Monday, February 11, 2008

A Weekend To Remember: Day 3

Sunday was a remarkable culmination to all of the events of the weekend!! Even though we were tired from being on the go so much, we still managed to have the energy to brave the events of the day.

We checked out of our hotel and drove to the mall where myself and fifteen other girls met at Torrid to prepare for the fashion show. We all gathered around and listened as Jama (one of the store employees) explained why these fashion shows mean so much to her. Aside from the fact that it’s fun and brings exposure and revenue for the store, Jama has a greater reason for organizing these events. She and one of her friends had once tried out for modeling and her friend, who was a size 2-4, was told to lose weight. Well, that sent her into a tragic downward spiral to where she was basically living off of microwave popcorn and water (as Jama put it). It brought tears to my eyes as she explained how terribly thin her friend got. She was always trying to lose “just five more pounds.“ She said that her friend ended up killing herself because, as she stated in her suicide note, all she saw in the mirror was an “ugly fat girl.” How heartbreaking!! There is no reason why this girl had to feel so bad about herself!! She was beautiful just the way she was!! But, because of the cold and vain comments of the superficial “you gotta be thin to be beautiful” world, it shattered her confidence and self-esteem!! My friends, that is awful and senseless!! It angers me that our society is so petty as to put down others to the point where they would hate themselves so much as to take their own life!! It’s about time that the world stops putting so much emphasis on weight and external beauty!! A society that continues to place value and worth on superficial things will forever be discontent, shallow, and unfulfilled!! This madness has got to stop!! That is why Jama works so hard to encourage girls to just be who they are so that they will be “one less”; ONE LESS woman who feels badly about herself and ONE MORE woman who feels beautiful and confident about who she is and not the number on a tag of a garment or on the scale!!

So, after Jama’s inspiring and tear provoking speech, we set out to get our outfits ready so we could proudly display to the viewers of the fashion show that even though we aren’t stick figures, we are beautiful and confident women. We are beautiful women created in the image of God and His love and light is in our hearts and radiates outwardly. The love of Christ, and knowing that we are His beloved, cherished, and beautiful daughters (His PRINCESSES), is what gives us worth, meaning, and TRUE BEAUTY!!! (“True Beauty” hmmmmm, reminds me of a song by Mandisa. ;) Check that one out!!).

So, after we put together all of our clothes, accessories, and shoes, we practiced our “walks”. Man, I am telling you, we got some super-fine gorgeous girls with lots of flair and unique personalities!! They are truly fabulous and I am proud of every single one of them!! I am grateful for the opportunity to have gotten to know the majority of them, talk to them, and laugh with them!! Another girl read my thoughts when she commented on the fact that we were all having fun and getting along. I guess she assumed, as I sort of did, that we would all be super competitive and jealous of each other (as portrayed in the media). But, NOT SO! We were all respectful and sweet; not to mention mature! It was great to be ourselves and feel comfortable with each other so quickly!! I truly enjoyed being around all of them and sharing the experience with everyone. And, the day only got better from then on!!

One of the models, Amanda, owns the salon “The Surface” (which she later explained to me that it was so named because they want to bring the inner beauty to “the surface”). Her salon was one of the sponsors for the fashion show and they graciously did the hair and make-up for all of us!! The salon is just beautiful and very welcoming and the staff was just great!!

So, after I got my hair and make-up done, I went back to the mall to meet a few of my friends and go shopping before it was time to go back to Torrid to get ready for the show!!

As we gathered together, we were just wowed by how amazing everyone looked!! Amanda and her staff had done a really great job bringing that beauty to the surface!! ;) Then, we all got the store ready and set up for the show and put our first outfits on. Before the show, we all joined hands and prayed together (oh yeah, I TOTALLY loved that!!). I just couldn’t have asked for a greater group of women who had their focus in the right place!! And, Jama once again inspired us by telling us all that we were definitely “one less” and that: “You aren’t beautiful despite your size, but BECAUSE of your size!” That statement resonated with every single woman and all of them were saying, “That’s good!! I’ll remember that!”

So, with that in mind, we nervously (but confidently! LOL) did our thing as we worked the runway and a packed room full of people!! Many of my family and friends were there to cheer me on; as well as enthusiastic strangers who told me to, “Work it, Melissa! Work it!“ LOL
After we “worked it” we met the representatives from the modeling agency, did some shopping, and then, the “top model” and the runners up of the fashion show was announced. And no, I didn’t win. ;) Well, not in the way you are thinking anyways!! I didn’t win the tiara, trophy, gift basket and audition with the modeling agency, but I won in many other ways!! One being that I now have a greater wealth of friends (don‘t worry Terra - you are still my bestest LOL Forever and always!). I value and treasure that more than any tiara or trophy that will rust away and be forgotten. True treasures never fade away!! ;) Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. You’re like “you wouldn’t be saying that if you won!” Well, sure, if I had won, I would have been excited - but, I know what TRUE treasure is!! I would have likely been one to want to share the whole thing with my girls; making sure they all had their picture taken with it, and then dedicate it back to the store or something. LOL I don’t know. There’s no way to know what “might have been” because it didn’t happen that way. All I know is that we ALL truly did win!! Everyone did fantastic and we all shone like stars!!

Well, that’s the end of my amazing weekend!! If you want to see pictures of everything, please visit the link provided. Also, be sure to check out my You Tube play list that I put together. It’s clips of my runway walks (minus the first one because Mitch was just learning to work the camera) as well as our final walk together and the announcement of the winners. I hope you enjoy the pictures and videos!! God bless you all!!

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