Last night I was invited to attend my very first model party so without much thinking I donned the highest heels I could find in my possession (which elevated me just high enough to put me face to face with a commercial model) and ventured out to explore the world of glam. To my enormous surprise (and relief) I enjoyed it, courtesy of free drinks and a glam goodie bag which consisted of everything a conscientious model needs – an energy ball, some healthy suspiciously tasting beverage, notepad, pen (you know… to write down castings n’all) and of course – portable mobile phone charger, which actually was the only thing I used.
Anyway, I approached the subject of model world carefully. Attending parties and events is becoming about gaining writing material, and although, at some point in the night I was carried away a little bit while having my photo taken by a man with a big camera, I was on a constant alert trying not to miss any scandalous detail of the night but for a change I decided not to make travesty out of literally everything, I chose to keep my childish curiosity present as much as humanly possible.
What is model industry about anyway? Apart from rich man’s petting zoo, it’s also a business and for the first time instead of seeing models as pure gorgeous creatures, now I also see them as money making machines which too have their expiry date and for some of them, it is way less than Macbook warranty. Unfortunately, if you look past the glam and thigh gap, behind the allure of velvet skin and pouty lips, all you will uncover is bunch business people trying to make money. Model industry is grossing over $900m in revenue each year and the demand for it continues to grow. It’s under constant media scrutiny and despite being seen as a glamorous industry, it’s ruthless and exploitative, causing more damage than meets the eye. But I’ll stop here because I’ve done my piece of criticism in my earlier posts. Lets just enjoy the harmless experience of the party and, of course, beauty.
You can’t deny, it’s a fascinating world out there. Couple of hours of being surrounded by the best looking people in the city is like a luxury balm to our sore, excel-spreadsheet tired eyes. The party was hosted at the high end London hotel. The setting of course was spectacular, beautiful London skyline basking in the rich velvet purple and pink sunset, funky music, delicious cocktails – in short an environment where anyone with some charisma points could be somebody. It provides you with an uncanny validation, as if the the proximity to the lavishness itself pushes you through some magical wormhole to the world devoid of world hunger, ISIS, global warming, drug cartels, or Donald Trump. Instead you can enjoy the perks of the party world where cocktails are free and people are happy. However I wonder whether this festive feeling lasts beyond couple of weekends?
Being a model is not just about the looks – you tell them miss Tyra Banks, who taught me nothing about model world apart from it’s a vile jungle where you are either loudmouth fierce bitch or a quirky quiet girl who sits in the corner trying to avoid the drama. Regardless of your social skills and proverbial personality (a word which Tyra Banks used to cover up the complete lack of intellectual activity on behalf of certain contestants) high cheekbones always trump sweet nature or science degree. As I sat in the hotel lobby observing who’s arriving, I experienced some unknown, mind boggling symptom resembling twisted Déjà vu. All arriving girls wore black, all had lovely long dark hair and they all looked the same. It’s as if Christian Grey opened his own model agency where all women look liked like Anna Steele. Was there some dress code which I didn’t know about, but even so, I’d have to travel back in time, 15 years to be precise to fit the scene.
We aren’t talking Victoria Secret here, where models are literally made out of sugar and spice and everything nice, whose trained, post child birth bodies would put my three-times-a-week gym bod (sounds a lot better than it actually is) to biblical shame. We are talking 17 (let’s hope at least) year old girls, hardly anywhere near full development, flocking to the bar to be admired (in the best case) or objectified (in the worst). Still, they carry this uncanny sense of demureness and innocence, which I scattered away so carelessly over the years.
Suddenly the quote: I felt like I was wearing patchouli in a room full of Chanel (Sex And the City) began echoing in my mind reminding me that for a brief moment I forgot who I was and what I came here for. The daze of the party feeling was dispersing in the air along with the guests leaving the scene. Magic has left the building. It was beginning to turn into an average club night with it’s lingering red-eyed guest looking for trouble. I grabbed my goodie bag and saw myself out. To answer to my earlier posed question, the festive feeling not only doesn’t last for couple of weekends, it wears out the moment the bar stops serving free drinks. But still, like every new addict, I’m looking forward to my next fix.