Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to be a model: It should cost you NOTHING! FREE tips

I have been represented by some of the top modeling agencies in Miami, Chicago, and currently work with the prestigious Ford Agency and internationally with Silver Agency in Paris, and one thing I know for sure is that it should cost you NOTHING to break into the modeling business or to sign with an agency. Truly the only thing you need is a digital picture in great light, which is FREE assuming you at least know anyone with a smart phone.

The reason no-one will tell you this is because this is how people make money. Modeling conventions, modeling schools, workshops, conventions .... Don't get me wrong advice about what to do and how to look your best is all good, but the truth be told -most girls that get signed with an agency that have been "schooled" are told to forget about almost everything they learned.

Getting agency representation is the first step to becoming a model and any agency will tell you that they do not require their new models to show up with a professional portfolio on day one. In fact, if they sign you, most agencies will want you to work with a few particular photographers and groom your look to a specific market. Many girls I know spend a small fortune on sub-par photographs that the agency immediately takes out of their books. It is better to have 3 great, strong photos than 20 so-so photographs. One thing I have learned over the years is that a client will remember you by your best and your worst photo. You never want to let them see anything less than great! A first impression in this business is a lasting one.

Study the agency or company website you want to be represented by and find out what it is they require and give them exactly what they are asking for. This is not the time to try to be clever. Again, give them EXACTLY what they are asking for. 

Many agencies may also have an open call day or some may have online submission. Below is Ford Model's submission guidelines and you will notice that they specifically ask you NOT to submit professional photos, NOT to wear makeup and NOT to pose.

Agencies are looking for that "IT" factor. Yes you must be 5'9", you must be thin - but just as important is your personality, energy and spirit - they are looking for diversity, not a cookie cutter mold of measurements.

The most critical warning I can share with you is that you must prepare yourself for rejection. As a wanna be model, or working model, this goes with the job. I have not gotten jobs because I am both too tall or too short, because I have blue eyes or simply because they really wanted a blonde. Once I was booked for a job with a very dark black girl and the art director was upset that I looked so "fair" next to her and proceeded to direct the makeup artist to make me appear darker. We were already on location and the makeup artist only had some brown eye shadow with her so she proceeded to try to paint it on my face. It was humiliating. Rejection is a never ending part of the model experience so you must expect it and prepare to learn how to handle it. If one agency turns you down, try another. And never sign with an agency that wants to charge you money for classes or photos first.

There are many examples of famous models who were initially turned down for representation. Tyra Banks was rejected by many Los Angeles agencies before landing at Elite. Gisele Bundchen has reported that she was turned down by 42 agents before she was 17. Both of these women have appeared on countless magazine covers and runways around the world, earning them SUPER-model status.

People of all races, ages and backgrounds can become a model. Some make alot of money and others do it to have fun, but one thing is for sure - it shouldn't cost you a penny to try!! Check in with me here at A Model's Secrets for more advice on how to become a model and tips I have learned behind the scenes. Check out my post about How to MOVE like a model for a photo {HERE}


Friday, March 21, 2014

Frozen Shoulder - Over 40? Blame Menopause.

I have found that most people, including my doctor who primarily treats women, are NOT aware of the prevalence of frozen shoulder with women of "ahem" a certain age or the  connection between a frozen shoulder and menopause.

About 9 months ago, I started experiencing an ache in my shoulder which proceeded to get worse. So much so that I had trouble pulling shirts over my head; then it started to interfere with my sleep. In talking with one of my model friends who happens to be around my age, she told me she too was dealing with this and that her doctor was recommending to operate. 

First let's define what a "frozen shoulder" or adhesive capsullitis is; Unlike an injury to the shoulder or rotator cuff, this situation is not caused by any specific event and gradually builds resulting in pain and an inability to move your shoulder !

A girl who likes to know the why of everything I began to research and surprisingly found out that I fit precisely into 3 of the major risk factors. 

First of all I discovered that this affects primarily women (70%) around 40-60 years old, who are menopausal or perimenopausal. My physical therapist said that in his 10 years of treating frozen shoulder only once has he treated a man for this. In Japan this is so common that is called "Fifties Shoulder". Science thinks this might be due to a hormonal shift; possibly because estrogen has anti-inflammatory properties that are now deficient.

Secondly, 10-30 percent of people with diabetes (type 1 or type 2) develop frozen shoulder according to the American Academay of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels affecting circulation and result in scarring of the body's elastic tissue - triggering a frozen shoulder. 

The good news that I uncovered was that most people THAW out and recover from a frozen shoulder within 2 years - even if they do nothing! Plus it rarely reoccurs again. Just today I spoke to my girlfriend who was suffering from this and she told me that it seems to have gone away! Proof positive. I myself am just about "thawed" and moving better now too - time, Pilates and physical therapy have helped tremendously.

Today my therapist did a technique called "dry needling". He said it alone has been the single best game changer for helping frozen shoulders he has learned. Using an acupuncture needle (the ones you don't feel) inserted into "trigger point". 

Orthopaedic surgeons have long done this, but they usually do it to deliver some sort of anti-inflammatory med or steroid. My physical therapist told me that what they have found is that just the process of inserting the needle, not necessarily the medicine, produces pain relief and improves the range of motion. Today was my first go with it - he went straight through one of the rotator cuff muscles to the shoulder bone with a needle. I could feel the pressure against my bone, a little discomfort, but no pain. When he was finished I immediately had more range of motion and the achey feeling was gone.

Regarding surgery ... unless you are wrenching in pain, my non-professional opinion is to try all other options first since the literature suggests that even after surgery, this capsulitis can reoccur and it will go away on it's own in time although you can speed the process up a bit. Here are a few things to try first that worked for me:

  • Sleeping with a pillow under my elbow to help rest the painful shoulder. 
  • Doorway stretches and lots of other stretching exercises, including targeted Pilates.
  • Conscious posture improvement - rounding shoulders reduces range of motion. When I am walking I make sure to pull my shoulder back and down. When sitting, I pull my arm behind my back into my waistband and hold the stretch.
  • Ibuprofren
  • Heat
  • Massage

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Apple Cider Vinegar - LOSE WEIGHT AND BELLY FAT!

Could the magic potion to looking skinny and beautiful be a spoonful of apple cider vinegar? I've been a fan of this natural remedy for some time and want to share the secret and the science behind why it works to help lose weight, belly fat, clear up skin and help your hair grow!


Recently a study showed that by consuming just 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (ACV) every day vs a placebo, resulted in the shedding of more body and belly fat. This makes sense because pectin which is found in apples makes you feel fuller and more satisfied. The pectin in apple cider vinegar is greater than if you ate a ton of raw apples and can help suppress your appetite. Consuming ACV before meals ensures that you will have more acid in your stomach, and if you make sure to eat high protein meals it makes it more likely that you will produce growth hormone that stimulate your metabolism while you sleep. I don't know about you but I'd rather sleep than hit the gym any day!


ACV can also reduce the time that fat will stay in the digestive tract,so that less fat can be absorbed to your belly! Plus ACV improves your body's utilization of iron which also helps increase weight loss by kickstarting your body to burn the food you eat as fuel.

ACV has long been used to help alleviate leg cramps at night too and it can help you fight exhaustion. These effects happen when lactic acid builds up in the body and the potassium and enzymes found in ACV can help reduce these.


If you want to incorporate ACV to help with weight loss daily the recommendation is 2 teaspoons in 8 oz of water 3 times a day taken before your meals.

The deal breaker for most people who are initially motivated to get on board the ACV train is of course the taste.  The taste is strong which is why it is used in ketchup and salad dressings. By stimulating your taste buds, you can then appreciate the complex flavors in all your other foods you eat so you won't fall as easily into the trap of adding more salt and fat in your diet to enhance your food. We all know that salt will make your belly bloat and fat tempts you to eat more fatty foods.
To make it taste better add Stevia, raw honey or agave to give a little sweetness. And then chase it with some apple juice.

These are the results from ingesting ACV but this powerful elixir also helps get your beauty on too when used topically:

When used as a hair rinse it will rid your hair of the gunk and build up left behind from all the styling products and conditioners we use. Simply dilute 1/2 cup of ACV into 3-4 cups of water and pour it over your head after shampooing. It will leave your hair soft and shiny and can promote hair growth by promoting a clearer scalp which is why some people use it as a cure for dandruff.

For the skin, ACV's benefits are endless. First it can be used topically on a cotton ball as an effective anti-acne remedy killing bacteria and can help restore the skins natural pH levels. Depending on your skin's sensitivity level it might be a good idea to dilute the ACV with water first before applying.

The sulfur found in ACV can fight aging, especially age spots if you use leave it on at night before you go to sleep. This is where you'll want to use it straight on, if your skin can tolerate it, and wait until morning to wash it off. After washing your face in the morning, use the ACV as your toner, diluted with water, on a cotton ball. This will help brighten your skin.

Swish and gargle ACV in your mouth and not only will it kill bacteria that cause halitosis but it will help remove stains and whiten your teeth.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Oscar red carpet fashion 2014 - Fashion Police Style

Big thank you to the Morning Blend on abc affiliate KGUN9 for asking me to talk about red carpet fashion from the Oscars 2014! 

Some highlights from this year's hits and misses on Academy Awards night.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

And the Oscar ... is all about the dress!

Tonight the first question on everyone's lips will be ... "Who are you wearing?"
Love this photo list and can't wait to see who wins this year!