Verity Vareé began as a daydream. “What if I could choose my own clothes? Pick my makeup? Decide my hairstyle? Find my own locations? Create a personalized photo shoot? What if someone cared enough to ask me about my life, what I wanted, what my dreams were?”
I was a young model just beginning, receiving more positive attention than I knew what to do with. The excitement of agencies interested, go-sees, meetings, and interviews carried with them a strong sense of accountability. It was as if I could hear them asking, “Will you look this good in three years?” A silent question was asked with every glance of their eyes to mine. “Will you be able to take this? Can you keep your measurements? Is that really your body, or did you just fast for three weeks before this meeting?” Whether the questions were truly being asked behind cold, clinical stares, or I was simply imagining the worst, I suffered the pressure of the possibility. Soon after excitement died down, I realized that this was more work than profit, and I began to truly see what my place in the industry was. I was the canvas.
I can recall a time when a mother of a young model remarked, “It’s like herding cattle.” She was referring to us. We were the cattle. The models. The multitude of models. It left me a little upset, thinking of myself as just “one more of them.” And I knew it wasn’t true.
During a photo shoot in New York that I was particularly excited about, I was listening to my stylist discuss what shoes I’d be wearing in the next shoot. “The combat boots with the clunky heel.” I thought about a different pair of shoes that I thought might look better. Then giggled to myself at how silly it was to even come up with my own idea. It’s not about my idea here, and that was okay.
What many people do not know about modeling is that you do not live a non-stop glamour fest. It is a competitive, intimidating, demanding line of work, and I love it! More on that later. The glamourous part was simply the joy of someone doing your makeup, spending time and effort on your hair, fussing over what you wear, and how the light hits your skin.
There is no denying that amidst the many cups of coffee, flying makeup brushes, and chatty stylists, I could not help but feel…Beautiful.
With so many people paying attention to, well me, it seemed almost silly to think that they weren’t invested in what they were doing. But the cold hard truth was that they were working, and I was working. Despite the laughs during a funny moment on set or the friendly conversations, we were there for business. Me and them. I started thinking, what if I could choose the styling of this shoot? What if I knew for sure that they cared about me?
I love modeling, don’t get me wrong! But I realized that though so many women envied what I was doing, it wouldn’t fill them. It didn’t fill me. Being on set as a model is an art and a job.
My personal desire to be told I was beautiful, to have my beauty affirmed, and to live in confidence and assurance of my personal worth as a human being would have to come from somewhere else.
Think about it. How many women have ever experienced something like that? Someone spending hours on your beauty, your style, your dreams, and your perspective? No one. I’m a model, and I haven’t!
I’ve loved stories. Ever since I was a little girl, I begged to be read “one more story” before bed! Sometimes I wouldn’t look at the pictures so I could imagine my own. My mom told stories, my dad told stories, my Nana and Papa told stories, my brothers told stories, Miss Patty down the street told stories. And I loved people.
Naturally, my favorite stories are of real-life accounts from a person sitting right in front of me. As she describes the scars of her past, her greatest joys, and deepest longings, her face begins to make sense. Every crease, every laugh line, every micro expression is intricately connected to her person and the many chapters that make up the story of her life.
As a professional model and actress, I’ve experienced the “glam moments” that we all dream of and they left me feeling…well, empty. Those things are not made to fill you or answer the questions, “Am I beautiful?” and “Do I have value?”
Verity Vareé is a company for women, by women. Our Reveal process and the articles posted here promote a message of truth about beauty through the stories and experiences of the women we interview, the writers we use, and the beautiful images we post.
Yes, you have value. You are beautiful. Let’s talk about it.
Welcome to Verity Vareé!
~Emily Varee Dean/CEO/Founder