By Lorène Belotti, Guest Blogger
This year will be my self-surpassing year. After I quit my job, I decided I’d do everything I was afraid of doing or thought I was unable to do. It’s crazy how this change in my mindset changed a lot of other things.
Last January, I saw an advertisement on Twitter for the famous lingerie brand Triumph. They were looking for “real” girls for their new campaign, which was going to be along the same lines as the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign. I thought it was a great idea, so just for fun, I challenged one of my friends to apply with me. We each had to submit one photo of our face and one of our body in underwear. This was a good first exercise for the new “letting go” spirit I’m working on. Triumph was going to pick 20 girls for a Parisian casting and then, they would choose only 5 girls to star in the actual ad.
We sent our pictures and laughed a lot; it was so unusual. Honestly, I was also a little ashamed imagining people I didn’t know looking at me in underwear, but on the other side, I was proud to push my modesty limits. This challenge was complete.
I went on with my life and took a trip to visit my friend near Cannes, France. At the end of January, a girl left me a phone message saying, “Lorène congrats, you’re selected for the casting in Paris!” I literally panicked. How could I be selected? Me, the little countryside girl who doesn’t even feel comfortable in swimsuit? I couldn’t imagine that someone saw something sensual and feminine in me (I mean, sensual and feminine enough to be part of such a big underwear advertisement campaign).
Of course, my first reaction was to try to find an escape, or in other words, to say no. Then, I tried to rationalize and I realized that maybe, I would regret not doing it. It was an experience that I would probably only have once in my life. Plus, everyone around me was supportive and helped clear my head, so I finally accepted.
from the Triumph International campaign by Marc Hom
Despite the casting, it was all the logistics that stressed me out the most. You’re probably going to laugh but my main fear was actually the traveling! I had to go to Paris from Cannes, all alone in the big city, taking the train and the subway. This was huge for me.
Early in the morning of the D-Day, as my friend was driving me to the train station, I felt super small and uncomfortable. I thought I was stupid for doing 10 and a half hours of train travel in a day, just to do a casting where my brain would not be used at all (this part bothered me, too). I began to discredit the worthiness of this casting. I was freaking out. My friend reminded me what kind of personal challenge it was; the point was not the casting itself, it was me stepping out (very far) from my comfort zone. I jumped into that train.
I found the subway station without any problem, arrived at the Bastille area, found the right street (thanks Google View), and found the loft. I was so happy with myself that I was smiling all alone. I went in and met two super nice girls, one from the agency and one from Triumph. I was so relieved after arriving that I felt no stress at all for the casting and was goofing around!
I was called for the fitting session and went in front of the jury composed of three men and a woman. Usually, I would have been so troubled but in this case, I really didn’t care. I made them laugh, we joked together, and I felt super good. One of the guys even told me I was very at ease, which was incredible. They asked about my motivation, took pictures of me on all sides and thanked me for the nice moment. That was it. The girls from Triumph told me it was a "beautiful and pleasant meeting," a compliment which made me blush, and I left.
Outside, in the Parisian street, I was smiling like a nut. I did it! I traveled by myself to the big city, did a fashion casting (the last thing I would have imagined), and pushed back my limits.
I am super proud of myself for daring to go beyond my fears. This experience made me understand how much fear is a liar! I thought it was my gut telling me I was doing the wrong thing, but it was only my apprehension. Now I know, we can do things bigger than ourselves. I wasn't part of the final 5, but I think I’m definitely a winner here. I beat my insecurities and now, I’m wearing an invisible gold medal.
Let's Chat! Are you trying to step out of your comfort zone? In what ways? Tell us here!
Lorene is a French observer and learner of life. She’s been working as a salesperson and a marketing assistant for four years to learn the ropes of the business world. She used to be a sports journalist while doing her Master’s degree and she loves writing and telling stories about great people too much not to go back to her first love soon. She lives in the French Alps, and loves to try to solve the world’s problems while having a great meal with her loved ones. She is passionate about foreign languages, self-development books, American TV shows, and people. Oh, and she’s a total nerd of Academic studies (when she’ll win the lottery, she’ll go to Harvard).