Models: Beauty on the Outside, Bitchy on the Inside

I stared at the email in horror. This was not what I signed up for. Who would voluntarily subject themselves to such torture for the price of $30/hr? I got the job off craigslist, I should have known there was something they weren’t telling me. I looked at the e-mail again, hoping I’d miss-read.

YOUR SCHEDULE FOR TOMORROW’S EVENT:

10:30: Everyone arrives at the office, change into Jones New York provided outfits

10:40am: You will be split into teams of 5 (4 models and 1 brand ambassador) and put in cabs to head to your location

Nope, there was no mistaking it.  I agreed to the job a week previously, to work as a brand ambassador for a Fashion Week promotion. $30 an hour? Great. No one told me I’d be the one, single brand ambassador surrounded by professional models. No one signs up to be the fat kid on the playground. The one hippopotamus in a herd of antelope.

I was never the fat kid on the playground. Quite the opposite, I was made fun of for my skinny legs. Fortunately the name “Chicken Legs” never stuck. Even saddling the Freshman 15 no one would ever describe me as fat. Presently I might be described as “tall, thin, blonde.” Sounds like a modelesque description but trust me, I ain’t got the bone structure nor the ability to walk in 5 inch heels.

I arrived at 10:30 and the office was amass of incredibly skinny, beautiful women in their underwear. I closed my eyes and thought off all the straight men who would give anything to be in my shoes at that moment. Then I stripped, hoping no one would notice that my ribs don’t show, and slipped on my black pumps and the provided Jones New York ensemble.

10:40 AM I am in a cab with four other girls. Everything about them is making me believe every stereotype and cliché I’ve ever heard about models.  They are The Alpha Bitch, The Closet Bitch, The Nice One, and The Newbie. I would have called them these names regardless, but I should note that I introduced myself within seconds of getting in the cab, no one followed suit. Thus I never learned their actual names. Self absorbed much?

Alpha Bitch, Closet Bitch, and Nice One were all friends. Newbie was barely 18 and had been in New York for just under a month. She was by far the most striking and tallest but you could tell she was intimidated by the more experienced other three. She kept quiet.

10:43 AM “Yeah, that designer is only casting anorexics.” said Alpha Bitch.

10:45 AM “Michael C. put me in this see-through dress, you can totally see my tits but whatever.” said Alpha, “And OMG they put so much product in my hair yesterday, I had to shower before I could do anything. Nice One, you are so lucky Valerie put you in a wig.”
“You guys are both lucky,” said Closet Bitch, “I’m stuck with Casanova and the outfit totally makes me look fat.” No one denied this.
“I can’t believe Casanova made it to fashion week.” said Nice One. ”
“Yeah, there are so many decoys this year,” said Alpha, “but it’s not like their stuff is that different from the finalists.”
They’ve ignored me this whole time which is fine because I enjoyed eavesdropping and was putting pieces together.
“Are you guys talking about Project Runway?” I ask. I watched the beginning of the season and then got bored but still read the blog Project Rungay (because the boys who write it are hilarious) so I recognized names. Besides, how many people are named “Casanova”?
Alpha Bitch gave me a look that said “Please, as if you don’t recognize us” while Nice One said “Yes, the three of us are walking in the finale show tomorrow.”
I was in a cab with Project Runway models, I stifled a giggle, this is hilarious!

They didn’t look quite like this while I was working with them but it wasn’t too hard to pick them out from the Project Runway Finale.

11:00 PM We arrive at Bryant Park, the sight of the promotion. “So what are we supposed to do?” asked Alpha. They all looked at me. I’m the “brand ambassador” here, not the manager.
“All I was told is that you guys will be walking about Bryant Park like it’s a runway and that I’m passing out fliers as you do that. So uh, I guess, start walking?” 
I know my job, why the hell don’t you know yours? The four of them needed me to tell them what to do. I realized later, models only ever do what others tell them. It’s an incredibly passive job.

They started walking casually, all four in a line, chatting with each other. It didn’t look like a promotion at all, just like four models chatting in the park. It was not a runway walk, not what the client was looking for. That was obvious to me. But what was I supposed to do? It’s awkward they are not doing the job they’re supposed to but you don’t tell Regina George she’s a lazy slacker.

12:00PM Our boss called me and told me to get the models to walk properly.

1:00 PM We were kicked out of Bryant Park. My least favorite security guard in the world, a fat man in his mid-thirties waddled up to me,  “I hate to kick 4 beautiful women out of the park, but I gotta follow the rules- no soliciting in the park” FIVE beautiful women, you asshole. I’m here too! Just cause I’m not a model doesn’t mean I don’t exist! Fuck you!

1:15 PM We all ended up standing on a corner in front of Europan Cafe, passing out fliers. I could see our reflection in the store front windows and was struck by how I didn’t look like a hippopotamus. I was just as tall as half these bitches, the reflection blurred my inferior make up skills, and I didn’t even feel fat. Bonus: I’m not a bitch!

1:20 PM A man says to Nice One “You have a beautiful nose. Most men would comment on your body but I’m noticing your nose.” This was funny, I laughed, but Nice One thought it was the funniest thing she ever heard and couldn’t stop laughing for about 10 minutes.

1:40 PM The models were all in a tissy about getting back to the office by 2. Our boss strictly said to not leave until 2PM, that she spoke to the models’ reps and that was agreed on. I inform everyone of this. The Closet Bitch had been (fake) nice up until now, but with this discussion her claws came out. She yells at me, “I need to get back to the fucking office by 2PM so I don’t give a shit what you say, I’m leaving.” She yelled at me, while we were both in the exact same boat with this disorganized event. I couldn’t believe it.

2:00 PM The mix up with the time was sorted out when the girls spoke to their agents and were told that it had indeed be agreed on that they would stay until 2PM. Bitch did not apologize for yelling at me. The event is over and we are all trying to catch a cab back to the office. We need a van one to fit all 5 of us and it’s taking forever to find one.
Both Bitches are in full form- “This is bullshit! I need to get back now! I have shit to do!”
By this time I was absolutely fed up with listening to them complain. “Well than just go! I need to get back too but if you need to get back so badly you can’t wait 3 minutes for a van cab than just take a regular cab! For fucks stop acting like it’s my fault!”
And they did.
All four of them piled in a regular cab and left me standing on the corner of 5th Avenue all by myself. Not one stayed. The first cab that pulled up to me not 2 minutes later was, ironically, a van. I sat in the back and took a deep breath to calm my anger.

No one I have ever worked with before or since would ever have done something like that, stranded someone alone. It may be the bitchiest thing girls have ever done to me. Maybe it’s karma for stealing that Valentine in middle school.

I hope I never work with models again.  I wish I was the hippo- I would have roared and scared the shit out of those four annoying, selfish antelope.

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

30 thoughts on “Models: Beauty on the Outside, Bitchy on the Inside

  1. Haha! I’ve always felt like models were girls who look good in the same way that wire sculptures look good, but would not be fun to touch. I also had an image of a bunch of freaky-looking bitches running around chaotically like little pellets with four hungry hungry hippos chomping on them.

    1. hahaha! I didn’t even think of the hungry hungry hippos! They didn’t even come up on a single google image search. Excellent metaphor with the wire sculptures.

    1. I have a weird habit of second guessing myself. Like; “People aren’t going to find that blog post as interesting as you do” or “No one’s going to think that experience working with models was as bad as you do” -thanks for putting that doubt to rest!
      If I ever get trapped in another promo with models, I’m bringing you along

  2. Sweetie you do scare them. Why? You will have a long life and career no matter what you do. Them? They are done on the runway by 20, later relinquished to over-the-counter cosmetics and eye lash growing creams in their 30s and 40s. What will you be doing in your 30s and 40s? I can imagine, and it will be so much more breathtaking and beautiful than 4 women who can only look at the mirror and never look inside to see who’s really there. Love you!!!

    1. So true! I did get that feeling from them- their racing against age- what a horrible loosing battle! You always give such perspective 🙂 Love YOU!

  3. Oh my holy heck. I’m so glad you blog about the crazy jobs — these sort of horrid, petty things are the tales you can regale people with for years to come!

    ps, I agree with that guy. You do have a great nose!! 😉

    1. Yes! “This will make a great story” 100% helped me get through the day!
      and thanks for saying so, but the guy I mention was not talking about my nose!

  4. Wow. Now THAT is a work experience.

    Put that on your resume and under the ‘duties.’ section put ‘I didn’t kill anyone.’ I think it speaks heaps to your patience, resolve and determination as an employee. 🙂

    Loved reading this post.

    1. hahaha I am totally saying this the next interview I have: “Describe a time you went above and beyond the duties of you job.” “Well one time I worked with 4 models and I didn’t kill a single one of them!”
      Brilliant.

    1. I know! I was SHOCKED not one stayed with me! Any one with any kind of normal people skills would have, but they live in a bizarre world that’s all based around how they look so vapid they inevitably are.

  5. My favorite part of this: “FIVE beautiful women, you asshole.” Damn straight. Even if you were the ugliest thing on the planet, there’s this thing called tact. Either that, or YOU were the only one allowed to actually stay in the park! Maybe he was only kicking the bitches out!

    Either way, GREAT telling of the story, awesome blog!

    1. Exactly. It wasn’t like I needed the complement, I just needed some decency and respect- there was an insane lack of both of those from the hours of 11-2! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

    1. Yeah, they really weren’t anything special. Like I said, they were my height- 5’8, short for a model. Plus they were slackers and bitches- that never spells success.

  6. Oh my god. I wouldn’t have lasted nearly as long. I hate vapid, stupid women and this was the epitome. Models are probably all bitches because they are starved half to death and just want a sandwich.

  7. I dunno… most the time I think they look just as shitty as their personalities seem to be. I’m sure you were the beautiful, elegant labrador and they were the fucked-up, over-coiffed poodles sporting big hair puffs and redundant makeup.

    Funny story.

    1. Yes, I read your blog. Yes, I’m adorable. Unfortunately, I seem to have started following you the moment you ceased updating….Coincidence? Fate?

  8. I thought that maybe, just maybe the newbie would’ve stayed with you. But i guess models have the reputation they do for a good reason!

  9. so funny/horrible. hope you put that money to good use. can’t believe models are all actually really horrible people.

  10. I was background in that short-lived Beautiful People Ashton Kutcher-produced show about models. The other extras were so fucking rude to me and I definitely felt like the token “fat” girl (ie normal sized)

  11. Love this. What a great look into the outwardly envied world of modeling! I’ve had one encounter with the modeling industry and thought not as offputting as yours, it definitely makes you look at those girls in a completely different light.

  12. I just read this story. I dealt with a model this past weekend. I was in charge of undressing her and dressing he for a runway fashion show. Voluntary work on my part. This model was a Alpha Bitch. It was my luck getting the bitchest of the bunch. As I was doing my best helping her, she was complaining and whining the entire time. She screamed and shouted about me and at me. I kept my cool. I wasn’t gonna let this bitch get me down on myself. I have never been treated that way in my life. Reading this story made me feel better! Some of these models need a kick in the ass! All is can say now is, karma is a bitch. Good luck to her!

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