Why A Role Model Can Help You Through The Struggle
Being a confident adolescent is challenging enough, struggling to fit in and being liked. And with all the media portrayals of "perfect" women, having high self-esteem is not always easy. But there's those moments when we can find positive role models in the media, women we can look up to and aspire to be like. My prayer is that you'll find some of those women on this website.
April Star is one those girls who found a positive role model in Canadian super model Winnie Harlow. They both live with the skin condition Vitiligo. Winnie's breakthrough came when she participated in cycle 21 of America's Next Top Model. Although she didn't win the competition, but placed 6th, her spotlight was enough to gain the attention of designers who wanted her to walk on their runway. She was also on the cover of the September issue of Ebony Magazine, alongside other gorgeous models in all shades of black. (Colorism 0 - Black-Beauty 1).
Unlike April, Winnie reveals in the video below that she didn't have the same confidence growing up although they were both subject to bullying and verbal abuse. Another great distinction is that Winnie didn't have a role model that looked like her to look up to.
And therein lies todays lesson. What you go through is rarely, if ever, only about you. The challenges you face, the hardships, the struggle, and even the blessings, there's always a bigger picture. You may not ever get a international or even a national stage to share your story, but there's always someone watching. Trust me. You think you're invisible and nobody sees you, nobody cares, but people notice how you carry yourself, how you react, and how you're going through. They may not always say something, but out of the blue you'll get the occasional "oh I remember back when you were such-and-such" or "I used to see you over there then you stopped coming." It's happened to me and I was so surprised, and others have told me too, how someone they never expected, was "watching" them.
I understand that while you're going through the struggle, being a role model to somebody else may be the least of your concerns, you're just trying to make it through the day, the week, without completely loosing your mind. But if you're looking for meaning behind it all, you are in a position to counsel and encourage someone else who'll go through what you've been through.
Pursuing your dream is more often than not a challenge and regardless of your circumstances or challenges, never give up. Not only will you be glad you didn't, but those coming up behind will be too.