So, I get a lot of questions about my modelling. The main one being how did you start? That's a story for another post. I think a better one to focus on is 'Why did I start?'
I've always loved fashion, and used to spend my pocket money as a teenager on buying fashion magazines. It was a place where 'skinny' girls were considered beautiful and pretty. We all know that kids can be cruel, and my childhood was no exception. I was the girl who was always the tallest, with a spangley frame and no boobs. The first in the queue for the back row on picture day, being the only girl in a back-row sea of boys.
Being so made me a prime target when I went up to high school. When the other girls were all filling out and becoming more curvacious, getting rounder hips and actually having something to put into a bra, I just stayed the same. No curves, just straight up and down. The names flew about, naturally. I was always called a boy for not looking more womanly and called 'chicken legs' because mine were so thin. I hated being thin, I hated it.
|August 2007, aged 14. (I'm the one on the left.)|
Non-uniform day was the worst. I couldn't find jeans to fit me. The length was fine (I had to buy a womens size 8) but at only 11 years old, my waist was too small! Without a belt they just fell to my knees; and with a belt, the material was all scrunched up around my waist and you could see it through the t-shirt I wore. Nightmare. Not one belt I had didn't have a custom made hole, forcefully created by my Mum and her knife she used for chopping vegetables.
I saw being thin as some kind of curse. I longed to be able to wear a bra and actually have something to put in it. Be able to go out with my friends and buy pants that fit, not constantly having to wear draw-string tracksuit bottoms because they were the only thing that stayed up.
I should have gone to an agency then. But confidence was the issue. Being set back by so many people made it hard for me to believe I had it in me. So I just battled on, through my teenage years. Thank God for the jeggings trend, that's all I can say.
When I got to around 18, after I had left school that's when I started to look into modelling more. I had never lost my love for it, I was addicted to America's Next Top Model and was even more excited when they introduced a British version. Tyra was my Goddess. She's taught me so much, and even though at this time I was too shy to put it into use, it was all up there.
I used to practice for hours, poses from magazines, the way light creates shadows, making different shapes with my body and the most famous, the smize. Smizing was key. The signature move, created by Tyra herself involves you 'smiling with your eyes.' You name it, I had tried to learn it.
Admittedly, more than anything I wanted to show the people back in school that being skinny wasn't a curse, it was a beauty and that you shouldn't fight it. (Well I my case I had no choice, having a Dad who was 6'4 with the same build as me made it inevitable. Also having a ridiculously fast metabolism meant I burned off fat quicker, making me unable to store it.) So there was actually nothing I could do. Overeating became a habit. Snacking on chocolate and crisps in the hope I'd gain weight became a regular habit, but nothing worked.
People always say. 'Oh my God, tell me what diet you're on' or 'I bet she doesn't eat.' I had that a lot, people thinking I had an eating disorder because I was so slim. Nope, I ate (and still eat) like a horse; and didn't my family and close friends know it. I can put food away, no doubt about that just see me at meal times, I'm always the first person going up for seconds.
So how about now? Well I'm still thin, my overactive metabolism makes sure of that. But I've learned to embrace by figure and see it as a blessing and not a curse. What do people say now? I get most women saying 'You have such a lovely figure.' 'Aww give over, thank-you.' I reply modestly. But to hear that means lots. Although it was just comments, it hurts more when you're younger and the verbal scars don't heal as quickly as you'd like. They've stayed with me for a long time.
Me earlier this year on my 20th birthday, slightly more filled out.
It was kind of justification when I ran into one of those guys I used to go to school with, on my recent birthday. He came up to me and said 'Are you a model now?' As much as it's kind of petty to say, I loved it. I just nodded my head and smiled, and replied with. 'Yes, yes I am.'
See my modelling progess at www.facebook.com/kirstybuttlemodelling.
Thanks for reading guys, feel free to ask me questions by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or add me on Twitter @KirstLeedsModel. :)