I had a casting yesterday morning. And while I was walking painfully with four-inch stiletto, trying to cross my leg and move my hips, I felt dumb.
I might do the silliest job in the world, but I’ve promised I would not be THAT silly. Being in the industry myself does not change my perception of modeling. It is not a kind of job that requires high intelligence level. What is so challenging about stretching your legs in front of a camera while opening your jaw for two centimeters and giving a tantalizing look? And what is so smart about saying cheeky lines like, “I’m an active person who loves to have fun, so check me out! I might be your next product face!”
I have to admit, being surrounded by those skinny looking ladies whose main concern is their hip lines, just reinforced all stereotypes about a model. And allow me to delight myself with listing the re-checked stereotypes, hope they would not read this though…
ONE….Models are bitches, but they are smart..well maybe cunning is a better word….
I recalled those day that led me to this shit, when I joined the university pageant. What I initially thought to be a fun experience, turned out to be a bitter one, or at least, ironically funny experience.
Inspired by a photo-essay on New York Fashion Week that won WordPress Photo 2006, I aimed to capture another side of a pageant activity. Being a contestant myself, I was hoping to look beyond the glittery scene and hairdo. But there was nothing behind there.
I was hoping to find just a little of genuine friendship, or I was hoping to see the reality behind such fake contest. I think I watched too much Miss Congeniality. There was no reality in the real world. Everything, including friendship is just on the surface. And if you try to be yourself, to be a real good friend, you are dead.
This is my assumption after the top ten finalists was announced. Those who made it to the final were the one REALLY want to win. The one mean enough to backstab your friend, the one would step on others with four-inch sharp stiletto.
And once we’re on final, anything is legal. Hell with ethics. Take this example. It was during our dress fitting session. The clothes from sponsors were put based on their size, S or XS and we were to pick our outfit. I was just standing when I realized that the other girls were running like mad, greedily grabbed the best clothes. I was left with a pale blue t-shirt and a pale pink short skirt which exaggerate my already huge thigh. I asked around if only I could exchange just the shirt or the skirts so that at least I would not look that miserable. Needless to say, none cared. The coordinator pitied me for that and gave me a black skirt. Ok, at least the colour does not crash and crushed…
I was admiring my black skirt when one contestant saw me. “Hey, your skirt looks nice! Can I try for a while?” Innocent margy exchanged her black skirt with a pink short skirt that was one size to big for her. And once the black skirt is on that girl…she refused to return it to me.
I felt cheated, of course. But no point arguing. I look really good in this black skirt, and I don’t care how you look, you’re my competitor was how she behaved. I once again asked for my coordinator help.
Once again pitying me, she asked another girl to exchange her black skirt for me. Although her white t-shirts matched really sweetly with the pink skirt, she was nonetheless, more than angry. “I loved my black skirt tho…I really don’t understand why I had to exchange,” she said while staring at me. Duh! Won’t she be willing to look less pretty yet still pretty so that her friend doesn’t look ridiculous?!
Fine, if this is the game, let’s play, I thought. I went back from that dress fitting session, went to the sponsor’s store, bought a really nice t-shirt and skirt and on the D-Day, I just suddenly wore my own clothing. Some girls gave me an envy look, “I thought we weren’t supposed to wear our own clothes. I had nice New Urban Male t-shirt, have you asked the coordinator?” the girls who stole my black skirt commented.
“Well, I just refused to look ridiculous,” I replied coldly.
I was the second winner, with notice that I had too, be a cunning bitch.
Another incident was during the day itself. We were given a set of questions, in case we went to the top 5. I was a communication studies student and I knew that “World Peace” is the best answer for what you would like to see in the world.
“Let’s start discuss the questions!” said one girl. And we sat together while she asked me all my answers for each questions. At the end of that “discussion”, I realized that I had never heard her answer.
Smart huh? They cheated me once more, but too bad, they just never gotten the change to be asked.
And that’s how we were shaped; it is best if we don’t have friend at all. Throughout my free courses, our first few lessons are:
1. Do not trust your friend; other girls are vying your position, they want to be the next you, don’t let them ever do it.
2. Do not talk to other models, they might want to compare your fee or steal your next audition chance
3. Do not ever show public display of affection anywhere, pretend that you’re single most of the time
TWO…Models are anorectic and proud for being one!
Really, their best achievement was to skip lunch and their unforgettable moment was when they could tell anyone that they skip lunch!
It was still during the pageant day. We went for a photo shoot. It was striking hot day and the makeup was as thick as for Chinese opera. I just dreadful to drink anything! Really, anything, whatever I can drink, water? Ice milo? Anything! And there’s this girl, sitting next to me and said, “Oh my God, Am so hot! I would do anything for a glass of DIET coke!”
OMG…was it a very common phrase? Can’t you say I would love to get a coke? Can’t you say I would do anything for a drink? Why did I, a stranger, need to know that you only drink low calories stuff?
Another day, it was after one of my modeling class. It was scheduled in a way that we would be forced to skip lunch. It was from 12 to 2 or 3 sometime. For a university student like me, anything below 10 was early. So, for a class at 12, I woke up at 10 and hurriedly bathed, applied body lotion, put foundation…powder..blush on..eyeliner…eyeshadow…eyebrow…mascara..lipstic…dressed up and by the time I finished, no time for breakfast.
You may understand that after the class, I would be very hungry. I had another appointment afterwards so I need food that is fast to served. Fastfood! I told my friend that I would get a Mc.Donald’s meal before we left.
“Oh, there’s a subway down there…”
“Yeah..I know..But I am getting Mc.d!”
“Oh, ya, of course…but I thought…since you know…you are in the industry..you might want to eat something less fattening…”
“Yeah..I know this is not the healthiest food in the world, but I’m hungry, and if I’m hungry I’ll eat. And If I need to eat fast, I’ll go for fastfood. I like the taste anyway.”
Embarrased by my answer, she replied, “Oh ya..I ate Mc too…”
I hated to say how this had influenced me, but ever since, I would not expose my habit of eating junk food in front of those girls. I would starve myself, created more sufferings for me with eating just fresh fruits, went somewhere else myself and indulged myself in that greasy meat.
THREE…Models think their job is the coolest and indeed..very..very..important…
Miss Universe always believes that her beauty, brain and behavior would stop the violence in the world which had existed from centuries ago. Although after few miss universe contests we realized that they did not at all made that much difference to reduce ethnical tension in Sudan, Miss universe will always be Miss Universe.
So when their stuff is the most important, pardon them. One of my classmate proudly flaunted, “I never read those kind of boring magazine..time..nat geo…newspaper..ahh, I only read fashion magazine, yes, bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan….” Before she cheerfully broke into giggle.
Ahh..any other stereotypes? Like models are up to rich guys? Most of the time, it’s true..I am just glad I still think the same way. I did not think that fashion magazine will supply me adequately with general knowledge. I did not think that I would survive without applying for job next year when I graduated. I know my standard, I’m not that good that I could rely on my face to live. And yes, I did not think that Subway has lesser fat than Mc.
But then again, maybe that’s because I had not truly immersed to the industry. After all, I had skipped 3 weeks of classes…Maybe next time, it would be my turn to got fired…once after they’re reading this