Building Confidence: A Journey, Not a Destination

The Australian Supermodel of the Year Blog by Kal Kalim: Building Confidence: A Journey, Not a Destination

Self-assuredness is often portrayed as the ultimate goal and we frequently hear the advice: “Be confident!” While the intention behind this counsel is undoubtedly positive, it’s essential to recognise that for many young aspiring models, it can feel like an overwhelming demand, an unattainable expectation and even a source of anxiety.

Confidence isn’t something that magically appears overnight. It is a quality that can be nurtured and developed over time. Instead of merely highlighting the issue of confidence, it’s imperative to provide practical steps and solutions to help young minds build and foster self-assuredness.

The Confidence Conundrum

The call for confidence has become a well-intentioned but oversimplified mantra leaving many feeling inadequate or incapable. This pressure to be confident from the get-go can inadvertently erode self-esteem and exacerbate self-doubt. So, what’s the alternative approach?

Stop Asking Young Girls to Be Confident; Start Guiding Them

Rather than placing the burden of confidence solely on the shoulders of young aspiring models, we must shift our focus to nurturing their growth and development. The journey toward self-assurance should be seen as a series of steps and milestones rather than an immediate destination.

The ASOTY Program: A Case Study

The Australian Supermodel of the Year (ASOTY) program offers a compelling model for this alternative approach. Instead of explicitly selling “confidence-building,” ASOTY takes its participants through a structured journey designed to empower them, all without explicitly addressing the presence or absence of confidence.

Step 1: Self-Discovery

The first step in building confidence is self-discovery. Young minds need to explore and understand their strengths, interests and unique qualities. ASOTY encourages participants to embrace their individuality and recognise that it’s okay not to have all the answers right away.

Step 2: Skill Development

Confidence often grows hand in hand with skill development. ASOTY provides aspiring models with the guidance and resources needed to hone their craft. This process fosters a sense of achievement and competence which naturally bolsters self-esteem.

Step 3: Supportive Environment

Creating a supportive environment is essential. ASOTY emphasises collaboration, teamwork and mentorship. Young models receive guidance from experienced professionals who nurture their growth, fostering a sense of belonging and confidence.

Step 4: Facing Challenges

To become truly confident, individuals must learn to face challenges head-on. ASOTY encourages participants to step out of their comfort zones, tackle new experiences and embrace adversity as an opportunity for growth.

Step 5: Celebrating Achievements

Recognising and celebrating achievements, no matter how small, is crucial for building confidence. ASOTY ensures that every milestone is acknowledged and appreciated reinforcing a positive self-image. 

Step 6: Embracing Failure

Failure is an integral part of any journey. ASOTY teaches aspiring models not to fear failure but to view it as a stepping stone toward improvement. This mindset shift is instrumental in developing unwavering self-assurance.

Step 7: Empathy and Self-Love

Developing empathy, both toward oneself and others, is pivotal in the confidence-building process. ASOTY fosters an atmosphere of understanding, compassion and self-kindness, where participants learn to be gentle with themselves as they grow.

Step 8: Community and Mentorship

A supportive community and mentorship are invaluable resources on the path to confidence. ASOTY models find strength in connecting with like-minded individuals and benefit from the guidance of experienced mentors. 

The Result: Empowered Models

The ASOTY program has demonstrated that by focusing on these steps and providing a structured, supportive environment, young aspiring models can flourish and emerge as empowered individuals. The emphasis shifts from demanding instant confidence to nurturing a journey of growth and self-discovery.

A Journey Worth Taking

Instead of simply asking young girls to be confident, we must guide them through the process of self-discovery, skill development and resilience. Every step taken on this journey is an investment in a more confident, empowered and resilient future.

Modeling agencies act as intermediaries between models and clients. They help models find job opportunities, negotiate contracts and provide guidance in building a successful modelling career. Working with an agency can help you access a wider range of opportunities and professional support.

There are several types of modelling careers, including fashion, editorial, commercial, runway, fitness, petite, street, modest, plus-size and activism modelling, among others. Each category has its own requirements and target audiences.

To start a modelling career, you should begin by creating a portfolio with professional photos. Attend open casting calls or send your portfolio to modelling agencies. Building a strong online presence on social media platforms like Instagram can also help you gain visibility.

Fashion models typically need to meet certain height and body size requirements, which can vary among agencies and markets. However, the fashion industry has become more inclusive in recent years, with opportunities for models of diverse body types.

While professional training and modelling classes can be beneficial, they are not always necessary. Many successful models have learned on the job. However, training can help you refine your skills and improve your chances of success. It is also a great way to network and create a sisterhood.

To avoid scams, research modelling agencies and individuals thoroughly before signing contracts or paying fees. Be cautious of anyone asking for upfront payments or promising unrealistic success. Seek advice from experienced models or industry professionals.

Personal branding is crucial for models in the digital age. Models can use social media platforms to create and promote their unique brand, connecting directly with fans and clients. A strong personal brand can lead to more opportunities and endorsements.

A healthy lifestyle is essential for models. This includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep and effective stress management. Maintaining mental well-being is equally important, so seeking support when needed is encouraged.

Models may encounter challenges like intense competition, rejection and inconsistent income. Maintaining a positive attitude, resilience and adaptability are key to overcoming these obstacles.

The modelling industry has become more diverse and inclusive in recent years, embracing models of various ethnicities, genders, sizes and abilities. This shift reflects a growing recognition of the importance of representation and inclusivity in the fashion world.

Professional modelling cards that showcase your portfolio and contact information. They are usually handed out to clients, agents and industry professionals.
Challenges in Modeling; In the exciting world of fashion modelling, aspiring models encounter various challenges on their path to success which include tough competition

About the author: Kal

Kal Kalim is a fashion photographer, brand strategist and communication designer based in Melbourne, currently working on fashion, beauty & educational projects in Bali & India. He has been working on projects creating strategies, campaigns, content and communication for fashion and beauty brands in Australia, India, Indonesia, Italy, France & South Africa for the last two decades.