Life is certainly a journey with many ups, downs, u-turns, and upside-downs so to speak. I am writing this particular blog not to boost my ego but to inspire, uplift, and hopefully spark your inner fire. You may not know, but I was a model from a young age. I grew up in a middle- class family where both of my parents worked full-time and had limited time to bring me, their young daughter, in for model castings and jobs in New York City. But despite a tight work schedule, they made it work.
Modeling sounds glamorous right? From getting pampered with hair and makeup, your own personal stylist, and then, to standing in front of the camera and look beautiful it sounds pretty amazing from the outside view. I put in 20+ years in the modeling industry which was more of a challenge than simply looking beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, my modeling career treated me well; it gave me the opportunity to travel around the world meeting wonderful people from various places. It also paid very well. But unlike a 9 to 5 job, every day was completely different from the next, and I made great friends who are close to my heart to this day.
Something was always missing for me though, I felt as if I wasn’t “giving” enough throughout my career. As a model, I was mindful of what I ate and was body-conscious 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At times I never knew when my next photo shoot would be, and so maintaining tip-top shape was necessary to make my modeling agency and clients happy with my image at all times. At the time I modeled, the “plus-size” market and/or full-figured and curvy body types were not popular or accepted as they are today (kudos to those ladies today, you’re killing it!). Skinny was “in”, and skinny I was! If you ask me now, looking back, “a young, skinny, pretty model” was a plan for disaster. However, growing up in the modeling world and fitting into a stereotype, was all I knew. I suffered eating issues, I lacked confidence whether it be my agent telling me my thighs were too muscular and needed to make them smaller by a certain date, or comparing myself to the other blonde in line at a hair campaign casting. The fact of it all is that whatever I did to try to fix my appearance it was never “good enough”, and that tormented me internally. I had to fight through it for years, and I did.
I am really glad I did because without that self-growth and perseverance in the hardest industry known to mankind, I wouldn’t be where I am today, creator and owner of my beauty business, Brow Eyed Girl. See, I didn’t attend college or earn an MBA – I went to cosmetology school because my mom said, “Courtney you need to learn some kind of trade because modeling isn’t going to last forever.” Well, I sure proved her wrong because I never did hair and continued modeling for well over 10 years. Without my modeling career and experiences, I would have definitely thrown in the towel plenty of times when times were super tough. I felt I was drowning starting my one-woman show as a business owner. Yup, scared shitless. But, that “thing” that was missing in my modeling career, was finally found. It was GRATITUDE. There was very little, if any, gratitude and gratefulness in the modeling world, much more self- absorption and arrogance.
Today and every day, when I step into my Brow Eyed Girl studio, in Millburn, NJ, there is gratitude within my four walls. I see it at the end of every session with my clients. Whether it’s reading a new positive review on Yelp, receiving a text message from a client excited about how much their brows once bothered them for years and now they have brows they thought weren’t possible or a simple hug of excitement from a client. At the end of the day, I am fulfilled and content with my career turn from model to entrepreneur because I can make others happy and confident. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchhill.
I hope you found this brow blog helpful! I’m always looking for blog topics so if you have a great idea or question, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you are in the New Jersey area, come by my Millburn, NJ brow salon and say hello!