Inspirational quotes such as “be what you want to be” or “be yourself no matter what others think” should not apply to all behaviors. Sure, inspiration to be yourself works great when overcoming odds, but motivational phrases can also inspire poor judgement when heard by the wrong ears. A person fighting against societal “norms” so that he can wear a dress in public is not the same as a downtrodden reprobate with pedophilic impulses.
Take my deaf cat, Zoe, for example. She is not a pedophile but was recently inspired to be a model thanks to an Australian teen by the name of Maddy Stuart. Maddy has Down Syndrome, but she isn’t allowing her handicap to dictate her limitations. In my opinion, Maddy would be an excellent model. But unlike Zoe, Maddy put in a lot of work and dedication into losing weight and updating her image. Zoe, influenced only by the desire to be famous, believes all it takes is a few pictures, and she, too, will be a model with thousands of loyal Instragam followers.
She understands that her cerebellar hypoplasia prevents her from strutting down a runway in Milan but believes that the medium of still photography is advantageous to her poor motor skills, providing a unique portfolio of interesting and nontraditional poses. I, on the other hand, strongly believe that nobody will hire a model who can’t even hold her head steady.
Driven by my belief that she’ll never be a supermodel, she hired a photographer to prove me wrong. A few snapshots from her repertoire are below.
Let today’s lesson teach you to be true to yourself (and follow your dreams), but only if the end result is realistic.