Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Why I'm glad I never wanted to be a model...

Maybe I would have wanted to model if I were 5'10" and weighed 120 pounds.  Maybe not.  I'm 5'2" and weigh $%^&* pounds, though, so modeling would not have been a good career choice for me.  I know some people have made a lot of money in making pictures.  It might even be fun for some folks.  To me, it sounds like it a lot of suffering for minimal reward, unless you're someone like Christie Brinkley or Tyra Banks.

I watched my fair share of America's Next Top Model... at least until Kelly Cutrone joined the cast.  I know some people from that show went on to have careers in show business.  Claire Unabia, who was memorably cast in Cycle 10, recently appeared on a show called Westworld.  Analeigh Tipton, who was in Cycle 11, went on to be in the movies.  And although some former contestants have not done well post show, some have managed to carve legitimate careers out of their time on ANTM, even if not as models.


How to be a model...

But what about the people who simply go to New York or Paris and start pounding the pavement?  From what I've read, if they are lucky enough to have a look that interests an agency, they are constantly facing rejection.  They get told they're too fat, too short, too old, not pretty enough, too pretty, too commercial, not commercial enough... and all of this for life in a crash pad among many other models, most of whom are competition rather than friends.  I suppose the same could be said about a career in acting, but at least as an actor, there are more ways to share one's personality other than simply looking a certain way.

I would imagine that if you wanted to be a model, you'd really have to be extremely secure with yourself to be able to accept that constant negative feedback with a straight face.  A lot of people who are publicly very sure about themselves tend to be very narcissistic.  Once they are around people who have seen the deeper part of them, they turn into monsters who make the people who love them miserable.

On the other hand, although modeling is a career that is based on being seen and not necessarily heard, not all models are narcissistic.  I think a lot of the ones who are very successful do tend to be that way.  Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell both come to mind.  Conversely, I don't think Paulina Porizkova is narcissistic at all.  In fact, she seems very "real" to me.  I was legitimately sad when she got fired from ANTM.  I thought she was the best one on the show.  She's clearly intelligent and says exactly what she thinks.  In fact, she even said "Modeling sucks", even though it turned her into a household name back in the 1980s.

In an article for the HuffPost, Paulina writes:

...the actual personal qualifications required of a model are few. She can have the grace of a water buffalo, the brain cells of an amoeba, and the personality of rabid dying dog — although preferably not all three at the same time — and she can still get work.

Personally, I think I'd rather be known for being smart, funny, and talented, rather than beautiful.  After all, beauty often fades with youth.  If that's what you're known for, you constantly have to protect that "asset".  In fact, I just wrote about that a couple of days ago when I noticed Christie Brinkley in a video sporting a flawless dress while consciously covering her hands and neck.  It must be hell enduring the aging process when your whole claim to fame is about how gorgeous you are.  I think Christie Brinkley is beautiful, despite her age.  But it's clear to me that she works very hard to maintain that look.  I think it must be exhausting.  What's more, as Paulina Porizkova says, a lot of success in the modeling industry depends solely on genetics and luck.  She writes:

Despite Tyra Banks’ insistence that a girl can somehow “deserve” a top model spot by “by learning, by improving, by wanting it most,” this is in fact complete bullshit. The only thing that truly matters is what the girl looks like and if she is in the right place at the right time.

About three years ago, I discovered that a former neighbor of ours started a "business" out of blogging and making videos.  I couldn't stand the guy when he was our neighbor.  For many reasons, I thought he was a massive jerk.  However, after doing some Googling, I discovered that his daughter had decided to be a model.  It looks like she has actually "made it" to some extent.  She moved to New York and has apparently had some success in Japan.  However, I read a blog post written by someone who interviewed her and she makes going to Fashion Week sound absolutely hideous.  She even says she never wants to experience it again.  It seems to me that if you want to model, Fashion Week is a necessary evil.  But it also does sound pretty horrible, rather than exciting.

I think even if I had been tall and thin, I would not be model material.  I take pretty awful photos most of the time.  And even the ones that aren't legitimately awful cause me to become very self-conscious.  I'm sure some models, especially the ones who develop eating disorders, suffer with that problem all the time.  I'm also not the most confident walker, especially when I'm going down stairs.


This would probably happen to me.

I would imagine that dealing with models would also mean dealing with people who are constantly "hangry"... or perhaps abusing substances that would alter their moods.  No thanks.  

In fact, I wouldn't even want to be a beauty blogger or, heaven forbid, a YouTube beauty "vlogger".  I think it would take a lot of chutzpah to bill myself that way.  It's bad enough that I dare to call myself The Overeducated Housewife, and believe me, I've gotten a lot of shit for it in certain circles.  People can be absolutely brutal.


Loey Lane is very pretty...  


And so is Trixi...  but people still bust on both of them for putting themselves out there.

So yeah... count me as one who is glad I don't have what it takes to be a fashion model... or a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, for that matter.  I'll stick to sitting in my room, writing my posts, and recording the occasional musical number for the very few people who care.  Obscurity is not so bad.





2 comments:

  1. I think I would rather do agricultural field work than work as a model if the pay were comparable.

    ReplyDelete

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