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What is it about a .13 oz twist-up tube of perfectly tinted, moisture infused wax that holds us captive to its promises of: flawlessly plump lips, a sensually alluring kiss or to become a force of beauty? (Actual ad campaigns for lipstick).
I was chatting with my friend, Julie, about the brand of makeup I use. She asked me to share with her the changes I made over the past two years to accomplish a genuinely confident, model-ready appearance, a new skill set and attitude in spite of my circumstances of blindness.
I could hear the emotional quiver of insecurity and despair in her voice as she confessed how she felt about herself. I listened to Julie question her value as a woman and a mom. My heart ached as she revealed how she struggled with confidence, self-esteem and expressed the genuine need for hope that time hadn’t passed her by.
She was seeking solace in different colors, brands of makeup and application techniques with no obvious results. Then she summed up our conversation with this… “I feel like I am just one tube away from happiness”.
Looking For Answers: The Lipstick Tube Dilemma
Her goal, of course, was not to have a drawer full of half-used tubes of lipstick that didn’t deliver what was promised. Her goal was to feel better about herself, to see the sparkle of life return to her green eyes, to be confidently attractive to others and self-assured of her value as a woman. She was looking for answers and started where many of us turn, the mirror.
Julie’s “identity crisis” is a familiar story for many gals over 50 and one I experienced myself. I wanted to give Julie the courage to use her despair as a catalyst for redefining who she is, what her dreams are, what she is passionate about and what she wants out of the second half of life.
I simply told her, “Well, the good news is your goals are attainable and you deserve to have them. It’s your turn! The bad news is a new tube of lipstick alone isn’t gunna do it.”
Like most women, I can admit, I place value on my appearance. Heck, how I look is a huge part of my job as a model. But I can tell you, the secret for me was not a quick trip to the cosmetic counter or even the plastic surgeon. I knew my confidence and value were not going to come from the changes I made to the outside alone.
Putting In The Work
To move from superficially looking my best, to actually being my best, took longer than I hoped and was much harder than I imagined.
First, I stopped what I was doing, objectively evaluated EVERYTHING in my life, then changed my direction, my mindset and my goals. I had to rediscover who I was, what I was passionate about and what I wanted.
Secondly, I altered any external influences that were negative and made them positive. This included getting rid of the negative people or things in my life, changing the foods I was eating and aligning my fitness habits with who I wanted to be.
Then finally I stopped giving others the power to decide my worth before I had been given the chance to demonstrate my value for their life, business or our relationship. I had to do more than just want to be valued…I had to work hard and actually believe I have God-given worth, so I could then become valuable.
Before a photoshoot, professional makeup artists apply a brush full of this and a finger dab of that until satisfied that I look beautiful and natural, yet unnaturally flawless. I can admit my confidence is visibly high as I stand in front of the camera when I know my eyes are brushed with just enough shadow to make the green color pop and my lips have that perfect balance of natural tint and shine. But without the hard work to be good at modeling and the time I spent making life changes physically and mentally, then as soon as the makeup is wiped off my value and dreams would be gone as well.
I have learned in the modeling business and in life that my worthiness doesn’t decrease based on someone not choosing my value. It may simply mean I am not what they are looking for, but that doesn’t make me less. It is, however, my responsibility not to hide my value and then wonder why they couldn’t see it.
Don’t make it hard for people to discover how wonderful you are or how you can transform their world-make it glaringly obvious. Work hard to be the best at who you are, what you do and what you are passionate about, without excuse. This kind of value cannot be twisted up from a tube, or taken from you…it comes from within and becomes a part of who you are.
Catherine was diagnosed in 1995 with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), only weeks after returning from serving for two years on the mission field in Nigeria, Africa. She has been a national public speaker and article writer for several magazines, sharing her story of learning to walk with strength and faith behind a white cane.
Catherine holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Baylor University and had a wonderful career as an operating room nurse. She is a former ballerina and studied dance at Julliard’s School of American Ballet in New York. She is currently a professional commercial print and fitness model with Grogan Management in Dallas, Tx. She is the proud mother of 3 grown sons and wife of Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Craig Harrison. Catherine serves on several non-profit boards and regularly volunteers in her local community.
Her mission is not only to successfully work as a model, who happens to have a visual impairment but also to empower women of all ages to step into their strength, regardless of their circumstances, with poise and courage.
Connecting With Catherine
- Instagram: @CatherineHarrison_Model
- Facebook: @ModelCatherineHarrison
- Website: linktr.ee/catherineharrison_model
- A single tube of red lipstick.
- Photo credit Julia Wagner at Feather and Root Photography. With short blonde hair and mesmerizing green eyes, Catherine looks very chic wearing a white button-down with blue jeans. She is posing for the camera while sitting in a chair.
- Uncovered tube of pink lipstick.
- Bio Photo: In this photo, Catherine is sitting on a sofa with her right arm along the back and eyes downcast.