How do you know what to say when there is so much you have to say?
When I was asked to write that first article of the Curves Management blog series, I was on board instantly. You must know I’m always excited about all types of opportunities to express myself. However, I soon saw myself confronted with my usual dilemma. It’s just that there are so many matters I want to shout out and confront people with. For that reason I sometimes lose sight of where to start and what’s right, in what place. On top of that, this article is supposed to give you guys a sense of who I am. So I’ve been thinking and thinking and typing and deleting. And I came to realisation that with 2017 that just came to an end, a little bit of a reflection on what this year has been for me (in terms of modeling) might do the job - for now.
To begin with, here’s something I assume to be quite useful to know:
It's Tammy Mohr talking to you, a curve model, originally from Germany. Besides the modeling, I’m currently working on finishing my bachelor's degree anytime soon. My studies have been (and are) all about feminism, gender diversity as well as media science. For the past years, I dedicated all of who I am towards these topics. My art, my projects, my travels, my activism, my academic work. I wrote papers about how women are represented in the media and its resulting effects on us. Hence at some point, I felt like knowing all about it, in theory, was not enough no more. I wanted to take a walk on the practical side to get that glimpse behind the scenes. And not just that, I recognized its immense importance and felt a strong urge to get active. This is why - to cut a long story short - I signed my first modeling contract at the end of 2016.
So here I go. The headstrong person that I am, jumping right into fashion, carrying my idealistic beliefs up high, thinking I could work it in that manner. It didn’t take long for me to realise that I had no clue about the world I got myself into.
How does this work here? How do I position myself? What the fuck am I even doing?
Let’s just put it that way: I felt completely lost.
Until I met a certain someone. By that time he was right in the middle of the biggest breakthrough in his modeling career. He gave me something to hold onto in a world I didn’t understand at all. I gave him the pureness and authenticity he was desperately longing for. And we called it love. And it was real.
With this relationship, I gained more insights into the industry within my first year than I ever thought to be possible. I very quickly learned about both sides, the good and the bad. I started to question what opened up to me, the general concerns and doubts towards the biz evolved, followed and repeatedly underlined by my personal struggles.
“Tammy, you’re neither one thing nor the other”,
“You’re too slim”, “You’re too thick”, “You’re not thick enough”,
“By no means are you a real plus size model”, “The thing is, you just don’t fit in”.
Welcome to the age of Body Diversity, where the industry is finally oh-so-inclusive.
This leads to another point in my little article.
2017 - We scream Body Diversity but exclude the ‘in between bodies’.
I found that there are two extremes I’d be allowed to embody. I could either be the slim model or the curvy bombshell. But nobody glorifies the regular middle. Being in between means being out. Say what? Did you all miss what this movement is about?
So while I’m signed as a model and told over and over how big my potential is, I miss out on lots of opportunities. I was told from day one on that if I really wanna make it and launch a big career, I, therefore, must become bigger.
I started to feel like I’m desperately fighting a battle against an industry, or rather a whole system, that is determinate to not recognize me. By that time, it seemed like I would need to change everything about myself in order to ‘make it’. That was never what I wanted.
I refuse to change my body, it’s my body that will change things.
And even more than changing my body, I refuse to calm my voice and tame my personality.
You know, for high fashion models, self-expression is the tool to stand out from the other girls. In plus, they tell us to tone it down. Well, no! It took me about two decades to grow into who I am today and fall in love with that person. I am not gonna let the industry take that away from me.
I reached the point where I had enough. I must admit that recent events in my personal life played a big part in it, too. At the end of the day, I just felt too small and trivial to have an impact anyway. Everything was draining and looked senseless.
As the turn of the year approached, it was crucial for me to reflect and become aware of what I want to hold onto or release from my life. And as you probably imagine already: I figured I cannot tick the whole cause off just like that. It's certainly not gonna be a fast and easy ride - but I have my drive back.
I am passionate about a more diverse representation. A representation of strong female personalities. Multifaceted women. Of all colors, ages and body shapes. That is what we need!
I do believe in it. I believe in us and I believe in myself. I believe today’s models are the ones to challenge long-established norms. They are the ones to shape a new icon of what is beautiful in an industry that defines beauty. All we’re asking for is the room and the trust of the people working with us to do so. There’s no lack of interesting, exceptional role models in fashion. But the industry doesn’t give us the platform we deserve. The industry keeps playing the safe card. What we need though is a more diverse set of cards that is being played by further, various participants. So now that 2018 has begun, it’s on us to finally, really, fully change the game.
Who’s with me?