I've had this photo set in my head for so many months I question if I still have the words intended to go along with it. I am nearing my 6 year anniversary here in LA and while I have so much to be thankful for, this past year has been one of the most challenging yet. The infamous roller coaster ride the entertainment industry takes its passengers on has set me through an intense expedition of self discovery. I have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows since embarking on this journey of acting. I have faced fears, battled old scars that I realized had never healed properly, and stood up for myself more times than I wished I needed to. People always say to enjoy the process when talking about the struggles of pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. But let's be real...that saying is completely easier said than done. This photo set represents the somewhat darker side of the glitz and glamour we tend to sprinkle on our social media feeds. It is meant to show a few of the feels this industry has challenged me with and I hope it provokes questions for yourself.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Are you happy with the person looking back at you? Why is it so much easier to list 10 things we dislike about ourselves than 10 things we love about ourselves? Too often we let this industry make us think we are not enough when we are in actuality more than enough.
DisguiseWe put on so many layers in hopes of getting noticed or seen. We keep looking for others to validate us when we can barely validate ourselves. If and when we do get seen, is it our true self or is it the mask we had to put on to attract the eyes of others? Even if said validation comes there is still that nagging feeling: emptiness. This industry should not be the one to tell us who we are.
At the end of the day, we try to scrub off all those layers we painted on only to realize it becomes harder and harder to wash off. Even at our most bare, can we still reach the most genuine parts of ourself? At this point have we lost the ability to be completely vulnerable? Would we ever want to take that risk? This industry makes us fear trusting others with our naked selves but we cannot be afraid to let others love us at our most naked selves.
I suppose there is so much more that could be said but I hope in this case the pictures do most of the talking.
*All photos shot and edited by my dear friend, Jino Abad. Check out more of his wonderful work at ABADIMAGE.com or on his Instagram! Makeup was done by my multi-talented roomie MEGAN BATOON. Check out her blog here!*