by: Alicia M. Blanco
I finally got back to LA on Monday after my week in Scottsdale, AZ working my 7th year as a “block model” for Barrett-Jackson. Barrett-Jackson is a luxurious auto auction known around the world for their grand production, classic cars, charities and big spending. Here are some pics from Barrett-Jackson past.
This year, over 1600 cars were sold for over $130 million dollars. It’s a huge event which is why being a block model is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. We are required to maintain a beaming smile all day long (sometimes 10 hours a day), walk back and forth with each and every single car on the block, interact with bidders and attendees and smile through the pain that we may feel in our necks, backs and feet. (I think this is why most of the models hired are pageant girls, because we know how to smile through all the butt glue, high heels and other major discomforts.) And although my feet and neck are indeed still numb and sore, my heart is overflowing with excitement for the story I’m about to tell.
We started off on Tuesday of last week and worked tirelessly until the final day which was Sunday. On Saturday I was asked by one of the auctioneers whom I adore, to attend chapel on Sunday morning in our break room before the auction got started. I agreed to attend even though it meant getting to work a few hours before I was scheduled.
I woke up Sunday morning feeling butterflies in my stomach. I had no idea why. I was only asked to attend the small gathering. But I made sure I read my bible that morning to help me relax and get rid of those butterflies.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19
I thought it was ironic that this was the scripture I stumbled upon considering I was working an event centered around spending massive amounts of money and collecting cars. I would like to point out that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having hobbies and passions such as these- I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t enjoy the heck out of wearing such lavish gowns and jewelry for the week and seeing stunning cars sell for millions of dollars. But it’s important not to lose focus on what’s more important in life.
The scripture stood out to me because I felt so blessed to be around the people who “got it”- the people who understood that none of those extravagant things matter if you have a rotten core. The people who, despite being physically drained and tired, still made time to honor God on Sunday morning because they knew that no matter how much money you have or how famous you are or how much beauty you see on the outside, is so insignificant without God. Inner beauty matters. Loving and serving others matters.
Once I got to the bible study, I felt confident, relaxed and was so humbled when I was actually asked to share my testimony about the importance of inner beauty and kindness that morning. Ironically, I was hired to be a model who smiles all day, dressed glamorously from head to toe in over $70K of sponsored jewelry, and yet there I was, standing in front of this family of mine, talking about inner beauty instead. It was SO awesome! Of course, I was crying. I spoke about my trip to Israel with all the beauty queens back in September, and how it felt like home for us to be there. I told them how we felt the most beautiful on that trip compared to the nights we all won our respective “worldly crowns”; I talked about how I never felt more beautiful than when I developed a real relationship with God; How even though as block models we are hired to be aesthetically beautiful and smile all day long, that I feel the most beautiful on the inside, which matters most. I shared with them how four years prior when I worked the event, I was going through a painful and embarrassing break-up of my engagement and yet I still had to smile on stage as if everything was ok, just like many people in the world do every single day.
The best part was the rest of the day having people come up to thank me for sharing my story and askng to pray with me. It was such a high all day long and I felt compelled to share just a piece of it with you. My week at Barrett-Jackson 2015 was a healthy reminder of how important it is pay close attention to where your “treasure” is, because that’s also where your heart is too.