I get a call from my agent at 6pm for a 6:30pm casting.
“You’re their favorite, it’s very important Melissa, make sure to look your best. Remember we had that talk about getting as many new clients as possible? Well this is one of them.”
Yeah yeah yeah, I’ve heard that before. I thought I was done for the day so I had already taken my makeup off at 5pm and put on sweatpants. I was very excited to watch my DVR full of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Toddlers & Tiaras. How RUDE of my agent to interrupt that to get me a job, I mean seriously?!?! I promptly throw on some mascara and blush and rush down to 22nd street. I run into a friend of mine from my agency who got the same call.
She says, “Ugh, I look like garbage and I’m tired.” I say “You look gorgeous, I’m the gross one here.”
And then we compliment each other some more, because that’s what models do. We don’t have real conversations. The woman who called us in for the casting tells us their usual showroom model was swimming in the clothes and they needed someone who filled out the pants. Great, so you called us in because we have bigger hips and thicker thighs than your size 0 models. We try on the clothes and they fit very well.
“Ok, we’ll call your agent if we need you tomorrow.”
20 mins later I get a call, “Melissa they loved you! You’re working tomorrow!”
The next morning I grab a Starbucks on the way to my job because I didn’t have time to eat breakfast (because I’m a lazy piece of shit who hit the snooze button 4 times). Right when I get to the office an intern immediately takes my coat and coffee and place them behind the curtain of a small room where 5 other models are already stripped down in their thongs waiting for someone to dress them. Goodbye warm chai latte. They tell me to undress quickly because an important client is waiting. I throw my boots and socks under a table and stand naked in the middle of 10 people trusting someone will notice me and put a dress on me. I’m handed black leather leggings and a scratchy sweater made out of what could only be porcupine pubic hair. They put a hat on me that covers my eyes and shoes that are 2 sizes too small and basically push me out of the closet into showroom. I wasn’t exactly sure what the hell I was doing, I’ve worked in showrooms before but they gave me no direction on who I was showing the clothes to. I wobble out there and prance around to 4 different tables, letting the clients take photos of my outfit while I stand there with a blank look on my face listening to their commentary.
Five hours later it’s lunch time. Thank fucking god because I’m slowly going into a coma. I find my chai latte and drink it, it’s ice cold but I’m so hungry I’ll swallow anything. [Insert blowjob joke here]. Two models are allowed to eat at a time while the others continue working. I grab my vegetable curry and spring rolls and find a bench. One of the models sits down next to me.
“I had a big breakfast so I’m not that hungry. Well, it was granola and yogurt. So, yeah.” she says.
Really? Oh boy. I eat my vegetables and watch her pick out the cheese and croutons from her mini salad. She dips her plastic fork into her ginger soy dressing but wipes off most of it before stabbing 2 pieces of spinach.
“I got two salads because I didn’t want anything deep fried.” she says.
I look at my 2 deep fried spring rolls. Great, I can’t eat these now. I’ll look like a fat ass. Wait, why do I care what I eat in front of her? But I think maybe I shouldn’t be eating them because deep fried food is, in fact, bad for you. I close the lid and pretend I never ordered them. Fuck, I wanted them. Gah! Too late now! I tell myself I’ll be ok with just these vegetables and curry. Too much sodium makes you bloated and when your job requires you to be naked in front of other models, you worry about things like that. I hate that I worry about that. I tell myself it’s a good thing to be conscience of what I’m eating, but it’s been a little overwhelming the past year. I beat myself up for eating pizza or drinking a coke, and I despise myself for it.
We go back into our closet and continue changing into ridiculous outfits for four more hours. When we have brief downtime I put on my headphones and listen to podcasts. I hear the other models talking about prom and college. This makes me feel old. I think about the upcoming fashion week and how I should be working out more and eating more vegetables. I write down juice recipes and make a half-assed plan of what I will eat for the next month. After work I stop by Trader Joes and buy pounds of vegetables. I feel a twinge better about myself, but when I get home I heat up a piece of cold pizza, because, FUCK IT.