Fashionably Redefining Motherhood

In celebration of Mothers Day we feature one young mother’s adventure into the world of Fashion Modelling.

By Shontel Vanterpool

Some may why wonder at this stage in my life I entered such a fast paced, somewhat age oriented industry. Well its quite simple; at some point in our lives we sometimes reinvent ourselves. Some may take up a hobby, take trips or even drastically change their image, for me it was trying something new.

As a twenty eight year old mother of three I dared to enter unknown territory signing up for the Winnielle Model Management (WMM) 2011 empowerment course and so my journey began to take shape. Being also a Rastafarian by religion, this step along my new found path would prove to be a challenge on this sometimes rocky journey with the occasional conflict of principle.

After signing up for the Winnielle Model Management; WMM as its affectionately known, empowerment course, I only then wondered what the course would entail. I was a bit nervous and excited at the same time, soon nervousness took control. A thought struck me “is it going to be a bunch of tall, super slim, very young girls?” Pondering this I thought to myself that as I was not that slim and somewhat curvy, is this really for me?

That uncertainty disappeared when I reminisced of a previous conversation I had with Ms. Winnielle, WMM’s CEO/model trainer. I remembered how she spoke about beauty being diverse which I was pleased to hear her say as this truth I feel is so often forgotten within the fashion industry and even the general population.

The masses tend to fit into the mould given by the mass media and I saw this opportunity as a chance to change perceptions; beauty, age and motherhood are what we perceive them to be, not what others tell us they are, but how each individual perceives them.

The time for the course was quickly approaching. We received an email as what to expect on the first day, which was orientation. I felt out of the loop “make up she said?” I whispered to myself while reading the email. Something I did not own nor knew anything about; what to buy, or how to apply it?

I decided to ask a question. Winnielle informed us she would help those of us who needed help applying makeup and that makeup application is an element of the course. I was so relieved! No way had I wanted to apply make up and look like a clown. As I and the other participants, were engaging in online chat prior to the start of the course I realized I was not the only one new to things like make up or even modeling on the whole, I felt more connected.

The day was finally here to meet my new acquaintances, what type of personalities would I meet. At first glance looking at the girls, I thought “wow they are all my little sisters,” both in age and familiarity. The friendliness we all felt upon meeting created an indisputable bond. We all soon became friends within the sessions as well as in our personal lives.

The genuine love and family togetherness the WMM empowerment course fostered was undeniable, a bond that can rival any elite sorority or the closest family. I was also delightfully surprised to meet a fellow mother amongst the girls and even a childhood friend whom I had not seen for a long while.

After orientation, we were now ready to move forward. The course was intense, very extensive and we dived straight into training. Each week the sessions covered various topics such as fitness and health, time management and make up application, presented by very professional and motivating guest speakers. Each week’s session contained a unique well rounded learning process coupled with intense insightful runway and poise training. The topics covered were relevant not only to the fashion industry but of value to be incorporated into our everyday lives.

Skills and moral values such as disciple, time management, respect and self worth were among the curriculum of the WMM empowerment course. It was now time to execute what I had learned, the photo shoots were a revelation. The unseen preparation and work that goes into a single photo or a photo shoot on a whole gave me a new found sense of appreciation for teamwork. The shoots were fun and at the same time focused and professional.

Coming to the end of the experience, uncertainty reared its head. I agonized whether I would be chosen, were I marketable; better yet I thought, is the market ready for me?

After thinking about the entire experience, I deliberated; I put in a good effort and what will be, will be. To my joyful surprise, I was among those selected to sign a one-year contract with the agency, graduation kicked into emotional overdrive. My official journey as a WMM model was soon to begin as a married mother of three at age twenty eight (28) proving it is never too late to pursue your interest even in a age oriented industry such as fashion.

After successfully completing the course, I know the learning process is still ongoing and I hope to continue striving in my endeavors; the evolution of motherhood is upon us, the modern mother is a multi-tasker, a utopia of diversity. Learning is a part of life, it has no end, and it does not stop with school nor marriage and most definitely not motherhood. The evolution of motherhood is upon us; she is strong, courageous, resilient and humble.

Salute to all the mothers with or without child.

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