Image: Cameron Biggs

A Model Monologue

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Last term I decided, on a whim, to audition to become a model for the LINE Fashion Show this Spring. Not necessarily expecting to hear back after the audition, I nervously curtseyed at the end of the audition and I was rather surprised when they said they wanted me to join the team for the show.

The overarching theme for this year’s show is “freedom”, and that is naturally a rather broad subject. The LINE team broke the word down into three categories which include ‘political’, ‘party’, and ‘provocative’.

This really got me thinking about my own sense of confidence and sexuality

When asked whether I would be comfortable with joining the ‘provocative’ group, I was initially sceptical. I have always had a love/hate relationship with my body, and the idea of a room full of mostly strangers looking at my potentially nearly-nude body was terrifying.

I figured that, although the entire scenario was something outside of my comfort zone, this experience was something I could grow from. So in the tradition of “in for a penny, in for a pound”, I joined the group and awaited further instruction.

A few years ago I was a victim of sexual violence and the experience stripped me of my sexuality and my confidence

This really got me thinking about my own sense of confidence and sexuality. I am not the most confident person, despite being talkative, and my sexuality has become a deep point of contention recently. I am so used to my body being either berated or commodified that I have very little confidence in it at the best of times.

It was only after all of this self-loathing and regret that I realised the importance of what the team are doing with the show. I am being dressed in a provocative manner not to please anyone else, but to reclaim myself.

A few years ago, I was a victim of sexual violence and the experience stripped me of my sexuality and my confidence. Being ‘provocative’ became something so terrifying that I chose to hide my body, rather than embrace it.

The show really encapsulates what it means to be powerful, confident, and brave in the modern world

I have been on a very long path of rediscovering exactly who I am, and this show has come at the perfect time in my life. At the start, I was certain that it was ‘just clothes’ and that I would have a little bit of fun, but now I think this experience is giving me so much strength.

I have regained so much confidence through doing this. Rather than being afraid, I am proud that I get the chance to walk in this show displaying every bit of cellulite, every mark, and every scar. None of this detracts from my ability to be “provocative” and to be in charge of my own body.

If the LINE team wanted to give their audience a sense of what freedom is, I can at least say that from my perspective I have grown and gained so much of my liberty back. The show really encapsulates what it means to be powerful, confident, and brave in the modern world.

We are an incredibly diverse assortment of heights, body types, races and beliefs, but that inclusivity just makes the message even stronger. In a global climate where discrimination and hatred seem to be so rife, it is refreshing to experience an environment where everyone is free to be themselves.

It is easy to believe that this show is just about some clothes, and it’s easy to come along just to go to the after party – which I’ve heard is pretty good, actually. But I would urge anyone attending the show to really consider the gravity of freedom and the powerful message which the LINE team are trying to put across.

Emma Johnson

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