Lights…Camera…Action redux


Editor’s note: We have re-posted this item in synchrony with the publication Oct. 25 of the November 2006 Jolie. Find it in newsstands and select boutiques and other other retail locations around the Midlands.

Have you ever decided to try something that was not in your ordinary comfort zone? Did you consider what pushing beyond your own boundaries might result in? How can one possibly imagine all of the hidden gifts within an experience if they never allow the chance to try something different? I wanted to share an extraordinary growth experience with you.

A couple of weeks ago I received a call from the fashion editor of Jolie Magazine. They were planning a spread for their November issue that would center around formalwear for the holidays. However, as a twist, they wanted to feature boutique owners or buyers wearing their own garments.

Although I have been in the fashion industry for approximately 30 years, I have always been the one dressing others for photo shoots and fashion shows. Growing up, our household was not a ‘picture-taking’ home. Rarely did I ever have photographs taken of me, and frankly, I shy away from the experience of it.

So, when Sarah called Exotica and asked me, my first reaction was “Oh, I could not do that. It might feel uncomfortable.” All of us have insecurities. We have that little tape playing of the many reasons we should not do something. My tape started rolling. All of those little parts of myself started to creep up and whisper “Don’t do it!” I stopped, took a breath, and decided it was time to try something I would never do in a million years.

Today was the shoot. I was to arrive at The State Paper at 9:00 AM for make-up and hair. I had my dress in tow, the one that Lisa Arnold, the Fashion Director for the shoot had selected. As I sat being pampered by the hair stylist and the make-up artist, I smiled on the inside. I realized the first gift of the experience. I was always so busy taking care of others, catering to my clients, helping women become beautiful…this was probably the first time I had surrendered to let someone take care of me. Oh sure I have been to hair salons and I have had facials and makeovers, but this was different. This was an event, it was an experience, the RITUAL (read the previous blog) had begun. I was consciously taking in every part of the experience. I was allowing myself to receive and just said ‘Thank you’.

The next step was the actual photo shoot. We went to another floor where a studio was set up. The camera woman, Ann, directed me in what was to happen. She said “Relax and have fun with it.” And, you know, I did. I thought, why not? The second gift. I was about to partake in an experience that every little girl dreams about. It was an opportunity to be one of those beautiful, glamorous women on a set…a model…a star.

They put the music on and I wanted to step into my ‘Me’-ness. I wanted all of the aspects of myself to feel as if this was their opportunity to express themselves, to be in the spotlight. Here was a chance to know myself in a different way. I would be seen from the lens of a camera and in turn be able to see what others see. I wanted every ‘Simran’ that rested within me to be seen. The parts of womanhood that exist within each and every one of us…


It is so important to recognize that we must push ourselves to create the life experiences that form memories, serve to honor us, and nudge us into being increasingly empowered. By simply stepping through the places we have not been, we will discover more of who we are…the limitless possibilities of who we are.

This journey was a way for me to grow, to step outside of my comfort zones, to experience another side of ‘me’ that I had never met. I urge you to take a chance on yourself. Whether it is going out and getting on a runway for a fashion show, deciding to do a photo shoot, having a nude portrait painted of you, hiking up a mountain, skydiving, learning a new language or simply trying a new way of dressing…whatever it may be…Know that this life is for you and you alone. Embrace the experience of living by experiencing ALL of who you are and ALL of who you thought you could not be. You might surprise yourself. Step beyond the illusive boundaries that you have created. It is never too late…

The third gift…the ability to share this with you. We are all mirrors of each other and are put here to teach, learn, and inspire. This one was for both of us! I look forward to seeing you on the newsstands in the November issue of Jolie Magazine!

Until the next…Fashion Emergency!!!

Warmest Regards,

Simran Singh