The word "model" is defined as a person employed to display clothing by wearing them. It's a job like any other, so why does it bring about a multitude of perceptions, judgements and a mixture of connotations. And why does being called an "ex-model" sometimes ruffle my feathers?
Meant as an endorsement to my external physicality, being called an ex-model can be seen in a positive light. That being said, why would such an endorsement be required? But I guess what perplexes me most is when upon introduction it's always the first thing that is mentioned. Being a physician, is always a secondary input or not mentioned at all. Why is that? Is external beauty more important in our society today? Is external beauty a more appealing characheteristic? Or perhaps it's just a sexist thing? If I were male, would I be introduced as an ex-model first and then a physician too? I have a strange suspicion that would not be the case. Being an ex-model would probably not even come into the equation. So why is being an ex-model such a big deal as a female? The funny thing is that fact was raised as an issue in a meeting previously as whether to hire me or not for fear of me being a distraction. So I pose the question again, would such a question be raised if I were male?
Aside from the somewhat perceived positive attributes being an ex-model brings with it, let's be honest there is still a general assumption or stigma that is attached with the word "model". Perhaps the one that annoys me the most, is the assumption or stigma of inferior intelligence. There is no direct or indirect correlation between external physicality and intelligence. I have a number of friends who are ex-models who are investment bankers at top tiered banks / funds or successful women in tech or entrepreneurs. Not once have I ever introduced them as an ex-model. Why? Because what makes them extraordinary women is not the fact that they are externally incredibly beautiful but the fact that they have accomplished what they have with humility, integrity and intelligence.
Am I trying to shy away from the fact that I am an ex-model? Not at all. It's a part of who I am and towering above most people at 5 ft 11 inches (made a lot worse with my 4 inch heels), there is no running away from that fact. I even use the hashtag on social media. However, being an ex-model is not an all defining charachteristic but merely a single entity in the infinite number of blocks that make up me.