The new haircolor, but all the old wrinkles.
Yesterday I experienced a difficult blow to my self-image and ego.
I was at a photo shoot for what will be a national ad campaign in Japan. I was thrilled to get the gig; it was my first official, not-for-a-friend modeling job. I was asked to bring my hoops and sports shoes to the shoot. Yay, me hooping in an ad! How exciting. When I arrived at the venue, I got some details on how big this is going to be – the ads will appear in the trains, on the outsides of the trains, on huge billboards in Tokyo and Osaka…everywhere, basically. You won’t be able to miss me and the other three models.
Which is maybe not such a great thing, after all. As it turns out, my hoops were not necessary. I was costumed, bewigged and made up to represent the old lady in this campaign. The makeup artist, Kanzo, did a stellar job tracing the lines in my face with shading pencils. I looked like an older version of me – natural, but aged 25 years.
And that was really painful. The job was a huge amount of fun, but that they could envision me as a 70 year old when I barely feel 30 on the inside was a slap in my wrinkly face. My expectation for this shoot had been to be a sporty middle aged lady, not a grandmother. While I was sitting in the makeup chair, I was able to set my mind into “I am an actress, this is a role. I am the vessel of their creative output,” which helped a bit but at the end of the day, it all sunk in and I was stressed and unhappy.
You might be laughing about my fragile ego. And yes, I am laughing, too. But step into my shoes for a minute. Imagine you turn up for a new job. Your new boss sees some aspect of yourself that you know in your heart but don’t really like to acknowledge – you are a bit overweight, or you talk loudly – and he uses it for his purpose. “Oh, hey, you’re a bit chunky, so I’ll just add a little padding to enhance your beer gut and you’ll be perfect for our management team.”
So now maybe you aren’t laughing? You might even be questioning your self-perception. Just like I was.
I know that I will get over this soon enough, either by releasing my ego or re-establishing my self-image, and get on with life as usual. I have the resilience of youth and the wisdom of experience! But in the meantime I am dying my hair to a “normal” color that is nothing near to white, and I am considering how I can hide in my house during September, which is when the campaign runs.