Sunday, July 26, 2009

I Am The Anonymous Model

I Am The Anonymous Model is an essay by Jezebel's TatianaTheAnonymousModel, who quit modeling, took up writing, and finally reveled her identity.

Reading the essay, I figured out that I had no idea non-supermodel-models were scraping by this hard. I know, I know, bohoo, I *have* to wear dresses that are worth more than people's houses... But still, if you think about it, the bottom line is being poor kind of sucks. Being constantly poor, itenerant, and hungry triple sucks. Enjoy random quotes:

"They were all 16 and 20 and 23, and most were amenable to staying up late and talking about Lech Walesa and the problems of teaching post-WWII history in a country where 15 years ago neighbors turned each other in to the secret police for having an extra chicken. Or they would trash talk creepy clients while drinking white wine out of 7UP bottles in the street because none of us had the money for a bar tab and the apartment was too hot. That was good, too.

I spent three nights in a models' apartment near Wilshire and La Brea with no electricity; my three roommates and I removed our eye makeup by candlelight.

When we were talking about mutual acquaintances, my Madonna lookalike friend told me a story about a fellow model, a teenaged scenester I'd been hanging out with in Los Angeles and New York earlier that year. The girl rolled with a musician boyfriend who was fucking my friend when she was 16, and she had a momager who lived off her earnings, which included at that time $25,000 for a major global campaign. And, said my friend, the teenager had actually just entered rehab in Arizona because the whole time I had known her, she was shooting heroin. The story -- with the stage mother, the influence of one of the many dudes who fuck 16-year-olds, the money jobs, the intravenous drug use -- all seemed at the time like a giant neon sign flashing Get Out Of This Industry Now. I still can't believe I didn't even realize she was strung out. Perhaps that contains a depressing message about the kinds of connections this business fosters between people. Or about how I coarsened as a person during my time wandering this earth selling the rights to my image for a living. Or both. I don't know.


My last job -- "Oh, if only we could be shooting film," exclaimed the photographer, as he put in his memory card -- was for a bridal magazine, and I wore, among other things, a dress that cost $29,000 and was largely constructed of ostrich feathers. Before the job, the photographer had found an old personal blog I used to write, under the name I'll now be writing with for Jezebel. He wanted to know why I'd given up on that blog; I was good and kind of funny, he said. I told him I'd gotten bored, which was more or less true.

At the very end of the shoot, as the assistants were striking the set, undoing everything they'd jerry-rigged so convincingly the day before, as the stylists were packing up the couture gowns and the art director was looking at potential layouts with her boss, and as I was putting on my jacket and heading for the door, the photographer called out to me, "Jenna! Please just keep writing."

My name is Jenna Sauers.

I smiled, and told him that I would."
Jenna states, "the problems of the modeling industry are not in fact personal, but structural." Nice. I hope she gets to eat as many (veggie) burgers as she wants now.

(From HuffPo and Racked)

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