Working with a world-leading supermodel can wreak havoc on your levels of self-esteem. Or at least it did on mine.


In my case I was up close and personal to an incredibly stunning, intelligent and powerful woman of whom I was constantly comparing myself to. I would feel myself shrink every time I was in her presence, not because of anything she said or did but because I made myself feel small.

I even remember declining opportunities to go dancing or attend private parties with my client because I knew I would end up feeling like the unattractive tag along. Again it was nothing that she said or did; it was all in my head and quite frankly a lack of self-esteem.

That was of course until a very close friend of mine snapped me out of my ‘poor me’ comparison coma. I will always remember her words.

On this particular morning I was hosting an intimate breakfast for my client with a group of high profile beauty editors. My friend was one of the guests.

The way I would deal with my shrunken self would be to put on my Miss Professional persona. If I was never going to be beautiful enough then I thought I better do what I can to look as intelligent as possible. In the rush of the morning and with that in mind, I was not focused on my appearance.

As guests started to arrive and I mentally prepared my welcome speech, my dear friend pulled me aside and said- “for god’s sake go and put on some red lipstick. Stop trying to make yourself invisible.”

Now before anyone accuses my friend of being anti feminist, it really had nothing to do with the lipstick. My friend could see straight through the game I was playing and she would not stand to watch me play it. I was feeding my insecurities and she loved me enough to call it.

Did things change after that?

Absolutely. In fact only months later I hosted a product launch for my client and I turned up not only wearing red lipstick but also in a new red dress. It was Valentines Day and I was learning to love myself again. I vividly remember walking up to my friend and saying, “look I am wearing my red lipstick” and to that she replied “and shall you always wear red lipstick”, we both understood the metaphor.

Theodore Roosevelt was quoted saying ‘Comparison is the thief of all joy’ and I agree with that wholeheartedly.

Once we reach adulthood we are all personally responsible for our own level of self-esteem. No one can give it to us nor take it away unless we give them the power to do so. The moment you stop comparing yourself to others is the moment you acknowledge that being yourself is life’s ultimate achievement.

Love and magic

Carlii xxx

Originally published at