Written by: Denise Bidot
As I sit here on a flight to London for work I can't help but think about how amazing my ride as a model has been.
I've traveled the world. Met incredible people and best of all found myself and my purpose through this journey.
I remember my first trip to Europe like it was yesterday, even though it was anything but.
I was flying to Tenerife for a job with a new client and I was scared to death. Were they going to like me? Was I too big? Was I too small? Maybe too short? All these questions flooded my mind and I was barely able to sit still. As a model I was learning that very rarely was it about you. It's always about the client and how "you fit their brand."So naturally I was scared.
Here's a little secret... I'm short! Having lied for the better part of 10 years about my height. I feel freedom with letting you all know that I am NOT 5'9.5 and I'm most certainly NOT 5'11 like google says (it always makes me laugh when I see that). I am only 5'7, and for the first time in 10 years, I can say that knowing it won't "hurt my career."
See, modeling when I started had very strict boundaries and no matter how cute you were, nobody was willing to budge, so naturally I fibbed my height to get my foot in the door.
When I originally submitted to agencies, everyone told me a hard "No." Yet I refused to let my limitations, hold me back, so for 5 years I wore nothing but heels. It got to a point where I didn't even own sneakers or flats, because, what was the point, I needed to look tall and "be on" at all times.
It wasn't until I did an episode of Curvy Girls that I had to buy sneakers, for a workout class, and suddenly I realized how silly I was trying to be something I'm not. I looked in my closet and couldn't believe how much I was living a lie. Here I was trying to tell women to love themselves just as they were, yet I was hiding who I was out of fear that I wouldn't be accepted or wanted.
As I look back I realize it wasn't about the flats, it was about accepting who I was and my place in this crazy industry. Funny, because everyone told me not to move to NYC. "Those are the "top girls," they said. A size 10/12 works the most here. You'll never make it in New York." Honestly, I refused to believe I wasn't good enough because of a few inches and from that moment on I set off to try and prove that I could indeed make it, and make it I did.
I've had an amazing 10 + year career, I've worked for everyone in the "plus size" market and even for brands that aren't. I've walked runways around the world and have been a staple at NYFW for the past 7 season. This shorty has even been in front of Anna Wintour more times than anyone could dream of. Landed covers of magazines, walked red carpets at major events, started a body positive movement that has helped inspire women around the world and all of that while being a single parent to the most amazing daughter ever.
So here's to the women, men, kids and everyone reading this post. I want you to know that "limitations" only exist if you allow them to, trust me. I started the No Wrong Way movement so that we call all embrace, support and encourage each other to be kind, be our best and be absolutely unapologetic about who we are.
My name is Denise Bidot. I am a mom. I am am a model but most importantly, I am a woman, refusing to hide who she is any longer.
So as I gain back my strength, I encourage you to conquer your fears and reclaim who you are!
Know that you are more than capable to take on this crazy roller coaster called life and that no matter where you are in your journey, you have a friend in me.
The No Wrong Way movement is officially LIVE and I couldn't be prouder. Share your stories, send me your videos, and rock your merch proudly. I am looking forward to creating a supportive community that you can always turn to and always remember that there is NO WRONG WAY to be you!!