Fancy Troubles

  • Notes on Fancy Troubles: Brynn Beaudoin

    Notes on Fancy Troubles: Brynn Beaudoin

    When I first heard the word model, I was five or six years old, and it was part of the expression “role model.” At the time, I had just started playing soccer and I idolized Mia Hamm. I believe that she was and is still one of the greatest female athletes of all time. At a young age, she defined mental and physical strength for women everywhere. Because of her, I felt I was capable of achieving anything.

    Shortly after the first time I heard the term model, I heard the word in the context of  “fashion model.” I started modeling clothes when I was seven years old and immediately fell in love with the industry. Once modeling took up too much of my time for me to be a normal kid, I stopped. I didn’t start modeling again until I was nineteen years old in Boston, after I had attended an open call. From there my career expanded to other markets within the US and Europe. I idolized the supers, such as Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer, because they meant business and were full of personality and strength.

    However, all sorts of fancy troubles arose after I dove into the industry. But the most trouble I’ve dealt with has involved my body image. The moment I left Boston, my body was criticized in every market. I have a memory of walking into one of my first agencies and my agent squeezing my thighs and asking me what sports I played growing up. My answer obviously included soccer. I was then asked to follow a strict diet and refrain from working out. I was told to walk only and to avoid weights. However, I physically and mentally needed to work out, considering I’d been active my entire life. Working out was crucial to my mental health. So I did my own research and spoke to a wide variety of other models, agents and trainers. At that moment, the trouble began.

    I became obsessed with over working out and under eating. I lost over fifteen pounds after a few months of an exhausting new lifestyle. The most frustrating part was that it still wasn’t enough. I was constantly asked to lose more weight. I was even told to not eat for three days before an important shoot. An agent told me that if I needed to eat something then I should eat watermelon or cucumbers because they are water based and could hold me over.

    During my time in Europe things got worse; I started to feel and look physically sick. I was overwhelmingly exhausted. I barely had the energy to walk around a grocery store to shop for food.  I couldn’t take in or appreciate the beauty of Milan and the other cities I lived in because I was too tired to notice life happening in front of me. I was light headed and at the point of fainting a majority of the time, which I blamed on auto-immune issues and stress. I was measured weekly and told if I could lose more weight, I’d have more success. All of this pressure resulted in an agony of guilt after my first bite of pasta in Italy, which didn’t take place until two months after I arrived in the country. I told myself that I didn’t come this far to let a couple pounds get in my way. I refused to get sent home because I was a size four and not a size zero. A smoothie and some egg whites with spinach was consistently my day-to-day meal. My sister and close friends from home would respond to my photos and ask me if I was eating. I would defensively snap back and tell them I was healthier than ever. But in fact, I was the unhealthiest I had ever been and felt far from beautiful.

    It took over six months at home of resetting and getting back to a normal eating plan and exercise routine for me to feel healthy. I wanted the body I had before I started modeling, when I was strong and fit. Since then, I have deleted my weight loss apps and have stopped counting calories. I’ve thrown out the measuring tapes and I’ve learned to listen to my body, not other people. I have days where I don’t feel great, but I am continually learning. I don’t workout to lose weight anymore. I workout to feel better, have more energy and relieve stress. But most importantly, I eat plenty of healthy food.

    These struggles are something I have never opened up about because I was in denial for a long time. Would a young girl idolize me the way I idolized Mia Hamm? Would I want a young girl to idolize me? I’ve been ashamed that I let the industry control me. I was so fixated on being a fashion model in Europe, that I was willing to alter my image completely. It took other models, standing up for body positivity and coming forward with similar stories for me to realize I wasn’t alone in these struggles. Ashley Graham, Emily DiDonato, Nina Agdal and Camille Kostek are among those models who have spoken up, who I greatly appreciate. Brands, magazines (I love you @si_swimsuit) and modeling agencies have been coming forward in support of wanting a change to happen as well.

    The beauty in my struggle is that my confidence has grown tremendously. I love my body now, including my muscular legs, which I worked my entire life for. I will find a brand that loves my look and wants to work with me because I am who and what I am. The brands that don’t love my look will find exactly what they are looking for too. This is an important truth that applies to other careers and even relationships.  I will never let anyone tell me that I am not good enough and that I need to change myself in any way. I wish I had known this five years ago when I first started modeling, or ten years ago when I was in middle school trying to fit in. You don’t need to change yourself, you only need to be your authentic self and success will follow. My hope is that people can understand that we all must accept ourselves as we are, and strive for our own goals; we must not let pressure from others or society divert us from our paths. We are worthy of achieving whatever we set out to do. My body and mind are healthy and empowered and that is what I want to represent going forward.

     Now who wants to go to Italy and eat some pizza?

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  • Fancy Troubles at New York Fashion Week

    Fancy Troubles at New York Fashion Week

    New York Fashion Week was a 4 day long intense whirlwind. Less than a year post launch and Fancy Troubles was invited to be featured in the show “The Ones To Watch” hosted by Flying Solo at Pier 59 Studios.

    Blook Sunglasses at Fashion Week

    I had the amazing opportunity to see how fashion week unfolds from behind the scenes and the amount of work and organization that goes into it. Being surrounded by the pure talent and seeing the vision of creatives from all over the world was fantastic and felt like nothing short of an honor to be a part of such company.

    I will admit, I had no idea what to expect. I couldn't help but let my imagination run wild about everything that could go wrong and even everything that could go exceptionally right.  It turns out that the glitz and glamour is just one, rose colored side of the production. It might look appealing splashed all over Instagram, but don’t be fooled. There’s a lot of sweat and tears that aren’t evinced as openly.  

    I found myself searching for authentic connections amidst the chaos and the truth is, it was lacking. It could be the high speed nature of the event that prevents those involved from being able to dig a little deeper, but it’s something that I craved.

    I felt silly for thinking that on a personal level, the experience wasn't emotionally fulfilling. Maybe that's not what fashion week is about. Maybe that’s not what work in general is all about. This first year of running Fancy Troubles has been filled with lots of firsts and an abundance of self-reflection. There certainly must be a balance between professional fulfillment and not always letting it affect my more personal feelings in such a pernicious way.

    The bottom line is that fashion week was an incredible adventure. I learned a lot about fashion and business but also a lot about myself. I can’t help but think how the experience relates so well to the name Fancy Troubles. I’ve learned that with all the good, the bad, the ups and downs, what matters is that I made it through and was inspired. And I certainly have one hell of a story to tell.

    One year in and I’m still discovering my own Fancy Troubles.

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  • It's Scorpio Season

    It's Scorpio Season

    Scorpio season begins around October 23rd each year. In 2019, Mercury goes retrograde IN Scorpio DURING Scorpio Season. People are already losing their minds.

    There is a lot of misconceptions about this astrological phenomenon, and those who don't understand, can’t appreciate a good mercury retrograde, especially in a sign as powerful and poignant as Scorpio. This is not a retrograde about car accidents, missing mail, and dropping your phone in the toilet. It's a retrograde about reflection, getting in touch with what makes you tick, thinking about things that go beyond your original comprehension, and how to use that for your own power.

    Because that's what Scorpio is all about...power. And Scorpio’s are one powerful sign.

     To celebrate the rebirth of the planet of communication in the sign of regeneration, Scorpios, of course, can turn to their Fancy Troubles Sunglass collection to pick the one that most reflects their mood during these fascinating days. 

    Of course, there's only one choice; power red, Flame in Starlette. It's more than a cat-eye pair of sunglasses. It’s the feeling that you get when you wear them; you know that you're the one that's being looked at like "who is that girl?". And, although communication can be troublesome during a Mercury Retrograde,  all Fancy Troubles Sunglasses speak for themselves.

    So, while the rest of the world is freaking out, Scorpios have a world to conquer while Mercury moves backward. Use this as a time to rebalance your energy and stake your claim to move powerfully into the future- you just have to make it until December.


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  • 4 Halloween costume categories that will get your wheels turning

    4 Halloween costume categories that will get your wheels turning

    Do you enjoy getting creative at Halloween? Do you try and push limits on creativity? It can be challenging coming up with something creative and different every year. I personally am competitive with myself- and try to out-do my costume from last year.  Thanks to the internet and social media, there are many resources for gathering inspiration. 

    Here’s a Halloween treat for you: four categories that will definitely get your wheels turning.

    Astrology inspired: I love all the faces of the zodiac signs posted on Buzzfeed, what a beautiful and creative costume idea that will be intriguing, as well as a great conversation starter. 

    History inspired: There is only one time per year where you can dress up and be anything or anyone you want- you might as well pick someone truly amazing and inspiring in real life. I love the idea of dressing up as a woman who has changed history. Check out the article on Buzzfeed for their women from history costume ideas. 

    Movie inspired: Movies have the power to inspire and change the world. Here are some great costume ideas from some of the great iconic movies of all time from this article on Popsugar.  

    Art inspired: When it comes to creative costumes, what could be more creative than to bring art to life. A little Mondrian, Lichtenstein or how about Andy Warhol? Check out these great costume ideas inspired by artists posted on Vice. 

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