Written by Rick Trottier – RJT Images
Featured Model – Lily Marie
Ideals, morals and values have been at the core of our drive for progress as a species since civilization dawned. Ancient Laws and writings about community and behavior stressed a common set of standards for how a person should conduct oneself in their dealings with others. As time passed and mankind’s systems became more complicated, writings on government began to explore the role of the individual in constructs like “The State” and how actions on a small scale would benefit the whole. And as cultures have diversified on a global scale and differences of style seem to be more of the focus of how we lead our lives today, there is one true gauge by which all people are measured. To be an honorable person is an Ideal that never gets old, never goes out of style and is never passe. Honor is the life-blood of decency, courtesy, even common sense. Being a person who stands by a set of principles, lives their life by that code, can be counted upon to stray from the path on the rarest of occasions and has the capacity to make those around them better people just by their example, that is an honorable soul and a Person with Ideals.
Models need to be People with Ideals. Modeling is a profession in the same manner as teaching, law, engineering and other jobs where skills, knowledge, understanding and experience are coupled with a set of philosophies as to how to navigate a business environment and interact with others. Models soon learn, just as all persons do in any professional setting, that scrupulous attention to detail when it comes to personal comportment and professional conduct go a long way to creating a ladder of success. All the maxims that Ben Franklin proposed in Poore Richard’s Almanac all the way to the wise sayings of grandparents whispered in conversations or dictated in learning situations come back to be invaluable truisms that guide a model through corridors where far too many coarse denizens can’t imagine what honorable behavior and ideals could possibly look like. Those without ideals and who lack all sense of honor, are those who think only of themselves, are situated on the lowest step of ethical development and wallow in a mud puddle world of self-absorption and base gratification. The Model with Ideals balances her need to succeed with a sense of her place among the community and her responsibility to others.
As such, a Model with Ideals must have Core Qualities that can be divided into two categories; Inner-focus Ideals and Outward-focus Ideals. The Inner-focus Ideals are clearly those principles which dictate her own sets of decisions, beliefs, knowledge and feelings as they pertain to all dealings with her heart and mind. The Outward-focus Ideals are essentially how she shapes her interactions with others based on her Inner Ideals and how they will impact all those persons she interfaces with. As such, the Inner and Outward Ideals are intertwined and one cannot exist without the other, allowing a Model with Ideals to be a truly honorable person. The self-absorbed person focused solely on themselves with no thought for the impact of their choices on others. The Model with Ideals seeks a balance between what she wants and what kinds of outcomes will be created by her decisions and who will be impacted by those outcomes. The Model with Ideals must be both introspective in her self-evaluation but profoundly subtle of thought when it comes to assessing the forces at work around her in the daily intercourse with her colleagues.
The Core Inner-focus Ideals are ones that come through years of learning, primarily from family, teachers and other persons in positions to pass along wisdom through words and actions that create experiential connections. It is for that reason that Models with Ideals are often persons who have had access to mentors of a varying nature in their formative years. These mentors help to guide, shape and test the spirit of a Model with Ideals so that four specific qualities of the Inner Person are refined.
Goal-Orientation – The Model with Ideals sets goals for herself starting at a young age and while those goals might evolve throughout life, she is always striving to achieve short and long terms objectives which yield spiritual and material gain. Models with Ideals look for goals that are achievable in nature, are sensible and have merit and are worthy of an honorable person, doing credit to herself and those around her. A model who is goal-oriented reflects on successes and failures throughout life, assessing and comprehending reasons for both outcomes and making the necessary changes to her goal-oriented nature. Goal-orientation presupposes an understanding that success arrives through effort and patience, blended in measure, for no true achievement happens without plans being executed over time and bringing about the fruit of labors that are substantial.
Determination – Life is a never-ending admixture of joy and sorrow, victory and defeat, light and dark. Models with Ideals learn early on in life how to strive for their goals, fueled by a sense of Determination, that inner strength and fire that sustains them even during the worst of times. Determination is not a relentless forward push to achieve, it is a mix of consistent forward momentum leavened by the ability to be flexible and make changes so that during times of trial and tribulation, a Model with Ideals can master her circumstances with hope and endurance. Honorable people do not run roughshod over others, they allow their determination to be the catalyst to steady surges of success throughout life.
Devotion – The Model with Ideals devotes herself to many things in life, but the most important of all temples of devotion is that of Health, both of the Mind and the Body. A healthy person is a happy person, one who can strive for goals and has the energy to maintain their determined spirit. Proper devotion to a lifestyle that stresses a balance between mental and physical health, work and leisure, serious demeanor and silly affect as well as a deep understanding of what methods work best for the individual to achieve a devotion to Health, these are the journey of a lifetime. There is no destination here, but a quest that is decades long, leading a person to many a self-discovery of what new forms of health are as each stage of life passes.
Meticulous Patterns of Behavior – A Goal –Oriented person is a short-term and long-term planner. But what makes those plans achievable and eventually become successes is an appropriate attention to detail. It is easy to become overwhelmed in small and unimportant minutiae, but details can sometimes be the absolute foundation to actions leading to accomplished goals. Honorable people do all the small things right, like showing appreciation for kindnesses and generosity, making time for others even when it seems like no time is available, creating a pattern to life that is comfortable yet dynamic so that stagnation is never engendered and innovation is celebrated. Leaving things to chance means success and happiness are like a lottery win. But being meticulous about important details reduces the element of chance and brings about patterns of accomplishment.
The Core Outward-focus Ideals are ones that come through years of looking beyond the narrow view that can be created when a person is far too ego-centric. Studying the actions, thoughts and choices of others in the day-to-day, making comparisons to admirable examples of human achievement worthy of emulation and drawing conclusions from those interactions is how we come to an understanding of our place in the scheme of an ever-changing world and how we want to be viewed. This sojourn in “the Wilderness of Life” forges the deeper consciousness of a Model with Ideals so that four specific qualities of the Outward-looking Person are polished.
Trustworthy – A Model with Ideals can be depended upon by others to be responsible in her actions and is a person of their word. Consistency of behavior creates a template in the minds of others so that once they come to see you as and expect you to be a responsible person, you are no longer a problematic variable and there is no question about what you stand for. Once established as trustworthy and responsible, you can be counted on.
Courteous – The Honorable Person thinks about the feelings of others. This does not mean that they are a weak, simpering do-gooder. Courtesy is about honesty and knowing that while kind deeds and words are most commonly the best course of action, at times taking a strong stand that may create moments of strain is always the best policy. Courteous people are individuals of courage, persons who put other’s needs in front of their own when it is called for, but who will defend their own beliefs with fervor, knowing that “doing the right thing” is always the proper choice.
Steadfast – A Model with Ideals is she who comes to realize that loyalty to people and codes of conduct that has been earned is something that cannot be set aside. A faithless person shifts from one camp to another, one viewpoint to the next, one idea to a contradictory stance. A Steadfast person is loyal to her tested and treasured friends and family as well as honorable in her ways of being. Barbaric behavior stems from the ancient definition of hordes of untutored and savage peoples with no principles at all, living hand to mouth in whatever manner suits the occasion. The Model with Ideals places her steadfast loyalty in people and concepts that reflect all the good things she wishes the world to see in herself.
Empathy – An Empathetic Person is that most highly evolved example of humankind. They are able to blend an understanding of themselves and their goals/hopes/dreams with an almost equal comprehension of others so that common ground is established and worthwhile growth is nourished. A Model with Ideals patiently develops a sense of empathy for others, wishes to understand hearts and minds, not for her own benefit solely, but so that everyone can profit from common purpose forged by cohesive energies ignited in shared experience.
Part of the reason a Model with Ideals seeks to develop her Core of Inner and Outer Qualities is in an effort to forge a link between the Industry within which she works and the Humanity she is evolving. The Modeling Industry is often a place of vanity, histrionics, absurdity and callow mundanity. Such is the lot of many vocations in this world, but the nature of beauty draws to it many of the lowest forms of life who seek to drain vitality from others simply to assuage the emptiness inside themselves. Models must be prepared for this eventuality. It is impossible to change everyone or dictate how people should act, but setting an example for others by your words and deeds helps to influence the nature of the environment where you exist. The Model with Ideals has to think about how she is perceived by those she interacts with regularly and in passing. She must consider the importance of the “day to day” impression that she is leaving on the hearts and minds of those she encounters. But that is just the short term sense of perception that she is influencing, the Model with Ideals must also be in touch with the future and its possibilities. Our interactions with those around us also leave a lasting impression, one that can create a legacy. Leaving behind a positive legacy that can shape how a person navigates their daily life is one of the most important gifts we can bestow upon others, as well as one of the most significant responsibilities we wield throughout our days on Earth. Jackie Robinson said it best in his quote “A Life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives”. Few statements touch the eternal nature of a person’s legacy better than that one. A Model with Ideals seeks the opportunity to affect positive, beneficial change in others by reason of her exemplary Idealistic Persona.
Self-absorption is the hallmark of the Modeling-Photography business, one of the many reasons why this profession continues to carry a stigma. Promotion is the key to success in any field connected to the worlds of media and entertainment and the very nature of promotion lends itself towards falling into a narcissistic affectation. But it doesn’t have to be that way. A Model with Ideals can still be beautiful, alluring, and sensual and just ooze sex appeal like light sparkling off wet gold. But the outer luster can still be just the necessary glitter laid over a profoundly compelling and intricate personality that is crafted by caring, energy and love to be a force for good in the Industry and in the daily battle for survival. The Model with Ideals walks with her head above the clouds, exuding confidence and radiating optimism, but her eyes see more than just the light of the stars she is trying to catch. She sees each and every person around her as having intrinsic value and her actions resonate outward to their lives in a way that can make existence better for all of us. This is a paradigm that can make all of the vocations and avocations of the world happier and our place therein that much better too.