I would like to start by introducing myself. My name is Matthew Stephen Smith. Most of those who know me would say that I am a “Male Model”. Although this is true to a degree, my modeling is only a facet of my being, and truth be told very few know of the incentive of my participation within this realm. With that said, by donating your time to me, I feel it is only fair that I give my truth to you. This is my me, my belief, my thoughts, my inspiration, behind the curtain.
I was raised Christian by denomination and installed with an athlete’s perception of sacrifice. What I knew was, “give for gain”, and “love for love”. My family was that of a storybook, pancakes in the morning and clean plates at dinner. However, as the beauty of life unfolded so did my understanding of its purpose. My incredible family transformed, and eventually, my athletic career ended. However truth be told, the beauty of my life is not found within the storyline, but the growth of my understanding along the way.
I am blessed to say that I have many people in my life that I admire and look to for inspiration and guidance, Rene Smith-Tomczak, Anthony Franco, Adam Lucero, Devin Wiggins, Mitch Acsell, and Adam Paranka, to name a few. I must say that it is not their “perfection” that I admire; it is their never fleeting ambition to grow and love that makes them a priceless addition to my life. They fuel my desire to understand and acknowledge the potential of life and remind me of all that I have to be grateful for. I admire these individuals because they challenge diversity and through their actions ignite ambition to all those around them. They aren’t superheroes, they aren’t invulnerable to pain, they have experienced regret, sadness, humiliation, and all the other emotions we as humans classify as faults. They still live, love, laugh and give, and this is why I look to them for guidance.
The concept of desired “perfection” is something that over time, I have become repulsed by. It’s a fallacy which requires the sacrifice of self-worth and happiness. This is the exact motive that drives me within my participation of the entertainment industry. Yes, there is an abundance of beauty in the world, however, due to social media and other platforms, I believe most have lost the ability to see it truly. Beauty is not photos you see on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. It lives in the blank space between those captured moments. The moments that we are unaware of passing time. The brief interactions with a stranger at a grocery store, the hugs you give before exiting a space, the unexpected laugh, or the accepted vulnerability that comes with tears. The manipulated concept of happiness is exactly why I have chosen to nuzzle deep into the nucleus of the entertainment realm. I strive for change and awareness. I want to be handed the holy grail only so that I may shatter it. What is the purpose of having a life if it requires the sacrifice of living it,..?
My love and appreciation for the world and those I share it with is constant and true. My joy within this life comes from the world around me, good and bad, true or false. It is not the circumstance or repercussions that dictate my gratitude. Rather it is the gift of experience that enables me to cherish my life. I was once told that for a man to truly be happy, he must learn to appreciate all spectrums of emotion. I find this to not only be a serum for the sickness of self-loathing, but also a magnificent truth to this crazy thing we call “life”.
I have chosen to dedicate my life to the art of creating. My motive stems from the potential of happiness which I strive to provide through enlightenment. I chose to fight against the world’s manipulation of beauty by playing its game and appealing to its rules, only so that I can then shine a light on its truth.
My name is Matthew Stephen Smith, and I am telling you that beauty is not “perfection”, it is not what you see in photos. It is life, experiences, emotion, and growth. My acting coach Jeffrey Marcus once said, “The holes in the roof that let the rain fall through are the same ones that enable the light to shine in.” Your flaws should be cherished, your mistakes appreciated, your life loved. Make no mistake, IF YOU EXIST, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!
I would like to conclude with some food for thought.
In the Bible, Jesus told his disciples that a lesson learned is worth more than all the jewels on earth. At first, I did not understand this message, however, over time, I began to not only grasp this concept but also experienced the peace it provides. As a child, being punished was never something I looked forward to. It prohibited my plans, schedule, and often hurt. I viewed punishment as a negative experience, and thus avoiding the actions that caused it, AKA a lesson learned. The more mistakes I made, the more I evolved due to the repercussions of my actions, and this is the hidden message of life that provided me with peace and happiness. We are human, we make mistakes, and as long as we live to tell about it, we are granted the opportunity to grow, evolve and transform into the miraculous entity which we are meant to be. Our mistakes, our flaws, our mishaps, should not be regrets. They are invaluable experiences that shape us.