A woman proudly walks the catwalk in lingerie

Part 2: My Fashion Week Modeling Experience

The AnaOno Intimates #FearLess fashion show benefitting METAvivor seems years away, as I write this now only six weeks later.

I can't believe what a different world it is today. Let's talk a walk back to February. When we were able to gather for birthday parties. Weddings. And yes, even fashion shows.

NY Fashion Week Model Part 1

Just to bring you up to speed (in case you didn't read Part 1 of my story...and that's ok!), I was invited to participate in the AnaOno Intimates New York Fashion Week fashion show as a model. But not just a model, a breast cancer thriver. What an honor to be in the same room with 30 other AMAZING women. All different races, ages, stages from all of the country....and all walks of life.

TNBC Thriver

I'm now a 7 year triple negative breast cancer thriver. I really thought I had the whole confidence thing down. After all, I now have a blog called Cancer Fashionista. I do makeup tutorials and interview experts. I'm invited to speak on panels, and often times to even moderate them (which I LOVE to do). But walking on the runway during New York Fashion Week in your bra and underwear (and just a couple of accessories to round out the look) is a whole other story.

"Chin up. Back straight. Now, Strut."

I had the honor of receiving several "strut lessons" from the master herself, veteran runway coach Lolita Frasier. "Chin up. Back straight. Now, Strut." I had the chills when I first heard these words because I thought to myself, "This isn't just a runway lesson. This is a lesson about how I should hold myself through life. Through the good and the bad, the tough times and everything in between."

What I learned is how to hold my head up high and maintain my integrity, no matter what I'm going through. Easier said than done, I know. Especially when you're smack in the middle of cancer treatment.

The most courageous thing I've ever had to do

All 31 of us models practiced and practiced. But nothing could prepare us for the moment we were all about to embark on. Taking that first step onto the catwalk was one of the most courageous things I've ever had to do! But honestly...receiving my first round of chemo probably made more of the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. So let's also take a moment and look at perspective. So brilliant that Dana Donofree, Founder of AnoOno Intimates called her show #FearLess. Because once you've been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, I feel like anything else is just...not that big of a deal.

Feeling confident taking my first step onto the runway

When I went to go and have my hair and makeup done backstage, I had no idea that I'd be wearing a VERY long ponytail extension. As soon as the stylist popped it on, I went right into character. A funny, confident woman who was about to do the catwalk in front of hundreds of people. Right before I took my first step onto the runway, Lolita said to me, "You should toss that ponytail." And that's exactly what I did. I walked out there with the confidence of Mick Jagger at Yankee Stadium and gave it my best shot. Moral of the story? It doesn't happen overnight but for some, there is life after a breast cancer diagnosis. There is confidence, beauty, and even humor after breast cancer. So even when things are really rough, remember these words, "Chin up. Back straight. Now, strut."

When do you feel most confident? Comment below and share an experience with us!

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