo!). Mine is RuPaul’s 1993 hit, “Supermodel (You Better Work)”. As soon as this tune comes on we start walking down imaginary runways; it’s so silly but…it feels so good! I love listening to music when I am getting ready for the day because it keeps my energy high and positive while I decide what to wear.
3. Dress The Part
Dress with the event that you are going to in mind. Think about who else is going to be there. What is your role at the event? Are you the supportive friend who is not upstaging the blushing bride? Or are you the newly promoted boss lady? It’s important to ask yourself these questions to help you achieve a well put together look. If this sounds like too much to think about, try laying out your outfit the night before to give yourself some extra time to reflect. Knowing what you are going to wear may give you an extra kick in your step.
4. Fake It Till You Make It
Ok! So there are some days that not even RuPaul can help you feel good about yourself. You are tired, overworked and your confidence is low. That’s when you just have to “fake it”…that’s right, fake it! Fake your confidence and soon enough, you’ll start to feel a little better about yourself. You’ll walk straighter and you might even get a compliment or two. Give it a try!
5. Biba bo Bida! (Mow Your Own Lawn!)
Constantly comparing yourself to your friends, celebrities on TV (*cough-cough* looking at you, Kardashians) or even that well-curated Instagram account is a surefire way to get down on yourself. It may be time to unfollow those accounts that are causing you to feel not-so-stylish, in favor of another that might inspire you to try a new look or an exciting makeup routine. Avoid wishing you had your colleague’s body or your neighbor’s bank account, and live your own life to the fullest! Embrace the beauty of your individuality and where you are today.