Nikia: Since you came of age while modeling, I figured it would be great to get your opinion. When we talked a few months ago, you mentioned that your ideas about your image and self worth were a bit warped because you grew up working as a model. Can you explain? Now that you’re older and essentially retired, how do you see yourself now? Has your opinion of self changed now that you’ve gained perspective?
Diana: I think it’s important to note that I was 5’4″ chasing a career that actually has a height requirement. If you’d asked me 10 years ago about my height + body weight, I would have grumbled while telling you that it’s an absurd notion that a specific height is something that is considered beautiful and perfect. 10 years and one retirement later, I’d tell you just the same, as it has always been a source of frustration.
We glorify models and forget to humanize them. Models have insecurities because their life is essentially a walk through a hallway of rejection. Non models feel criticized, insecure and just the same. It’s a girl thing.
My insecurities began at 13. I was knock kneed, flat chested, pocket sized and too skinny. I’m still very much the same. The same insecurities remain. They are so deeply embedded in me at this point.
Diana: With that said, there is something wonderful that has happened as of late. I’m in my early 30’s, a retired model and I’ve found myself perfectly content. There are tiny moments I catch myself day dreaming of what my day to day existence and career would have been like if I had only been 5”9 and “perfect.” It would be so nice to not have to climb the shelves at the grocery. It’s pretty silly, really.
I’ve come to realize that every being slips into this cycle of wishing for unattainable things and that’s disheartening. My only hope for everyone is that they have moments of appreciation and self love, especially young girls in modern society.
Beauty lies within the soul, something I’ve always known. Social media and fashion publications are merely the edited version of things.
Don’t spend time comparing yourself to an alternate version of reality. Find your beauty within. Continue to work on yourself. Get healthy. Eat well!!! Embrace the change in your body (it’s inevitable) and accept others for their uniqueness and individuality.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the most beautiful people in the world. They have been every color, shape and size. Their beauty was intangible because it was just part of their core being. Be a beautiful human and watch your problems diminish. Seriously.
You can see more of Diana’s life and work on her Instagram.