JA - The only people that matter is the ones that support you and want to see you succeed!
I would love nothing more than to be able to tell you that entering this industry is all roses and diamonds, but there is most definitely the dark side that you don’t see unless you are in it. The jealousy, the hate, the people who try to pull you down… yet there is also the glamorous side of it also which is far more addictive than the darker side. Having your makeup done and your hair made to perfection, the clothes, the money, the fame! Nothing compares to seeing yourself inside a glossy magazine, it really doesn’t.
However, I MUST give you some advice… the biggest piece of all is to ‘DO IT’ and BE STRONG’ you can achieve anything if you just believe.. look at me for instance, I was once just a nobody, your typical, everyday type of girl that would throw her hair on top of her head, stick on a pair of navy-blue work trousers and stack shelves for a living…. Now, look at me! So, always keep the faith and believe in yourself. You will always get haters and jealousy; it only proves how successful you are becoming. I guarantee that most would give their left arm to be where you are (if you work hard at it)
The only people that matter is the ones that support you and want to see you succeed!
My name is Sara-Jane, however, in the modelling world, I am known as JAmodel. I was born in November 1989 in a small town within the North-West of the United Kingdom called Bolton, not too far from Manchester. I suppose, that it was the upbringing I had as a child that led me to have the determination to become something successful in my later life.
You see, as a child I was a victim of child abuse at the hands of own father. The abuse was originally inflicted upon my mother until she found the strength and courage she needed to leave after many years of suffering in silence, having nowhere to run to and nobody that she could tell.
My father was a narcissistic, control freak who would always appear more superior to women. He was a dominator, he was a bully, he was a liar. I am unsure of how many people are familiar with ‘the freedom programme’ (a course here in the UK for victims of abuse) but when I had to take the course myself as an adult – that was when I began to fully educate myself with the real tactics of an abuser and learn about all the different characteristics an abuser carries.
(keep reading, and I’m sure that you will create your own picture of this entire story)
I was roughly six years old when my mother finally had enough and found the strength to leave, the sad news is that in order for her to be safe – she had to leave her children behind!
I had to grow up quickly, whether I liked it or not!
It was when that same abuse my mother had suffered turned on to myself and my siblings that she knew what a mistake she had made by leaving us behind, in-fact, she used to always say that leaving us behind was her biggest mistake. Yet, I don’t blame her for doing so, she did what she thought was best at that given time.
Running away from home, time and time again only made things worse, and more disturbingly – it only encouraged my dad to reveal just how much of a narcissist he really was…. Acting so attentive whenever the social services would get involved, whenever family were around, yet behind closed doors he was exactly as described in the freedom programme’ character ‘the bad father’
(I strongly encourage anyone to read that book if they can relate to any of what they have read so far in this article. Living with the dominator – a book about the freedom programme, written by Pat Craven is available to purchase online)
The more that I ran, the more that dad would trick the social services and the more I would be called a liar! My mum attempted numerous times to save me from him, we even flew out to Spain just to make it more difficult for dad to touch me, sadly that only landed me in a children’s home where not one other resident spoke the English language – nobody took me seriously, not the police, not the social services, disgusting right?
Would a child really keep running away if things were not that bad?
Why wouldn’t the social services or the police take my allegations seriously?
It was only when I turned fifteen and ran away yet again, that the police finally gave me the news I had waited so long to hear. I didn’t have to return to my fathers’ care as I was of age, I had suffered for over nine long years and I could finally begin to put it all behind me, or could I?
I became pregnant with my first daughter at the very young age of seventeen. Maybe if I had of had a proper childhood and a stable upbringing then maybe I would not have found myself in what I believed was love nor would I have found myself pregnant with a twenty-one-year-old boy that was in and out of prison, involved with drugs and theft. He didn’t work so therefor he couldn’t provide stability for me or his unborn child. I should have been wiser to the situation.
Instead, a few months later, I found myself raising our daughter alone whilst he was absent from the family home, up to no good, god knows where. The only time that he would be seen with his daughter was when he was borrowing money from his granddad, having the baby present meant that granddad would find it impossible to say no.
At nineteen I became pregnant with our son. None of the children were planned but a termination was not even a second thought for me, not even when my ‘loving’ partner (my daughters’ ‘absent’ father) would stick his fists through the door panels in a rage when he was actually present, or, verbally abuse me, manipulate me, control me. I was not even deterred when I found myself lying to my family over the bruises or marks left on my body through another of his anger outbursts.
What was there not to love?
Regardless of the situation that I was in – I was adamant that I would love our children in a way that I had never felt when I was a child. I wanted my children to have the life that I didn’t.
I Hadn’t even lived my own life – in-fact, my life was over before it had even begun. The only thing that mattered to me now was my son and my daughter. Even if I wanted a life, my partner would make that impossible anyway. Again, referring to the freedom programme – women belong at home with the children, it is a woman’s job to raise the children and ensure that his slippers are waiting for him when he arrives home after a long day. It is a woman’s job to ensure that the house is always spotless for when he comes home – that’s exactly why women have smaller feet, right? To enable them in getting closer to the sink!
I had basically fallen in love with my father, the same traits, the same characteristics… An abuser. It was only when I was twenty-one, when he went to prison AGAIN, that I saw my exit once and for all and ended the relationship.
I needed to find myself a real man, a man that would show me how a real family should be, a businessman, a reliable, independent yet supportive man. I thought that I had struck gold when I got involved with a guy who drove a BMW, dressed smart, and worked in haulage. That much so I gave him another two children of his own, but just like my father and just like my ex-partner, he turned out to be exactly the same…
Modelling had never crossed my mind before, until one day when I was collecting the children from school, I was handed a business card from a man in the playground and told to give him a call. He was a photographer and wanted to take some photographs of me for his portfolio.
I excitedly told my partner about it but he wasn’t too keen on the idea, not even when I explained that they were only going to be fashion level. There was me thinking that he was concerned for my welfare, really, he just didn’t want me to have any independence. After all, who would look after the children if I was actually doing something for me, all it meant was that he would have to be a dad for the day.
I am so glad that I attended that photo shoot, despite looking back on it now and thinking how much I lacked in experience. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for that shoot with Jim Witham, wearing just a simple white dress in fields of bluebells, my blonde hair straightened and makeup perfected by myself - the images looked so very elegant. We were both pleased with the outcome of that day and decided to book another photoshoot in an urban location, lots of brickwork and graffiti, this time I wore denim jeans, a denim jacket and sneakers…. I was really getting into this modelling malarkey. I liked how it made me feel, I liked how I felt more than just a mother, how I could do something for me and how I always had something to look back on afterwards. I could show my children these images and maybe they would have the same enthusiasm as what I had when I saw them.
I was also by this time working at the local supermarket express store as a customer assistant, alternating the care for my children between my sister and my partners family members. I eventually worked my way up to become a supervisor – until on my shift one night we got armed robbed by four men waving machetes, smashing up the store, stealing the money from the tills and fleeing. Leaving myself and the two customer assistants that were on shift with me that night traumatized.
The children’s dad hated that I worked, he hated having to be home at a certain time so that I could work the night shifts, I tried my best to work my Rota around his shenanigans. All that he had to do was take over the bed time routine but he didn’t like that he now had to be a responsible father, it was my fault that he could no longer come and go as he pleased, have a free life, I was forcing him to be a part of our family, forcing him to be a parent and a supportive partner.
Unbeknown to me, I was learning to be independent.
I was learning to love myself.
The relationship with my children’s father fizzled out. He began drinking alcohol excessively and would blame it on the health conditions that he had and how it caused him chronic pain.
I don’t know many people that find it acceptable to open a can of Stella Artois first thing in the morning when most people would be having a cup of tea and a bowl of cheerios. He used the same excuses when he began smoking cannabis to extent too, selling it and growing it, staying out until all hours just so he could get into a state without being nagged at by me for wanting him to be a father to the children and a partner to me… I tried so hard for a long time to try and remedy him, attending hospital appointments in relation to his health needs and alcohol/drug intake… I was even there when the consultant advised him that if he was to go cold turkey – his organs would shut down, so instead placed him on a detox plan. He didn’t stick to it for longer than a couple of days. I wanted to help the man I loved to be the person I thought that he could be.
Sadly, it took me a long time to educate myself on what the meaning of love really is. Every man that I met all had similarities to my father.
It’s all I’ve ever known!
One thing I have learnt along the way, is that you cannot help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves
I was a single mother to four little faces that needed a role model, it was a relief that I didn’t have to answer to anyone about what I did or when I would do it. The only issue I had was baby sitters for the children, yet with the help and support from family I managed to over-come them hurdles. I began modelling more and more, I set up accounts on modelling web pages, I was getting attention, I was becoming quite popular on the modelling scene even with the fact that my portfolio only consisted of photographs from two photo shoots.
I was gaining more confidence. I wanted my children to be proud of me.
It was even more of a confidence boost, or so I thought, when I met my next partner. A North-West county champion, middleweight boxer.
He soon made me realize that he was the king of the castle. The first time he strangled me and head butted me in the face after calling me some not so pleasant names I wanted to believe that he didn’t mean it. When he told me how much of a nobody I was, or when he spat in my face, stole my money to buy cocaine, strangled me or cheated on me, I told myself that I knew him better than that, this wasn’t the guy I had fallen for and I was adamant that he could change. It was only when I was made aware and encouraged to complete ‘the freedom programme’ that I learnt how a leopard will never change its spots.
It took me the best part of five years to learn exactly who I had fallen in love with:
• a liar,
• a control freak,
• a bully,
• a head worker,
• king of the castle…
the list goes on…
I couldn’t carry on like this, I didn’t know how to be an individual anymore, I only knew how to be what other people wanted of me – a victim and I decided that it was time to change all of that and show people exactly what I was made of…
I threw myself into modelling, I worked as many TFP (time for print) photoshoots as I could until I built myself an amazing portfolio, I began to get noticed more and more. The original photoshoot I had done all those years ago had never left my mind, I knew that I had what it takes to become a model, not just any model but a successful and well-known model, a published model.
I channeled all of my anger and frustration into succeeding at life, I was not going to let the past define me as a person any more. I was going to make myself a star! I was going to show my children just how possible it is to succeed at life if you just focus and work hard at it… I was going to be the best role model for every young girl out there.
Slowly but surely the hard work began to pay off, I was published in my first ever magazine… I felt amazing, my dreams were coming true! I was starting to earn money through what I was doing, and the best part of it was that it didn’t even feel like work as I enjoyed what I was doing… Then another magazine approached me, and another and another. I was finally learning to love myself!
It doesn’t take a genius to work out why the ex then started to declare his undying love for me, and how sorry he was for hurting me, how much he didn’t want to be apart from me etc… But there was no going back for me! Some people take a hint and realize when no means no, but not him. He was determined to make my life hell.
I thought my father was bad but nobody could ever compare to this guy, threatening to destroy my career as a model now that I had become so popular in the industry, I was clearly reaping the rewards from working so hard which led me to where I am today His jealousy led him to set up fake accounts on adult websites and other social media sites, attempting to sell intimate photos at a cost of ten pounds, stealing my copyright images from photo shoots and arranging photo shoots from an account believed to be myself then taking deposits to secure the booking – unbeknown to myself until I was approached by a regular photographer who then made me aware of his scam!
The good thing about this kind of industry is that once you have worked with so many photographers, they look out for you, and visa-versa. It was one of the photographers who I now also class as a friend that made me aware of the scam. A lot more than the police ever will, or so it felt. I had made numerous complaints to Lancashire police force and nothing seemed to happen. It was only when I met my – now, fiancé’, Matt, and moved away to Cheshire, that I could finally see a positive change.
Matt is a completely different character altogether compared to my ex-partners, he pursues me in my career as a model, he shines a light on the negative situations that make me question whether or not I should give it all up.
Despite my levels in modelling changing to mainly lingerie, art nudity and more raunchy material, matt is never phased, in-fact he encourages it entirely. He will buy me outfits to suit the shoots, he has even jumped in on some either acting as a model or a behind the scenes photographer. I cannot thank him enough for his encouragement. He loves what I do.
I have noticed how much more popular I have become since gaining the confidence to work on and beyond lingerie levels, literally to the point I have now been published in multiple magazines covering, America, Canada and England. I have featured as a guest on podcasts over in the states. I have been asked to work on music videos, have studio days, even asked to give advice out to anyone thinking about entering the modelling industry. I have been asked to travel to different countries for photo shoots and paid holidays, however currently Covid has only just about begun to make some of these requests doable.
Sadly, the jealous ex is still lurking around somewhere, still attempting to make money from my hard work, however Cheshire police force seem to be picking up the slack of what other forces couldn’t be bothered to do, and with the love and support from my husband to be, I don’t allow him to irritate me in the same way he once did.
I was once told to never do my shopping anywhere other than Booth’s. This advice was not given to be in terms of grocery shopping, but instead with the mindset of finding a man who was basically of fantastic quality… I have never forgotten that valuable piece of advice, hence why I am now in a happy place both mentally and physically. Find yourselves a Matt!
I didn’t think that I would ever be as successful as I am now, and I would even go as far as saying that I really never thought I would ever see the day that I ever became a well-known model, it was just a hobby, a fantasy, when I started off. No, I am not Kate Moss or Katie Price, but in the modelling industry, I am quite popular – well, especially for a little nobody, anyway!
I know that my life has not been the best, but one thing is for certain – I am living it to best I possibly can now! All the mistakes I made along the way I am fixing slowly but surely; I am correcting my life and I am perfecting myself in all ways.
You will be able to read all about my entire life story – warts and all when my book is released! Yes, the little nobody who worked hard and pushed for her dreams to become reality, is writing a book, with the help and guidance from the published author of (zootkilo – available to buy on amazon) Justin Beck, and my lovely partner/artist Matt. I’m sure that you will all be as excited for that, just as much as I am, myself.
If there is one thing only that you take away and remember from this article, please allow it to be this:
All of our dreams can come true IF we have the courage to pursue them. Be the person who NEVER gave up on their own dreams and you reap the rewards.
Lots of love
Xxxxx Jamodel Xxxxx