I say “no” now. Sometimes I forget, though, and I have to go back and make up for it. And it took time for me to learn how to say it without suffocating and turning red (OK, that still happens sometimes, but I’m owning it), or turning my “no” into a little “yes” after one second.
In photo shoots, you have to say no a lot. No to the makeup artist who wants to give you a face you’re not happy with. No to the hair stylist, no to the stylist, no to the photographer even, sometimes.
Explaining: This type of thing doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried it a million times. This is my better angle, and the best makeup for my eyes, and this is what would make me feel beautiful, or interesting, or more myself.
We’re often told we have to learn how to say no, but for me, my path to saying no meant saying yes a million times first. And regretting it. And getting screwed all over again.
My “no” comes from experience. It took time, but it’s there now.
The funny thing is, when you start saying no, you soon find you don’t even need to say it anymore. Because from that “no” comes a confidence that puts people at ease and makes them want to follow your lead. Suddenly, everything flows.
With Stephanie and Justin from Co, and with Amanda Demme, the photographer and their team, the whole shoot was a “yes”. Easy, warm, minimal, confident. I felt celebrated and I celebrated too — the creativity and generosity of each person and the story we were creating together.
As a result, in the photos, it’s me. Poised, calm, confident.
I’m very proud of this campaign, which for me is a symbol of the new energy I want to breathe into my life — an energy of confidence, friendship and shared creativity.
Thank you Co, Amanda Demme, and the whole team!