“I was so surprised to earn covers! Transcending vulnerability is challenging so I approach modeling with an athlete’s mentality. Training can be exhausting and before a shoot, I spend 2-4 hours a day in the gym. I maintain a healthy diet and stay focused,” stated McDonald.
Every shoot has earned her well-deserved accolades, including another cover for a leading men’s lifestyle publication. McDonald shared her struggles with anxiety but believes physical fitness and modeling alleviates the daily struggle.
“I’m proud of modeling and training for the shoots really helps the anxiety. I’m grateful for all the support but for anyone wanting to model, I have to say that people can be ruthless. Online comments like how I look fake or how they don’t like my body; Comments like that only serve to hurt and for a while, I was actually responding to them, which was exhausting,” sighed McDonald.
She added, “I eventually blocked them and took that power away. A lot of people have trouble handling all that, which I totally understand. It takes a lot of strength to tune all that out and do what you love, regardless of what others say. It’s really not hard to be nice and it certainly doesn’t cost anything.”
McDonald’s convictions of anti-bullying and building self-confidence are put into practice daily. By redirecting energy and being disciplined within a supportive environment, McDonald has applied her training mentality to better serve today’s youth.
“My husband and I run a non-profit gym for children 8-18 that normally cannot afford services and access to a gym. We know so many kids that have been bullied so we help them learn how to work out, box, or just remain physically active and healthy. I have witnessed total transformations of a lot of children and it’s very satisfying to be a part of growing their confidence. We all work out with the kids and improve together while cheering each other on,” said McDonald.
Focused on creating positive change within her community and building a supportive family, McDonald continues her ‘athlete’s mentality’ approach to photo shoots and proudly shared her personal positive changes.
“I’m feeling less pressure with every subsequent shoot and managing my anxiety. I see my confidence growing. Coping with rejection is never easy but I find it’s getting easier; I understand my image is not for everyone and that’s totally fine. One of the myths of modeling I’d like to expose is that a lot of big, nationally known magazines actually have models pay for cover shoots or centerfold pictorials! One had reached out to me but the price wasn’t beneficial to me in any way. I’m really enjoying modeling and will just have to see where this path takes me,” concluded McDonald.
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Photos by Keith Selle