"The search for the "ideal" perception/body is a never-ending cycle."

"I started having a strong attraction towards the fashion world when I was 13 and like many traditional Asian families, my parents immediate concern would be if I could build a future for myself. Naturally, with all the love in their hearts they advised me against it but I was adamant, and when the opportunity came to further my studies in Canada, I pursued towards fashion. 

As a model and progressing in the fashion world, I've had much fun modelling for new aspiring brands to established ones like CanadaGoose, Gucci, and Lululemon. Seeing that I am happily pursuing dreams, and with with the minor success, I finally gained the support of my parents.

Like any industry you pursue, there is going to be the UPs and DOWNs, you would think as a model I am always confident in my own body and that's the general stereotype. There were numerous occasions especially when I first started out where I looked in the mirror and doubt my body image if I am good enough. The fact I am putting myself in a vulnerable state where my physique is constantly being evaluated. I remember there was a time where I was rejected a job while doing a fitting, the harsh comments from the designers saying I wasn't tall enough and my boobs weren't big enough. These comments kept me awake at night and I soon learned - to focus on what you have rather not what you don’t have. 

These words becomes a mind set and I slowly started gaining confidence in my own body image and with that confidence, I began pushing myself out of my comfort zone and doing what I need vs. what I am comfortable with in my career. I was having much more fun connecting with people at work and along came better opportunities. 

Truth is, most organizations prefer younger models that fall within a certain age group, with a certain physical attribute. The requirements of these become even more rigid especially if you want to progress onto an international stage or platform; the search for the "ideal" perception/body is a never-ending cycle.

Thankfully, today as we see society being more educated and aware in terms of how one should define and view beauty as being "ideal". We can see a more inclusive approach to the selection of models.

In the end, I believe it’s the mindset and attitude you express while at your craft. Enjoy and love what you do in the industry you work in."

-Jessica Zhu, Lizbell Agency

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