Ex-model and fashion designer Visnja Clayton wrote a book that focuses on helping women become healthier and happier. She will tell you all about it!
This book reveals our secret lives, by exposing the lack of emotional nourishment, what we wish we had, what we got and how we changed as a result.
This book contains a collection of interviews and is part of a larger project which involves a video documentary in which I seek out answers to the questions that have plagued me most of my life. What is “nourishment”, how do we get it and what can we do to make sure that future generations receive it.
Women suffer in silence and feel angry, depressed and unfulfilled. We wonder why and if it will ever change. In “The Nourishment Guide For Women”, we read about everyday women, from all walks of life, and their efforts to deal with the results of the lack of emotional nourishment in their lives. They also freely discuss how they readjusted their lives with intent and purpose and what they hope to achieve in their futures as well as give possible solutions for avoiding this ”epidemic” in the younger generation.
Over the course of the last ten years, I interviewed dozens of women, asking them several key questions, ones which I had been asking myself most of my life. The main one was “Why did I feel like I never got any nourishment from anyone or anything?” I was excited to learn from other women what it is, if one could still find it and how they had found it. I felt comforted in having them share these revelations and their struggles, past and present. My own circumstances seemed much less dire in light of these stories and I heard about moments of inspiration as well as real solutions to their feelings of disconnectedness and chronic dissatisfaction, the hills and valleys traversed in hope and often ending in feelings of peace and happiness.
When I modeled I was always hungry for a job. I never knew where the next one would come from. Once I got a steady client, like Liz Claiborne I really felt great because that was the rent right there! In the modeling industry “nourishment” means getting the next booking and really being appreciated by the client. It is also how the shoot goes if you feel pretty, and everyone is happy with you!
The design industry is different and it means that nourishment is iffy too. My bosses were unruly and stern but luckily as a young fashion designer I had a modeling career as well and that helped me get a great job as the assistant with a designer that over the course of the next 4 years also became my best friend, Marc Bouwer. Of course once I decided to go to Europe and leave him and his boutique company to pursue being a fashion model all the love and nourishment was cut off, instantly, he was mad as hell that I dared to leave him and saw it as abandonment and betrayal. He never got over it, even years later.
Through design, I hoped to feed my creative urge but I am not sure how commercial I want to be anymore. I never did think commercially but even less so now, at 50 plus. I am more interested in exploring the art and the magic of it all, not anymore the shapes of shirts and the frilliness of lacy bras!
My work in fashion satisfied my youthful yearnings to be a designer. Becoming a model was something that happened by happenstance, as a design student at the Fashion Insitute of Technology in New York City I was approached by other students to model for them and eventually that worked itself into a modeling career, parallel to fashion designing. I became enamored with modeling but it was a short-lived love affair since I quickly started to feel like a clothes-hanger and all the money I could make was just not enough to change that. I eventually worked it out of my system, a very painful process, since I identified myself with the role, but then I also realized that all the criticism my mother showered on me as a 5-year-old girl, about my physical aspects and ones I could do nothing about, became a lighter load, since I had proof I was “beautiful” and even she would have to agree, to her own surprise (demise).