Road to #fitspo: Transition to #igmodel

At the beginning of the year, I set out on a journey to drop some of my more noticable vices in an attempt to improve my health and overall well-being. In classic new-years-resolution style, it ended in a dark and dejected failure. Who would’ve thought? (Everyone.)

Well, this semester I’m back and ready—as Aaliyah said—to ‘try again.’ Moreover, I’m going for—as Ty Dolla $ign said—‘something new’.

While stumbling along my road to instagram-inspired #fitspo last semester, I began to notice how often I’d come across posts and accounts of those with an ambition for beauty and modelling. I’m not sure I should have been all that surprised, it is Instagram after all, and the worlds of #fitspo and #modelling are not only very similar but seem to overlap quite heavily. What I was surprised to have felt, however, was an extreme curiosity regarding these model types. Questions began to form in mind. Who are they? Why do they do what they do? What does it take to be a model? Can anyone do it? The further I slithered into this insta-hole, the more my curiosity grew. I began to compare my own looks with those of people on screen. Of course, in most cases this is not something that is all that advisable. We’ve all been told by mum that we’re perfect just the way we are and have also heard some motivational speech that we should not conform to the unrealistic beauty standards set by society but… well, I really want to find out what it does take to attempt to conform to these standards, whether these standards are in fact all that unrealistic and whether there is more to modelling than being really, really, really, ridiculously good looking. And so, just like all other rash and ill-judged ventures in my life, I decided that I’d like to try and become a famous instagram model.

A quick Google search returned a curious definition of an Instagram model: “An Instagram Model is a shallow desperate female that doesn’t have the ambition necessary to become anything valuable so she adheres to a label with little or no real meaning.” Now up to this point in my life I had never really thought that I’d achieved or become anything of note. It seemed, after reading this however that, aside from the female part, I was in fact already an Instagram model.

A little more research revealed the following: “they actually have no talent tbh [sic] they cake themselves up and live there [sic] life thru [sic] social media. Always posting pics [sic] and showing ppl [sic] there [sic] life went [sic] in fact they have no real skills or personality, they complain that ppl [sic] treat them as object [sic] when that’s all they are. You present your self [sic] as nothing but a piece of meat to look at so don’t get mad when ppl [sic] call you that when you have nothing else to offer.” As I read this I realised I knew many other Instagram models, too.

More digging through piles of useless and superfluous internet ramblings and it became clear that in order to reach my #igmodel destination I would have to go back up a few of the darker avenues of my road to #fitspo that I was glad to leave behind. Apparently, you have to be “physically fit” to be a model. Pffft.

It was clear that I needed to go back to the gym. Fuck. I knew what this meant.

Saying sorry and begging for forgiveness is not something I do often, even when I should. I usually avoid situations in which the chance to issue an apology might come up. In this case it was unavoidable. If I wanted to live the life of an #igmodel then I had to be physically attractive, in order to be physically attractive I needed to hit the gym and in order to be doing this efficiently I knew I needed to go back to my mentors from last semester, Zahi and Emma, who I’d both abandoned and disappointed when things got difficult on my road to #fitspo.

Entering the gym I was nervous. It smelled of sweat. I’m still unsure if it that was the gym or me. Probably both. However, my first attempt at approaching them to offer an apology was thwarted when neither Zahi or Emma were available. I came away relieved that I didn’t have to be subject to their disapproving eyes yet still uneasy that I had this hanging over my head. All these emotions had me confused and so I did only what felt comfortable.

According to the AUSA website, Shadows, “commonly known as ‘Shadz’, out [sic] student bar is your go-to-place to have a drink and a yarn.” A drink, I certainly needed and after a little dose of liquid courage I wanted to try apologising again. Unfortunately, both were still unavailable and the choice to go back to shadows was made for me. After the weekend, I would try again.

Zahi’s surprised look, as I appeared before him, quickly gave way to a faceful of “what the fuck happened to you?” and my attempt to apologise, even on my knees was met with a look that could only be described as unimpressed. I’d have to earn his help. Emma, however, was much more forgiving and after getting the ‘sorrys’ out of the way asked about my diet and how I’d been. “So how have you been eating?” Before I could lie to her, the many logos of the many delicious places I’d been indulging at flashed before my eyes. “Yeah, nah, pretty shit to be honest” I replied. “Well, that’s okay we can start again. When are you gonna start?”

“Today” I said with absolute dedication to my road to being an #igmodel.

You can follow the journey on Instagram by following @saiahalatanu_official and find out about how it comes together behind the scenes @bts_saiahalatanu_official