Friday, March 20, 2015

How I Met My Mo...dels

Despite – and perhaps because of – being a short, thickly built and awkward ‘tween’ (not a term we used then), I loved loved loved fashion magazines.  I would study them cover to cover, especially during the summer, when I was unencumbered by school work.  As an only child with a stay-at-home mom, I had time on my hands during the summers and my mother and I both loved to read.  For the first few days of each monthly magazine cycle, my reading just happened to be fashion magazines.  Elle, Glamour, and Mademoiselle were my favorites; probably because of the emphasis on health and beauty aids and “what to buy” columns.  (Vogue and Cosmo would come later – couture and sex tips weren’t really on my radar yet.  Fun fact: the first check I ever wrote from my first checking account was for a Cosmo subscription.)

So, like many American girls, I was drawn into the unattainably gorgeous world of beauty and fashion.  I knew I could never be a model, but I daydreamed about it nonetheless.  I knew I could never be on TV or film, but I daydreamed.  (I even created roles for myself on sitcoms; Blaire Warner’s younger sister, duh!)  As I got older, I got more distracted by school, driving, work, driving, and friends (did I mention driving?) and my obsession with magazines waned.  My daydreams turned more into college admissions obsession and, during the ensuing years, I was preoccupied with work, marriage and children.  I was certainly not the type of person to resurrect those daydreams and replace myself with my children.  Here I am, though, a model mom.  Though I know my tiny daughter (and by tiny, I mean 10th percentile for height for her age) will never be a teen or adult model, there had to be something that intrigued me about those glossy pages for me to pursue any type of modeling for my child.  Though I don’t always like to admit it, I’m sure all those hours with all those magazines played a role in my decision to take the plunge and submit photos.  After all, that flawless airbrushed skin you see on magazine covers?  Little kids actually have that skin.

My long-winded back story is relevant here: where did I begin?  Well, with all of the modeling agencies I had heard of from my days of studying the great supermodels of the 1980s.  Ford, Elite, and Wilhelmina were agency names that rolled off my tongue, so I looked up their addresses online and read about submitting photos.  Ford and Wilhelmina had children’s divisions; Elite did not.  I ordered some prints of photos from Walmart (3 or 4, I forget, but I've included one of them below) different looks, wrote my daughter’s name and my contact info on the back of each with a Sharpie, and put them in the mail.  Like the toaster oven commercial says, “Set it and forget it!”  Right?  Welllllll…not really.

I mentioned in my prior post about child modeling that I get focused on something and go all in.  While the mail was snailing along, I turned to the internet.  I think back to those hand-addressed manila envelopes and realized I knew nothing.  NOTHING.  Because I met…dramatic pause…

Next time: what I learned from Backstage about submissions and agencies.

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