Plato, Aristotle, and Your Fitness

What a title, right? 

Before you turn your nose up at a dry, academic, metaphysical interpretation of wellness in modern society, give me a chance to break this one down.

… And use it at your next dinner party, you’ll sound super smart.

Aristotle and Plato were two brilliant men who came to two very different interpretations on the nature of things.
Plato, with a heavy affinity for idealism, came to understand things as innate, free-floating ideas from which all variations were derived.
Aristotle with a passion for logic and metaphysics, came to understand the opposite -that the idea of things was composed of our embodied experiences with all of the things we categorize as “similar to”.

Modern Wellness Culture, as it stands, walks a fine line between these two approaches. If I were to ask you which of these philosophers’ ideas of “thingness” you agreed with, most of you would probably agree with Aristotle.

Where I think we start to trip up, and where I find my clients often get confused, is when we talk about wellness. How often have you heard the phrase, “this is supposed to be super good for you,” or  its million variants?  It is an incredibly platonic phrase. It assumes that there is some sort of innate wellness smoothie floating in the sky from which we can derive wellness upon consumption.

Do you see the problem?

Here’s an example from my life:
My little brother and I have great fights about what’s healthy and our conversation looks like this…

Him: “Tell me something healthy I can have for dinner.” <-Plato
Me: “I dunno, what did you do/eat today?” <-Aristotle
Him: “Just tell me what to eat, K?” <- Stubborn little brother who is sick of Aristotle

Just because something makes sense for me, doesn’t mean it automatically makes sense for you. Somehow, even though we agree with Aristotle, we talk about wellness as though we were more aligned with Plato. Next time you catch yourself talking about something’s healthfulness, ask yourself, are you Plato? Or are you Aristotle?

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Grey Days of Summer

This summer I had the opportunity to shoot with Jackie Duncan of Jackie Duncan Photography on a particularly grey day on the banks the Bow River.

Jackie is a fabulous photographer who works in a broad array of fields and, my personal favourite side note, used to be a varsity hockey player in the U.S.

We get together, talk sport and take pictures every now and then and thanks to her amazing talent the results look something like this:

Danika2aDanika3Danika5adanika8

If you’re interested in working with her, you should definitely reach out.
Jackie does all of the model testing for agencies like Sophia Models International and is a pro in guiding and developing models and non-models alike.

Xo

Why Representation is Useful

The past week an awesome opportunity to compete in an international model search came up and, on the counsel of a friend, I approached my local coordinator looking for information.

For those of you who aspire to model, I wanted to share some of the red flags I encountered this past week and why, through experience and representation, I ultimately decided not to pursue this opportunity.

The first thing that I found really interesting was that my appeal for more information was completely ignored by my local coordinator. It wasn’t until I cc’d the CEO of the company that I was given a very short, useless piece of information by my local representative: It’s a bikini contest.

My original email requested details pertaining to image rights, the fact that I have a mother agency, and pay. All of these super important details were completely ignored and I was simply informed, as though I had some how lost my marbles, that it was ultimately a bikini contest.

The second thing that I thought was really interesting was that when I received an email from the CEO, it informed me that, due to time constraints, they did not have time to deal with my agency. This was kind of fair in my mind, I had been invited to participate on very short notice and, for sure, there was no time to sit down and chat.

However:
A reputable agent and scout should understand, or at least have a standard operating procedure in place for, how they interact with mother agencies. As a scout for an international competition, how could you not have something in place?

Third, I checked out my competition and inquired after the contract details for the winner. My competition was composed of wonderful, pretty girls but, for the most part, they were not models. By this, I don’t mean that they weren’t signed to an agency, I mean that, all though beautiful, most of these girls would not make many of the standards that agencies require their girls to have (I’m not arguing that these standards are for everyone but that they are expected in industry). The prize amount was not announced until the day of the competition and the sum was what I would make in less than a day’s work modelling locally.

When I apologized and wrote to both the local and international representatives from the model search saying that I would not compete, they lamented that my agent was hindering my opportunity for international exposure. My eyeballs just about fell out of my head.

Ultimately, if you want to model, I’d suggest that it’s super important that you don’t do things that make you uneasy. If you disagree with something, talk to someone else in industry about it. For me, talking to my agent was the best thing that I could do. He stated that, if I wanted to, of course I was welcome to take up this opportunity but, he asked me if it was in fact, a company that I wanted to take on as a client.

The answer to that became an overwhelming no. Someone who treated me so poorly and with so little consideration through out the application process, and who heeded my questions, needs and legal obligations so little does not deserve me as a representative for their brand.

It is ultimately up to you to decide who deserves to have you as a model. It might seem exciting to be asked to do a photoshoot or compete for a contract but, if it feels exploitative, I’d suggest walking away.