Monday, January 10, 2011

Empowered by What NOT To Wear

Celebrity photographer David Bean's recent Facebook status update caught my eye because it was a quote of his own that I wanted to add to my quote collection.  It said, “As an artist, you can't reinvent yourself if you've never invented yourself. And you can't invent yourself if you don't know yourself.” This is true, not just for artists, but for everyone, including all of my clients.  As I've said before, it takes time to get to know my clients so I can help them invent or reinvent themselves into something that's still them, but a "new" them.

But let's take this thought a step further.  Some people find that they have to reinvent themselves, only after realizing that they had lost touch with the person they once knew themselves to be.  Sometimes we think we know ourselves, but then lose touch so gradually that we don't even realize we are no longer what we once were.  This realization usually only comes in the midst of some type of life event "wake-up call."  When this wake-up call comes, we don't even recognize ourselves, not on the inside and sometimes not even on the outside.

The wake-up call for my music industry lunch buddy Erin Duvall was when she was surprised by cameras from TLC's What Not To Wear.  I was contacted by a BBC/TLC casting agent a month prior to get some suggestions on good venues in Nashville from where they could shoot for several different episodes of the show.  I had no idea at the time that one of those venues would be where Erin would be ambushed by the show's hosts Stacy London and Clinton Kelly.  When I first heard Erin was nominated for the show by her friends and co-workers, I asked her how she felt about it...was she excited or was she offended by it?  She said she was very excited, but at the time she had no idea just how impactful the experience would be on not just her outer appearance but also on her self-confidence.

If you didn't catch her episode that aired last week, you missed one of the best and most touching episodes to date, with Stacy sharing something very personal about herself she's never talked on camera about after Erin shared her experience with numerous reconstructive surgeries for severe breast asymmetry.  Erin and Stacy were hugging on the first day of the trip to NYC during the viewing of Erin's secret footage.  No one ever hugs Stacy on the first day!

Erin's pictures posted a couple years ago on her Facebook page would make one question, why was she nominated for What Not To Wear.  But with a bit of a recent weight gain and dissatisfaction with her job, Erin seemed to lose herself and her self-confidence along the way.  She started using sweats and her hair as security blankets to hide behind, which in turn caused her self-confidence to plummet even more, which can be a vicious cycle. 

But Erin chose to use this experience of being on What Not To Wear as a way to face her fears and take control over her self-confidence.  As Erin rocked her brand new clothes, hair and makeup that made her look so absolutely STUNNING, Stacy and Clinton asked her how she felt.  Erin's response?  EMPOWERED!"

While some people don't give much thought to the power of taking a healthy amount of pride in their appearance, Erin knows all too well what both doing so and not doing so can do to your psyche.  She is quoted on the What Not To Wear web site as saying, "I had no idea that this is who I could be.  I feel like I could conquer the world.  I don't even know the person that I used to be — I used to hate everything about the way I looked.  Looking in the mirror now, I can't even believe that person existed...I think that I'm finally a happy, real version of myself."  Having agreed to do the show has EMPOWERED Erin to make the necessary changes she needed the courage to make to better her life.  Shortly after the show, she quit her job in Nashville and moved to L.A. where she now writes for AOL's The Boot.

I am so proud of Erin for having the courage to face her fears...something that's never easy to do, especially on national television!  She was always a beautiful woman on the inside...and now it shines through on the outside!  Congrats Erin!!!

See the preview for Erin's episode of What Not To Wear below.  Click here to see her after photos and to check listings for the re-air of her episode.  Oh, and if you guys think this show is just for women, I'd like to introduce you to Ed!

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