The notion of beauty has always given people sleepless nights … it doesn’t only refer to women who strive for being as close to the ideal as possible, but it also refers to men, who love being surrounded by everything what is attractive. What’s so magical hiding behind that concept? There’s no single answer to this question, as standards of beauty undergo radical changes every few years and it’s not always possible for us to fit in. What makes us attractive according to pop-culture? Big eyes? Prominent lips? Maybe impeccable figure? What if we don’t fully fit into current standards?
While being a teenager I was truly dissatisfied with the way I looked. I didn’t really appreciate the potential which was hidden in me, as there was always someone whose comment made me feel worse. After many years, I noticed that these mean comments and reality had little in common … and the truth was lying somewhere else. As long as we don’t discover beauty in ourselves, we will never be satisfied with the way we look and with the way we are perceived by others. The standards of beauty undergo continuous changes, however beautiful and valuable people will always be seen as the ones who can be role models for others. Today I’ve got much pleasure in introducing Helena – the author of a blog Lifestyle by Helena Rojek – Osowska, a plus size model, as well as a happy mom and wife.
Passion Piece: Could you tell my readers a few words about yourself?
Helena: Do you know it’s one of the most difficult questions for me?! I never know what I could tell people about myself, especially in those few magical words. Hmm … maybe I’ll share a few basic details about myself with you. I’m a wife, who has also been a mother for almost a year now. These are social roles, which I’ve had a chance to experience quite early despite my young age. I got married while being 21, and one year later I gave birth to my beloved son. These are not all of my life duties, as the ones who follow me know well, that I’m continuously growing in the blogging community. I’m also a plus size model, as well as the organizer of different kinds of events. Generally speaking … of course!
Passion Piece: How did you come up with an idea to set up a blog?
Helena: The idea to set up a blog was born quite coincidentally. I remember it like it was yesterday. I had a thought, my first idea to share my thoughts on reality with a much wider audience. I noted down most of them in my notebooks, but I also made my notes on pieces of paper, tissues or in the notepad on my phone. Surprisingly, when I was cleaning my four walls last time, I counted around 45 of such notebooks. Only notebooks – not taking numerous pieces of paper or tissues into account.
There was always something that inspired me to speak up my mind – however there were too many thoughts that I missed, they were vanishing in the blink of an eye, that’s why I couldn’t keep up with sharing them with others. Finally, when I started arranging my first photo shoots, I realized that I lacked stories to my pictures. Not everyone has such a vivid imagination like me to see the message I intended to convey. Consequently, I was missing clarity in my portfolio. I wanted to avoid so called ‘pretty pictures’ at any costs.
Passion Piece: How did you start your adventure with modelling?
Helena: The same spontaneously as my adventure with writing. I attended a photography club together with my friends, within which we could extend our knowledge in the field of photography under the watchful eye of our professor – Ms. Dziewiałtowicz. Once upon a time, during one of our classes, emerged a suggestion that we should broaden the scope of our photographing a little bit – that we should take pictures of models. People. We fell in love with this idea – the only problem we had was that we didn’t really have a model. However, we were quite creative – so we came to a conclusion that one of us could get into a character and become a model. As you no doubt have guessed – I became a model. Until now. I changed the places, I’m no longer the photographer. However, I must admit that it still happens that I take photos – but more as a hobby, to my family album.
Passion Piece: Is it easy to reconcile professional and family life?
Helena: I’m always amused with the notion of ‘career’ or professional life so to speak, as our country isn’t really ready for plus size models and it’s difficult to gain success in this business, especially the one which would be hmm … spectacular enough to maintain yourself and your family. It’s true that this year my professional life has been getting busier and busier, but it hasn’t been caused by the fact that I’ve got so many new contracts – but because of the fact that I carry out my own projects and I’m a part of creating a plus size agency. That’s why, if anyone asks me about my profession, it’s easier to say that I’m an organizer rather than only a plus size model. However, coming back to your question, if it’s easy to reconcile my professional life – no matter how vast it would be – and my family life, I must admit that it’s not easy. I’m often on the road – at least once a month. I don’t have fixed work hours, I work in the event agency JeyJey until 5 pm, and later on I take part in photo shootings, campaigns, I’m also engaged in running A&H Plus Size Agency. Many times, when I find a free moment in the evening to spend it with my husband and son – I am too tired for wild excesses. I used the word ‘wild’ as my child is at the stage of crazy crawling, prancing and learning how to walk. Yet family is one of the most important values to me and I always have a principle that during a week, when it’s not a hot period at work – I try to devote one day only to my family. Most of the times it’s Sunday – the only day, when I’m unavailable for others and I spend it with my close ones. No one said it’d be easy. However, I’m really happy about the fact that I can work at my own pace, the way I want to and I’m the one who decides when I deserve a ‘break’.
Passion Piece: What advice would you give to all the girls who would like to try themselves in modelling?
Helena: Personally, I could say that they shouldn’t be scared of taking risks. From my own experience, I know how comments heard during castings can be demotivating for you. I had to attend different castings – and many times I was told that I’m too fat or too thin with the size 38/40. Fortunately, that phase is over. I don’t need to lose my weight or to put on weight at any costs for one contract. In my opinion the most important thing in modelling is being self-confident – but not arrogant – you should be able to control yourself. Another vital feature is self-awareness, being aware of your own uniqueness and the fact that you’re the one of a kind. That makes you unique and ready to develop as a model. You need to present yourself – your look – but also character. Thanks to your internal strength you will be noticed – maybe by me?!
Passion Piece: What’s the most difficult in photo sessions?
Helena: Currently I’m at that stage in which I don’t find posing for photos difficult. I don’t want to sound immodestly, but it’s the truth. I always try to prepare myself carefully to every photo session, that’s why I get to know all the details before taking part in a given session – either from a designer or a photographer to predict the vibes and atmosphere they want to depict in the frame. Maybe one of not so much comfortable situations is taking part in a new project, especially the first minutes of cooperation, when the crew don’t know each other well.
Passion Piece: Beauty has more than one name … how can we convince the society to this statement?
Helena: Society is created by tons of people, that’s why in my opinion it’s impossible to convince them to anything just like that, as one call in the crowd becomes an inaudible whisper. While creating a campaign titled ‘Beauty has more than one name’, I wanted to appeal at least to one person. A person who would pass it further. Let’s say that one woman shared this slogan with her friend, her friend shared it with her mother, her mother told about it her sister and so on. Thanks to such actions we can create a conscious recipient, who by word of mouth will convey the message further and further. I know that in this way the process of convincing people, and maybe better to say educating the society is difficult, tedious – and sometimes even doesn’t bring a desired result. To me success means the fact that somewhere there is a strange woman, who let’s say suffers from albinism, and thanks to me she gains the courage to put on a bikini and to go to the beach. For herself. Because she feels beautiful, unique, different and therefore real.
Passion Piece: Have you got any other passions?
Helena: I’ve got many passions. Unfortunately, I don’t have time for them at the moment. One of my passions is theatre. I also love windsurfing. You even can’t imagine how much I miss the salty taste of water on my lips, as well as the wind in my hair. I miss the calluses on my palms from holding a boom or the freedom one can feel while being in the middle of infinity.
Passion Piece: What’s your recipe for success?
Helena: I don’t really have a recipe for success, as in my opinion there is no such a thing. It’s hmm … a kind of self-deception – that it’s enough to do this, this and that and you will be ready to get to the top at once. Everyone has a different path to follow. Everyone has different tasks to complete. It depends only on us, as well as on our involvement, whether we gain success or not. I think I don’t need to remind you of the fact that everyone has a different definition of success. My hmm … let’s say advice for you – is that you should learn how to lift yourself from your knees. If you collapsed, rise up, remove dust from your knees, straighten up, raise your head a little bit and continue following your dreams. Give yourself some time, be patient and humble. Appreciate gifts of your fate, even if many times they turn to be the same useless as the next pair of socks under your Christmas tree.
Passion Piece: Where do you see yourself in a few years time?
Helena: In the past it was easy for me to answer this question, however now, when I’m a little bit smarter thanks to my life experiences, I can’t really answer it. There are so many variables, which don’t depend on me, so in a few years time I could deal with something totally different from the things I’m doing now. If I could treat it as a wish – to a goldfish – I would like to lead a safe and peaceful life, following my career.
Passion Piece: Which motto would you like to share with my readers?
Helena: I’d like to share my favourite quotation with you, the one which has accompanied me since I was in junior high school, when I had had a chance to watch ‘Dead Poets Society’ for the first time. That is ‘Carpe Diem’.
Passion Piece: Thank you very much for this conversation, which I hope will occur to be a great inspiration for many girls, who would like to change their lives and to follow their dreams.
There are as many shades of beauty as many people around the globe. Everyone has something to offer to the world, even if one feels that he or she doesn’t fit into the beauty standards imposed on society by the pop-culture. That’s why, you should try to love yourself and to work on your weaknesses, so that someone someday could say that you introduced something positive in his or her life. Don’t be scared to follow your dreams, as thanks to dreams you can become a truly happy person.
See you around!
Photo by Helena Rojek – Osowska