Envy

Hearst Publications


I take the subway downtown to the last stop, which is basically the hub of Wall Street. It’s the part of New York where you’d expect to see Gordon Gecko jerking off all over the cobblestone streets and men with briefcases yelling on cellphones. My casting is for a magazine in the Daily News building. Editorials pay you the equivalent of a prostitute’s hard day of work but you get great exposure from them (lingo for “no one will ever know or care it’s you but we pretend that’s included in your pay” ugh, thanks). Honestly, I get excited when I see myself in a magazine, but after 3 minutes of joy my subconscious turns on me and tells me being pretty in a picture is hardly an accomplishment. I like to draw a dick in my mouth because that’s never not funny.

Every time I walk through publishing offices like the ones at the Conde Nast or Hearst buildings I imagine if the girl working at her cubicle wearing heels and a short skirt is even as remotely envious of me as I am of her. I would love to be a successful young woman with an important job and she would probably like to be taller, thinner, and prettier. The woman doing the castings takes each girl one by one. I wait for about 15 minutes while I reapply my lip gloss and switch into heels. I’m guided through a maze of cubicles into a room where 6 people are sitting around a giant conference table. I hand them my portfolio and stand there silent with as innocent a look as is possible for my snarky manner. They ask me to take off my shirt because they need a photo of me in a bra. I didn’t eat or drink anything yet so my empty stomach indents could be confused for a trace of abs (I haven’t worked out in 3 weeks). They ask my age, I say 23 as usual because if I went any younger I fear that they might question the miniscule eye wrinkle that only I can see with a magnifying glass. They comment on how beautiful my eyes are, which I’ve heard so many times that I’m starting to think it’s a backhanded compliment to compensate for the giant zit on my chin that I unsuccessfully covered with makeup. Wow, that was really harsh. I need to either increase my dose of zoloft or start doing cocaine.

The best part of my job, in my opinion, isn’t the actual work, it’s the behind-the-scenes activity I experience. Everyday I have a glimpse into the “real” world of New York and the people who have the jobs I wanted when I was going to college for business or whatever I changed my mind about 5 times. I see young stylish women who look happy and busy, and for the short amount of time I’m in their office I think about how my life would be in their shoes (only, like, if they were Louboutins duh). Fuck that I can’t wear those 6 inch ankle breakers, women who wear those everyday are ridiculous. I get cranky after one hour in 3 inch heels, I can’t possibly be a real girl. I have this weird fantasy of having a stable, normal life. I don’t know exactly what that means but having a steady job is the main idea behind it. I’ve either lost my mind or I’m so bored with modeling that just about anything else sounds better. All of you think I’m ridiculous but I feel like I have so much more to offer this world than my blue eyes. Being in your 20s is great, isn’t it guys?

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15 thoughts on “Envy

  1. Mel – I modeled 15-29, mostly in NYC. Felt the same, the biz annoyed me, knew I had more to offer, and kinda hated (however awful it sounds) being noticed for my looks… I actually still deal with that one… b/c it was so focused on all the time. Guess what? I started a business 5 years ago (at 26), and now live the same on-my-own-schedule life while changing lives (I’m a nutritionist/health coach). It happens. I know the ppl above have said it too, but just relax into it and enjoy it now, or go ahead and start working toward something else. There’s always gonna be greener grass on the other side, and there’s always gonna be something about every job, but it’s your choice which field you’re hangin’ out in! Good luck!

  2. You need to get an internship. Maybe just a month … this will let you see the “real world jobs” and make you realize that the grass looks greener! However, it might shoot you into the right direction for you.

    During your go sees. Ask for business cards and SWAP. Then, write a nice thank you asking if the person would meet for 15 minute coffee because you’d love to learn more about what they do. My advice is to seek out women mentors — if you click, they will genuinely help you and not hit on you. Ask everyone if it’s possible to do a short internship. I’m sure someone can create one for you.

  3. Just discovered you today from your awesome calling out Brian, your twitter had me burst into out loud laughter in my boring as fuck office (Latrell Sprewell? Presidential porn? I had to walk away from my desk cause I started to lose control of my laughing), your blog is awesome too. I think I know what you mean, I feel I have more to offer this world than reading about conspiracy theories online all day and ignoring my boss and crying-at-his-desk-for-attention co-worker. You’ll think of something! You have a talent for writing and a unique sense of humor and voice

  4. Agreed with diymusicia above, whether or not they’re a real person. Blogging is good, but you should be writing for V or something. Stalk Anna.

    I’m one of those girls you’re talking of: Ridiculously prestigious overeducation, pencil skirts and boring blouses every day for corporate slave hours and a passable income. While I love my “important job” writing big contracts so people in Ecuador can have power plants, every two months or so I confess I think about breaking up with my nice banker bf to run off with the rando dance photographer I met on the train (so sketch) JUST to gain entry to les snotty Brooklyn artistes & paint large-canvas oils on more than a hobby basis, etc. At least you are–I think?–living the dream, and people don’t tell you you’re too pretty and artsy (they mean this derogatorily) for the field. So I think the common theme here is that life gets boring pretty fast no matter where you are. Um, go to Soho and buy some fresh, muddy-water-bucket basil with the roots still on, and gratuitous hydrangeas. And crusty bread. I hope you eat carbs, because life is too short and silly to not do so. Then walk home and make bruschetta, yay. I will go and do the same. There is some good joy there. This post–and reply–is perhaps a bonfire of privileged vanities, but it’s much better than being cold.

    One last thing. Anyone who invokes “the girl who cried rape” and then tries to explain the analogy should just go die in a septic tank, statim. And also inform themselves about VAWA. False accusations or not, that line is gross.

  5. Melissa,

    I work for the publishing company whose offices you posted a picture of. I think given your experience in modeling and your penchant for writing/editorializing you should consider working for a magazine brand as a contributor. You’d bring quite an interesting perspective to the fashion world that doesn’t often get airtime

  6. Melissa, you have great humor and timing, and truthfully, I would love to see you in some sort of host position on a show. What media I’m not sure, but I would prefer watching you as opposed to Chelsea Handler, for example.

  7. It could be so much worse. Imagine being super hot at 17 and being too young stupid and insecure to enjoy it. Now imagine saying that 10 years from now about your 20’s. I guess what I’m driving at is make money first, then get pregnant.

    Wanna date?

  8. I read that comment you posted on your twitter and felt compelled to say something. I’m just an O&A listener but am also a girl and in my 20’s.

    Fuck her. No need to get over yourself – are you even under yourself (horrific Friends reference?). I love the way you ‘play the model’ in everything you write. It’s a great, down to earth (if a bit pessimistic) view of an industry that is nothing but glamorized. It funny. and real. and I think it reminds everyone that work is just that… work. it sucks no matter the industry (I work in publishing, editorial actually).

    Wendy has some jealously, I presume. Although I can’t say I’m not jealous – you get to keep some rad clothes right?

    FUCK EM ALL…. &absolutely write a book!

  9. get the fuck over yourself. you’re not all that …. there are much prettier women, who arent tall and glamorous, who have zits, who arent smart, who dont live with multi-millionaires, who can or cant spell and who don’t need to use dumb-witted humor to try to ‘fit in’. if you’re that unhappy, do something about it … but you’re starting to sound like the girl who cried rape (a bad analogy comparison to the boy who cried wolf, in case you couldn figure that out).

  10. I find your writing very entertaining and refreshing, specially your take of the modeling industry. What I question is if your ironic and negative look at things affect how other people perceive you and/or impede you from getting more successful. I wouldn’t change a thing about you, but I do question how much of that part of your persona permeate through to your business environment.

  11. I hated my 20s. That said, enjoy where you are now because you will never be here again. When you are truly ready to move on to something else, you will be prepared to do so. You are smart, you are funny and you so much more than just your looks. Live for now – it goes fast.
    Yeah, that was preachy, but whatever. It’s all true.

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