A change could do you good


I recently discovered a very glamorous side to volunteering when I volunteered to model at a charity fashion show to raise money for St. Ann’s Hospice. I had secretly dreamed of being a model when I was younger, perhaps we all do. It would be amazing if someone stopped you in the street and signed you up to model agency. I'm not sure that has actually ever happened but it would be nice if it did. When I tried on the clothes before the event I was a bit nervous as I'd recently had a baby but I was assured that the models would be just ordinary women. I got myself some sturdy underwear just the same. On the night I arrived to have my hair and make-up done. It did feel quite glamorous to be pampered but I wasn't sure whether being a model is all it's cracked up to be. I was quite tired from all the pouting, sucking my cheeks in and closing my eyes. I'm not sure if I could sit for hours on end having my hair and make-up done every day. I didn't know any of the other models but as we waited together I learnt that some of the models were volunteers at the hospice and others were employees. Everyone was very friendly and supportive. As it got closer to the show itself I started to become nervous and wondered why I had volunteered in the first place. We practiced walking down the catwalk and it was quite a strange experience. I suddenly became very self-conscious. All I could think about was tripping and falling off the catwalk into people’s tables. Too late to back out now, it was time to vacate the hall as the audience were arriving. All we needed to remember was to smile and walk slowly. There were three models before me and I noticed how confident they all were.  I became a little bit self-conscious when I realised that some of the models were several dress sizes smaller than me. It was now my turn. I walked out onto the catwalk and was delighted that the audience looked very friendly. They greeted me with a warm applause and thankfully I didn't fall into anyone's dinner. By the time I'd taken my first trip down the runway I was actually starting to enjoy it. The final outfit was eveningwear and this time we had the opportunity to walk down the runway with a man dressed in a kilt. I walked down once with the escort and informed him that my next walk would be alone. I felt I needed to do this for all woman kind to show that you could stand alone without anyone’s help. After all, where was he when I walked down the catwalk the first time?

I don't think there is a career in modelling for me but it was a really fun and empowering thing to do. I would recommend to anyone to give it a try. Although it is daunting at first, looking glamorous in nice clothes, whatever your size, can give you confidence you didn't even know you had. I hope that I made the ladies in the audience feel that by being a real woman they could get a sense of how the clothes would suit them. There are many fashion shows at local schools and local charities such as Home-Start and Willow Wood. If you don’t fancy modelling then just going along can raise lots for the charity and you might bag yourself a few treats. Over £3000 was raised for the hospice on the night.  For me it was great to be able to support a worthy cause in such a fun way. I now hope that I can walk down the street with the same confidence, and you never know, that person from the model agency might stop me yet.