About the book
Keep Smiling is an autobiography cum career guide handbook by Tiana Pongs, a world renowned model and actress who has penned down her rich & diverse experience in the fashion industry in it. Tiana’s journey began as a 15 year old photo model in Mönchengladbach and peaked as an established face in fashion world across the globe. While she was dazzling on the covers for international brands she came across a difficult decision to make where she could either lose her career or herself. Tiana chose the latter; she welcomed and cherished an early pregnancy with all her heart, which is often seen as an end to modelling career. Striving for a work life balance, she made a successful comeback shortly.
The book is the outcome of her hardships, resilience and intelligent decisions in the form of the knowledge, insights and lessons she learnt while working. She has conveyed all of those lessons in a targeted, informative and brutally honest way to guide the aspiring models from the beginning. A closer look of the reality of the field will help them in making correct decisions and shape their perspective towards the same.
Structure and Elements of the Book
The book begins on an autobiographical note with a brief introduction of the author’s life and career graph and moves on to explaining all the essentials for building a career as a model. The book is divided into 13 short chapters with sub sections and can be finished in a single read. The language is simple and the flow is easy to follow and understand. As a career guide, it prepares a newcomer to navigate smoothly in the highly competitive fashion world without getting caught-up in the dark alleys beneath all the glam and glow.
Right decisions, is the phrase I would like to use when describing the intent of the book. Basics of modelling, major decisions such as how to find genuine clients, correct agencies, application & interviews, choosing and declining projects, diet plan and minute yet important tips like to what to carry in your bag, the author has made a note of everything needed. For example, while choosing a good photographer she says:
“Only pick photographers who have their own website. This allows you to have a look at their past work and therefore help you to decide whether or not their aesthetics match your taste….”
Where to draw the line? is a difficult question with a much more difficult answer, but Tiana has been very honest in her experience and opinion for the same, which will be very helpful to the aspiring models.
The book also talks about how much the rating matters, cosmetic surgeries are an option or not, the secret and efficiency of casting shows, overcoming anxiety and insecurity, dealing with homesickness and what it means to be a top model? From curating small essential tips to reacting to shady advertisements, every element reflects the author’s genuine effort in guiding new faces and makes the book a complete career guide. She has justified every word when she says:
Tiana has also shared some interesting and lesser known secrets of modelling contests. The only limitation I can point out it is that the book is more woman-centric and has one chapter specifically for male models. However, the process is not much different for male models and the insights are true for everyone irrespective of gender. While one may google numerous resources to seek guidance, this book is much better than any of those, it is not only time-saving but will clear the confusions and comes with a number of personal recommendations.
Tiana has written the book as if she is having a direct conversation with the reader. I loved the clarity in her thoughts and expression. She knows what she wants to tell the readers. There was not a single line or paragraph that felt unnecessary or could have been edited out. Practical, informative yet personal. She is honest to declare that it won’t be an easy path, but if you have decided take the road, then persistence is the key to survive and succeed. Stay motivated and keep smiling you will succeed indeed.
“You have to be able to endure hard times as well, when you’re not able to get a job. The economic crisis knows no pardon and it’s no different in the fashion industry, either.”
Keep smiling is an excellent example of how a career guide should be. Glad to have read it and would strongly recommend to all the beginners in modelling industry and also their family and friends who wish to understand and support them in their journey. The wise ones learn from others experience. That is why one must read this book to learn from those on the top to reach the top.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
Shelley Reviews Rating
Structure and Elements: 4.5/5