I Used to be a Model (That’s a Lie)


Psyche. That’s I fib if I ever heard one. I ONCE modeled because I was  — drumroll, please — free.

(Insert cyclopean-sized sigh of embarassment here.)

You see, at the time, the magazine I was working for had a negative zero budget. Basically, we had a volunteer photographer from a local university and the clothing for the shoot was pulled from the co-publisher’s wife’s closet. The whole shebang was the quintessential “work with what you’ve got” scenario.

But still, we had no free model. This predicament equated to the publisher begging me to pose for the glossy’s fashion spread on what to wear to the office. We entitled it “Cut Loose From the Cubicle.” Dreadful title. I know.

I said, “AW HELL NAW. I’m a writer! I’m cerebral! I didn’t go to college to MODEL!”  But the boss man couldn’t be swayed.  He saw a size 6 (with ample room to lose weight) with okay looks (Photo Shop works wonders!) and a gratis day rate. He convinced me with puppy eyes, praise and all that nonsense men tend to gravitate toward when desperate.

At the time, I was 28 years old and mentally immature. I felt “fat,” I swore my “Greek nose was too big,” and that “my hair just wasn’t the right shade of California-sun-kissed blonde.” In other words, my confidence was low. Kind of like Snookie’s IQ.

But I acquiesced. And I’m over-the-moon that I did. Because once the spread hit newspaper stands, I scored a Ford modeling contract in the millions. I almost had you going there, didn’t I?

The truth? As I skim through the doomed photo shoot, I now think to my 34-year-old myself:  I’m wiser, more comfortable in my skin and more grounded.  And I’ve given birth to two children. The latter cements the notion I will never be a size 6 ever again.

The moral of this post? Do things — anything! —  out of your comfort zone.  I don’t care if it’s walking around in your Hanky Pankies with the blinds up.  Or volunteering for the neighborhood Crime Watch team. Or going to see a movie that tanked at the box office all by yourself. You will feel empowered sooner or later.

I did. And now this mama can show her children that once upon a time, she was in fact a model.

I’ll just leave out the “free” part.

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