Why it’s better to bury friendships sometimes…

Hi everyone

This post is more of a way for me to get things off my mind than anything else. It’s something that has been bothering me for a very long time and I know many people won’t read this or won’t care, but that’s okay. I’m not asking for sympathy, I just want to get my emotions and thoughts out.

I’ve never been one of those people who have a lot of friends. Until quite recently I had no one who I could even call a friend, except for Katy, who has been a good friend to me for over 10 years but lives on the other side of the world. I’ve always dreamed of having that best friend that everyone else seems to have and do everything with. So naturally, whenever I make a new friend here in South Africa, I want the friendship to last. But sometimes in my quest to keep a friend, I end up having to suffer in one way or another. They only come to me when they have problems but never listen to mine, they always borrow money from me when I barely have enough for myself but won’t do the same for me in desperate times, they backstab me, they tell lies to my friends and family to ruin my reputation, the list goes on. Sadly over the last 10 years that I have lived in South Africa, I have had a grand total of 8 “best friends” who were very toxic people and brought me down, some of them even going so far as to try to sabotage my entire life and make me want to (and in some instances I even tried to) end my life. But I held on to them for as long as I could because they were all I had. I don’t really want to bore anyone with the details of what happened but if anyone is interested then they can message me and ask.

Anyway, for a long time I would do absolutely anything for a friend, even if I knew they aren’t good friends to me at all. I would allow myself to be used by them, just to have the ability to call them my friend.

And sometimes, after realising what they really were and having a huge fight (sometimes not speaking to each other for years), I would make the mistake of giving them another chance and letting them back into my life. Don’t believe the “people change” and “everyone deserves a second chance” bullshit because surprise surprise, most people don’t change. Not even one bit. There have only been 2 cases in my life where people changed and we could become friends again.

But over the past few years I have come to realise what a true friend is. I have my best friend in the entire world who is also my soul mate – he has always been caring, understanding and supportive from the first day we even spoke to each other and would do absolutely anything to make me happy. I have three other people who I really feel like I can trust with my life and always know how to make me smile, even though we don’t see each other often. Two of them are new friends that I only met this year but have done so much for me already. For the first time I know what it feels like to have friendships that aren’t one-sided. Friends who actually care. Friends who put in effort to see me or do something nice, just because they felt like it. Friends who treat me the way I’ve always treated “friends” but have never been treated before.

And because I finally know what real friends are, I won’t settle for less. I won’t take people’s shit anymore. I won’t surround myself with negative people who only drag me down even further. There is a difference between a friend in need and a “friend” who plays the victim, and the latter isn’t good for me, or you, or anyone for that matter. Don’t let “friends” walk over you or make you hate yourself or your life. It’s not selfish to want to be happy, so don’t let “friends” take that happiness away from you.  Unfortunately, sometimes that means letting go of a friend you really care about. It hurts but in the end, it’s what’s best.

Sorry for the long rant.

J
xx

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A rant about the modeling industry…

It seems like every second girl is a “model” these days – with their bad photos that look like they were taken with their phone or a point-and-shoot camera and their dreadful posing, makeup and styling. I’m sorry but if you want to call yourself a model, the least you could do is groom yourself properly for a shoot, practise poses, get a makeup artist (even if you think you are good with makeup, if you aren’t amazing, get a makeup artist!) and get a decent photographer. My mentor once told me – if you can’t sell the photos, they shouldn’t be in your portfolio. Don’t waste your time on those dreaded GWC’s (Guys With Cameras – aka the guy who just bought a camera and thinks he’s a photographer, which is another issue on its own).

I have been modeling since 2011 and while I know I am not the best model, the first thing I did when I wanted to start modeling was to pay a professional photographer to get a decent portfolio to start with – before I even told anyone I was a model. That is how it should be done (unless you were scouted by an agency which unfortunately is highly unlikely), not by getting your best friend to take photos with your digital camera in a park and call it a photoshoot. Yes I did shoot with some bad photographers, but you won’t see any of those photos on my social media or portfolios anywhere anymore. I’ve learned that one photo can destroy your entire career. Whether it’s a dodgy concept you shot, a bad photographer you worked with, or just a highly unflattering photo of you. You should set a standard and stick to it. Don’t shoot with photographers who don’t meet your standards, even if they are your friends or are paying you. It’s not worth destroying your reputation as a model.

Another thing that gets on my nerve these days is that every second model is a “professional model”.

Do you do this for a living?
No.
Then you are not a professional. You may have a professional attitude, but unless this is what you do for a living, you are not a professional. Even if you do some paid shoots once or twice a month, it is still a hobby, not a profession.

I mostly do paid work, but give allowance for one or two TFCD (Time For CD – aka free) shoots a month, depending on the quality of the photographer’s work. Even though I get paid for 3 or 4 shoots a month, I still would not be able to quit my job and do it for a living, so I am not a professional and I don’t pretend to be.

Stop calling yourself something you are not. Work to achieve that goal but do not lie to people if you are not a model or professional model yet. You are giving the rest of us who are working our arses off to be successful a bad name.

Rant over.

Yes, I know this was harsh, but unfortunately someone has to tell it like it is.

I hope that some people in the industry will share this so that people can see and hopefully change their attitude to try to be a good model.

J
xx