Healthy Living

Why the Modelling Industry Just Wasn’t for Me

Okay so a few weeks ago, I posted a blog on my life and some of the struggles that I went through to become who I am today. I didn’t get the chance to talk about modelling and my personal experiences in the industry. From doing photoshoots to working big events, it was honestly fun for a bit but over time I learned that it wasn’t for me. An industry that is solely based on your looks and not your skills or personality pushes unhealthy habits on young women and I eventually learned that the hard way.

I feel like so many people are fed this illusion through social media and advertisements that models live a perfect life where they always feel confident and everyone adores them. But the reality is that there is a lot that goes on behind closed doors which is why I decided to write this blog.

Let me start by saying this- I’ve stopped doing professional photoshoots and attending castings and I’ve never felt more confident! The modelling industry made me feel like I had to always care about the way I looked and I am so happy that I finally feel free to be myself.

The Harsh Reality

I started modelling when I was about 19 and my first photoshoot was for the Toronto Sun Newspaper. I didn’t take it too seriously at first, but as my following began to grow and as I started to get more opportunities, I naturally put more time into it.

If you scroll all the way back on my instagram feed to my first posts before modelling, I would post things I was interested in like crystals, nature and healthy food. But as I started working with more people, I stopped posting the things I liked because I felt like I needed to fit in. I started uploading photos of me in my bikini and selfies because those are the photos that got the highest engagement amongst photographers and brands. I was also copying what I saw a lot of other models doing.

I completely lost my sense of individuality. I was smart, enrolled in Pre Health Sciences and had a passion for natural health but I didn’t feel like that was valuable. I put all of my self worth in my appearance and started to disregard the things that made me unique. And the interesting thing is that you still see this playing out on a lot of models feeds.

The reality is that the industry is extremely competitive and puts a lot of pressure on young girls. You have to basically fit yourself into a box and follow today’s beauty standards to attend castings. If you’re too short, too tall, overweight or underweight- you won’t get called back and they’ll make it apparent why.

I remember being told so many times that I was too short because I’m only 5’2 and look too young multiple times. It eventually got to me and became an insecurity which is something I don’t even care about now.

The sad thing is that after attending multiple castings and not getting called back, you can only really attribute it to your looks since that’s all the industry cares about. This is exactly why there is such a high prevalence of eating disorders in the modelling industry. Approximately 40% of models have eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder.

What we are doing to young girls in exchange for photos is extremely detrimental to their health and our societies beauty standards. Women are literally starving themselves and getting cosmetic surgery to sustain an industry by men, for men.

We are trusting an industry that is run by men to tell us what women should look like.

I personally think that the whole industry is flawed. Sure, there are plenty of good agencies and photographers, but that’s not the problem. The problem is the image the industry is selling to young girls. We should be teaching young girls to strive for more than just looking good in a photo.

I never thought of the fact that younger girls may be looking up to me until recently and that’s what made me really want to change.

Because it would have only taken one model or influencer to open up about these things to make me feel okay with being myself at 19.

I’m so happy that throughout my modelling experience, I was in school. But many young girls don’t pursue schooling and just get right into modelling just because of what they’ve seen on Instagram or on billboards.

But don’t let that fool you, so much more happens than the public sees.

Healthy Living

Natural & Simple Ways to Get Better Sleep

We have all been there… tossing around for hours trying to sleep and not knowing what to do. You are not alone! An estimated one in four Americans suffer from insomnia, but luckily 75% of those cases aren’t considered chronic. This means that there are ways to get a good nights sleep without having to resort to pills or other drastic measures.

Here are 4 simple tips on how to improve your sleep:

1. Get more exercise:

One of the main reasons why people suffer from symptoms associated with insomnia is because they did not get enough exercise throughout the day. You may travel to and from work or school, but physical activity is different than exercise. If you have difficulty falling asleep at night, try going for a 30 minute jog around your neighbourhood or even do an at home workout. The main goal is to increase your heart rate through exercise so that you actually feel tired afterwards.

2. Take a hot bath before bed:

This may sound ridiculously simple, but a hot bath can be so relaxing if you think of it as something therapeutic, rather than just washing off before bed. A study found that taking a bath at just the right time and right temperature can improve ones quality of sleep. According to the study, bathing 90 minutes (1-2 hours) before bed in very warm/hot water can help you fall asleep 10 minutes faster than normal. Try adding it into your self-care routine and you will feel so fresh in the morning!

3. Avoid Electronics before bedtime:

Laying in bed while scrolling on social media can become a very unhealthy habit if you let it. It may be difficult to fall asleep some nights, but going on your phone and looking at stuff online will actually make you stay awake for longer. Not only does it increase your brain activity, but blue light affects melatonin levels. If you are someone who is guilty of this, try keeping your phone away from your bed at night. It will make it a lot easier to not just reach over and instinctually grab it!

4. Practice Meditation:

Meditation is great for so many reasons! It allows you to be in the moment, focus on your breathing and even promotes sleep. Having a busy schedule may not allow you to sit down for 30 or so minutes and focus on relaxing, but you certainly have the time right before bed! Try laying down in bed and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, while focusing on relaxation & peace. You may find that you still have a million thoughts racing through your mind, but with practice and patience, you will master the skill.

Other Helpful Tips:

  • Make sure your room is adjusted to your needs. If you get hot at night try buying a fan or sleeping with lighter blankets. It’s important to make sure that your environment is set just the way you like it.
  • Make sure your bed is clear of clothes and clutter. Always clear off your bed before you sleep, otherwise you will feel stressed throughout the night.
  • Invest in nice bedding. If you haven’t bought a new sheet set or comforter in a while- now is the time! You would be surprised by how much comfy bedding will change your sleeping experience.

Thank you for reading my blog on how to get better sleep! I hope that you can take something away from it and apply it to your lifestyle. If you enjoyed this blog, please check out my posts here.

Healthy Living

Tongue Diagnosis: The Basics

The tongue is a very interesting organ that is often overlooked in Western Medicine. But in TCM, the tongue plays an important role in assessment and diagnosis. The tongue is the only organ that can really give us an idea of our internal health and displays a lot more than just oral hygiene. Have you ever noticed that no matter how much you brush your tongue, there is still a coating? This coating can tell you so much about your lifestyle and can even be linked with certain symptoms!

The way this works is that in TCM, parts of the tongue are associated with different internal organs. The colour, coating and size of the tongue are all taken in mind when doing a tongue diagnosis.

This map of the tongue is generally used when doing an assessment. It’s important to notice if there’s a difference between each section or organ. In some patients, there are purple spots or cracks on certain areas. This is all normal, and can be changed with the proper lifestyle and diet.

Here are four key descriptors when looking at your tongue:

  • Body Colour: Pale, Red, Crimson, Purplish Blue.
  • Body Shape: Enlarged (Swollen), Thin, Deviated,
  • Coating: White, Yellow, Thick/Thin
  • Texture: Moist, Cracked, Rough, Peeling, Slimy/Greasy

In this blog, I will go into depth about what each tongue colour signifies, associated symptoms, and small lifestyle changes that you can make. A healthy tongue should be a fleshy pink with a bit of a coating. The sides should not have teeth marks, and it should not look swollen or thinned out.

A Pale tongue is associated with deficiency in TCM. It’s linked to fatigue, poor appetite, pale complexion, spontaneous sweating, feeling cold and tired. It’s generally seen on those who eat foods that are colder in nature such as raw foods, fruits, salads and vegetables. These foods are amazing for you, but in moderation! If your tongue is pale, it’s because you are eating too much cold foods. Try cooking a bit of apple with cinnamon or adding ginger to your diet. These foods will warm your interior and help ease some of the mentioned symptoms. Another useful tip is to soak your feet in a warm bath when you feel cold.

A Red tongue is linked to many heat symptoms such as constipation, skin irregularities, feeling hot/thirsty and having trouble sleeping. A red tongue is generally seen when someone indulges in spicy foods and is a result of too much heat in the body. To cool your interior, try eating more foods that are colder in nature such as fruits, salads, vegetables and fruit juices. You can also try meditating because heat is also linked to irritation and a bad temper. Mint is great for cooling the body!

A Purplish Blue tongue is linked to blood stasis. Blood stasis is when the blood circulation in the body is not optimal. This can manifest as headaches, pain, cold limbs, varicose veins and digestive issues. A purple/blue tongue is generally seen in older patients, smokers and those with less nutritionally rich diets. A purple tongue signifies that both diet and lifestyle need to be improved. The best thing to do if you notice your tongue is purple or has purple spots, is to start exercising daily and go for a massage. Also, incorporate nutrient rich foods into your diet such as black beans, lentils and avocados. This will improve your circulation and therefore ease pain and the above mentioned symptoms.

Aside from the appearance of your tongue, please make sure that you are properly nourishing your mind and body. This means doing what makes you happy, eating nutrient dense foods and practicing self-care. Never forget how important you really are!

If you want to learn more about how TCM theory works, click here.