Adversity Can Be Good For You

On life’s journey and on your path to pursuing your dreams, you are bound to meet with adversities. Whether you succeed or not only depends on you.

My journey started when I was in college. I was studying engineering at Nirma University. But as you may know, I’m not standing here as an engineer today. So what led me to being a model?

After winning a beauty contest in college. The next day, when I saw myself on the newspaper,

A voice inside me said I should pursue this further. While another voice questioned what am I going to tell my parents?

At that time, if anyone asked me what path was I pursuing, I actually would not have known it to be fashion model as Fashion was something I was not familiar with.

All I knew about fashion was the movie “Fashion” by Madhur Bhandarkar. Which was far from reality…

What I did know was that if I wanted to get jobs, I need a portfolio. And in order to get a portfolio done I need a photographer, and that costs money. So I started doing a part-time job meanwhile being a full-time student.

After finally getting a portfolio done, I started getting calls. But don’t get too excited yet, 70% were fake, while 29% were irrelevant to me. The slim 1% was an invitation to a beauty pageant.

Of course I jumped on the opportunity. After an intense month, my vision became clearer to me, that I wanted to be a fashion model.

All of this unraveled in my final year in college. Now I was standing at the crossroads of life, on one I am to be an engineer, while the other is a path to be a fashion model.

Before making any final decision, I wanted to give myself a chance and go to Delhi to see what the modeling world has for me. I simply told my parents I was going to visit my sister.

And went on an adventure.

Upon arriving in Delhi, I had a few work-related meetings. And as if history repeated itself Another photographer suggested that I get a new portfolio done for this market. I went ahead and it did get me jobs, but I was working as a freelancer and here’s how I would summarize my experience:

  1. I was my agent and model at the same time. So I had to negotiate my rates and building my brand meanwhile modeling.
  2. I was told to remove my beauty spots, the moles under my eyes, since they said it took too long to photoshop them.
  3. I was given threats such as, "if you don’t do this job I will make sure that you can never succeed in modeling."
  4. I was lied about payments and many times I didn’t get paid at all.
  5. I was deceived about mood boards, which portray what the shoot is about.

Somewhere in between overcoming all these difficulties, a leading agency from Mumbai scouted me. That’s when I was introduced to the term, agency, which takes care of all the business side in return for a cut from the payment and all I have to do now is just model.

Phew, that’s a huge burden off my shoulders.

On the bright side, if everything worked out brilliantly in Delhi, I might’ve passed this opportunity of getting signed with the agency and none of this, that unfolded afterwards, would have happened. And it wouldn’t have led me here today, standing in front of you all as an international model.

I went ahead and signed with the agency and moved to Mumbai.

Also, I recently received a personal message from a girl who aspires to be a model. She shared her story and said is very similar to mine and that her parents do not allow her to be a model. But she feels very strongly about it that she says if she can’t be a model she will suicide.

I know at times the adversities you face can be so overwhelming that you feel desperately helpless and hopeless. But there is nothing, and I mean nothing, that comes before your precious life. Life itself is a gift, with each one of us so special and unique, created in a way that even the finger prints of any 2 people aren’t the same. These seemingly ginormous adversities are too little in the whole picture of your life.

Adversity can be good for you but overcome it don’t let it overcome you!

Pooja Mor

My journey has only just begun. After signing on to my modeling agency, I began my modeling career in India professionally. I worked on many shoots and began building my book for international markets.

Soon after, I was scouted by a major modeling agency in New York through Instagram and was invited to relocate to New York.

Now New York is all together another chapter, not to mention the culture shock and feeling as if I am suddenly living in a world which is 10 years ahead of me. I worked very hard, doing back-to-back castings for a month. I debuted in the Louis Vuitton show in Palm Springs, making my first break into the international arena.

Then came my first fashion week, I was super excited. There is a whole week of back-to-back castings, you may get selected for some shows or you might not have any.

After all the castings I received the news that I was selected for the Givenchy show, which was amazing and very exciting for both my team and I.

Here is me walking that show.

Yes, what a twist of plot, if not a twist of ankle.

Many people asked me, “how did you get up after that fall and finished the walk?” First, thanks to the two gentlemen who were kindhearted enough to help me get up.

Second, my mom always said, “If you start something, finish it until the end, be like a straight line reaching towards your goal.” So I have never known to quit halfway.

When this happened, I thought my career was over. As I was walking out thinking about the end of my career, my casting director said, “You are now officially a supermodel, as there is no supermodel who have never fallen once.”

It struck me and changed the way I was looking at the entire situation. The next day I had another show and I was dreading to go because I remembered from the fitting that the dress was short and the big wound on my knee from the fall will for sure make the designer throw me out of the show.

Surprisingly, he swapped my short dress for a full jumpsuit and let me do his show.

Of course, my wounds were hurting while I walked each one of the shows but I continued working and did shows and castings for the next month and a half.

Sure, I overheard people saying, “I hope she doesn’t fall in this show.” And yes, there was gossiping around me as soon as I entered a room.

But all these adversities made me ever more grateful for all the kindhearted people who still believed in me and let me do their show.

Later I realized, if I hadn’t fallen then, I wouldn’t have been so confident in all the following shows I did.

Think about it, the only thing any model will fear on a catwalk had already happened to me. So guess what, there was no other fear left, I felt fearless and walked every other show with a strut.

In conclusion, many people will see the fruit of someone’s success but hardly the adversities they overcame in their journey to success. A change in perspective can change your situation, adversity can be good for you, if you learn to navigate it.