“Be Prepared was a breath of fresh air within an industry that usually places busy schedules and tiny hip measurements before physical and mental wellbeing."
Being a model can be very demanding, with long hours, early call times and last minute jobs it can be a challenge at the best of times- throw London Fashion Week into the mix and the result is chaos! It’s safe to say it’s an extremely draining time and the craziest thing about it all is the lack of support or preparation you receive for the journey ahead! Hence why I was so excited to hear about the modelme ‘Be Prepared’ event, a week of fitness classes, talks and workshops to educate, empower and prepare models for all things fashion week.
When I showed up I was expecting a room full of tall, long legged women sharing stories about last season’s triumphs and mishaps but instead I was met with was a group of all different kinds of people from fitness bloggers to photographers. That’s probably what I loved most about the event, how it opened its arms all to all creatives, with the aim to educate people about the fashion industry, the positive benefits of exercise and share key skills, tips and strategies to prepare everyone for ANY big life event... not just London’s catwalk season! I almost wish I had a “Be Prepared” week for everything, exams, job interviews, auditions, you name it! It really was that good.
Each day of the week began with a fitness event and workshop followed by a panel discussion, Q & A or an additional workshop in the evening. The people Natasha had brought on board to present at each event were truly exceptional. From wellness coaches and nutritionists to sustainability advocates and international models; the wisdom, encouragement and advice each presenter shared was incredibly insightful and I really felt as though they understood what I was going through and wanted to help! How many people actively go out of their way just to help you cope during stressful times? And not just any people... complete strangers? Not many. So this was a real inspiration for me.
What really stood out to me from the entire week was the emphasis on self- care. Each talk had this weaved in it somewhere and the best part was that every single person spoke about real self-care, not just the candle lighting, long bath kind of self-care, but the challenging mental kind. The putting yourself first and loving yourself despite failure or rejection kind of self-care. We were given tips on how begin each day with a calm and present headspace, advice on how to cope with casting rejection and ways to increase your confidence and self-belief! A space so open and loving was mind-blowing and really needed in an industry so cut throat. I especially didn’t expect this from the fitness events or instructors. It may sound silly but with classes in some of the top gyms in London like Blok, Victus Soul, Rowbots and Core Collective I kind of anticipated instructors that would shout at your if you missed a squat jump or something but I have never been so wrong.
The fitness instructors were extremely encouraging, helping us with each exercise if we ever made a mistake, constantly motivating us with affirmations and showing praise for all our hard work and effort. Feeling a sense of acceptance in a fitness class; particularly if you’re not in the ‘best shape’ can be pretty challenging to achieve, yet every attendee left these classes with energy, a positive mindset and an air of confidence... even if they weren’t the “fittest” in the room.
By the end of the week we had really built up this strong sense of community, the people who were only supposed to come to one event ended up coming to multiple, we exchanged details, organised coffee dates and some even arranged photoshoots! At the conclusion of every event you could physically feel the shift in everyone’s energy, there was hope, excitement and determination in the room… we were truly ready for whatever we had come to “prepare” for. AND we even got snacks to help us on our way, what a plus!
Goodie bag treats aside, my biggest takeaway from the “Be Prepared” week was an overwhelming sense of empowerment. An immense, and truthful courage that allowed me to feel as though I could not only cope with any casting director’s criticism during London Fashion Week but also with my own self-doubt and negativity.
If I had to describe modelme's “Be Prepared” week in one word... it would be POWERFUL.