You want some insight into a model's head? here ya go, guys. Plenty of insight available in this model's columns. Here's her latest:
"Yesterday, my uncle found my modeling website. Witness to my plump and gawky adolescence, he could only gasp. "Molly, you sure don't look like your pictures!"
"No ****t" I wanted to snap.
I wouldn't have been so angry, except that a week earlier, a snaggle-toothed client had said the same thing when I showed up at his hotel room for some "photos". Fresh from a long day of portfolio drop offs, I looked like a art student, sans makeup, with circles under the eyes. "In your portfolio" said client "you seemed like a goddess."
Beyond my client's snootiness and my uncle's disbelief lies a misconception that has implications too high-falutin' for this column. Implications that effect art, feminism, and how women view their bodies. The misconception is that photos tell the truth.
Of course I don't look like my photos. Schlepping down the street in worn down heels, I lack several crucial components of pictorial swank. First, the makeup. For any photo shoot, I wear ten pounds, applied by a trained professional, plus hair spray-sugared into a confection as fragile as a Argentianan coup. This goes for any look, no matter how "natural." Then there's the posing. Towards the camera go those round bazooms- away the big Puerto Rican ass. But mostly, for my transformation into goddess hood, I thank lighting and Photoshop. You may have seen me in the fluorescent glare of the Barnes and Noble bathroom. But in photos, gelled, reflected, soft-boxed lights caress me like Rudolph Valentino. Any blemishes left are taken out by the kind scalpel of Dr. Adobe.
Of course, I'm not saying anything to surprise passport holders to the world of "glamour photography" We know that our favorite Playmates, sans peroxide, Photoshop and spray-on tan, are girls like our (more attractive) neighbors. Witness Maxim's Hometown Hotties contest. Hundreds of girls apply, all pretty, but all human and diverse. By the time the 12 finalists are shot for the magazine, they have been airbrushed into a state of interchangeable Maxim perfection. This is one reason why glamour is so much less picky than fashion. Any girl below thirty five and lacking in noticeable deformities can diet, inject, bleach and tan her way into babe-hood. However, fashion modeling is a gift only youth and genetics can give. Don't believe me? Take a look at the Ford Agency website. Sorry, high school bulimics. Those gazelle legs and narrow pelvises can't be starved into. You got it or you don't.
Only those sylvan skeletons could look good in the poufy, drapey, utterly impractical art objects of runway couture. So, fashion models are natural. You can spot one by watching her stilt walk into Nobu's- with or without makeup. A glamour model, creation of paint, silicone and pixels, is less noticeable without her plumage.
But is natural really better? I have hard time attaching moral value to nature- which covers both strawberries and Ebola. And despite hippy glorification, doesn't nature carry a vaguely elitist scent? If something, whether it's a body or a talent, is artificial, a result of hard work, than it's something I can get. If it's a gift from God, I only know I'm not the receiver.
I've always thought that the beauty of a woman who's created herself is more interesting, more complex, than a twelve year olds guileless perfection. Perhaps that's why I like fetish models. Self made from diligence, networking and style, they use natural assets as a starting point- not a be all and end all.
Maybe the best metaphor for the whole natural vs. artificial debate is breast implants. Some people cluck at them, saying the girl should be satisfied with the body she's born in. Some only like them when they look real.
Me, I like them real-looking and fake-looking. Bazongas and beach balls. And perhaps, in my praise of artificiality, I might call fake tits the silicate domes of new Constantinople - signposts to a land where hard work and lucre can make you anything you desire."
(Note: If you'd like more insight, here's a link to the blog where you can read more of this model's thoughts on stuff as diverse as: "Are We Whores: The Ethics of Modeling for Amateurs" or "Spreading It: An Intimate Look at the Beaver Shot")
The Blog Where This Model Has A Column