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getting paid for being hot is not inherently anti-feminist

May 12, 2007

Let’s talk about three items in the hot-girl news:

  • Back in November on the Tyra Banks Show, Tyra Banks did an “exposé” of “modeling scams”, in which she hired independent models (those unrepresented by agencies, often meaning shorter, curvier models who are perfectly-well qualified to do lingerie or nude modeling, or various type of “alternative” modeling) to come to fake photo shoots, had fake photographers try to convince them to take their clothes off, and then burst into the room and told the girls what dumb sluts they were!

    Tyra’s message was that these girls aren’t doing “real” modeling, so they should go to high-fashion agency open calls (where nearly all of them will be rejected) or just stop modeling entirely. (While, yes, going to someone’s house for a photoshoot can be dangerous, so can many other professions that require you to go to people’s homes. And also, of course, some people choose to do fairly obviously dangerous things to get ahead. Whoop-de-do). From the recap:

    Tyra encouraged the girls and said, “not being accepted by an agency doesn’t mean that you are not beautiful or spectacular, it means you may not have a certain look they are looking for.” Tyra took it a step further and told them it was also okay to do something else.

    Tyra then shows her comp cards from her real modeling agency — look, “no nudity”!

    Of course, there is a whole world of independent modeling run off sites like this, and including offbeat stunners like, say, Kumimonster (NSFW), a fetish model with a shaved head who wears a variety of amazing wigs, or Bettie Page lookalike Bernie Dexter (at right), who has managed to succeed in indie modeling with clothes on, and fabulous clothes at that (she’s also only 5′2!) I could link to a hundred more of these, all with more personality and verve than high fashion models (whose job it is to be a blank canvas for designers and photo editors) ever get to display. It’s just a totally different job.

    So, essentially, Tyra, all haughty 5′11 of her, is telling girls who will never be qualified to be high-fashion models, that any type of modeling that a girl under 5′9 and with a healthy amount of bodyfat could actually be successful at just makes her a dumb slut. It’s like Candid Camera, but the message is “Surprise, you’re genetically inferior!”

    Kumimonster could kick Tyra’s ass.

    (Additionally, hiring a model for a “fake” modeling job, wasting her time, and not paying her is probably fraud. The models could — and should — sue in small claims court).

  • In other news (thanks to Feministing for the link), Snoop sticks up for women who appear in rap videos.
    Snoop waxed philosophical as he told “Who’s to say that these women in videos are hos? They are classy women. Not every girl in the videos has sex with the rappers. A lot of these women do this as a means of modeling or being appreciated for their looks.”

    “It’s a shame that they are being classified as video hos. Halle Berry was in a video with [Fred Durst]. Does that make her a ho? TV is a long way for a lot of these girls from the country or small parts of the world.”

    “The women allow themselves to be in these videos. We don’t force them to be in these videos. They want to be seen, and they have calendars, portfolios, headshots, cards.”

    What a world, in which upwardly-mobile hotties can expect better treatment from Snoop than from Tyra!

  • And finally, an editorial on Fox Sports sticks up for swimmer Amanda Beard’s decision to pose for Playboy. A couple of choice quotes:
    Being attractive helps female athletes become famous. This is indisputable. But it is also indisputable that being an athlete helps attractive women become famous.

    Beard is not exchanging her athletic fame for the fame of a model — her athletic fame is the fame of a model.

    An observation about Amanda Beard: when the world has already seen a million unflattering photos of her (like the one at right) in a Speedo racing swimsuit and swim cap with no makeup, are Playboy readers really paying her to take the swimsuit off? Or are they paying her to put some makeup on and smile?


August 31, 2005

So, I’m a member of this modeling website where wannabe-models often post questions like “I’m 5′2 and 35 years old — do you think I could do high-fashion in Europe?” This particular discussion was about models with tattoos. I wrote:

I have a tattoo on my stomach and up over my left breast that is a picture of the nation of Armenia, with depictions of victims of famine and genocide. Over the bellybutton is a replica of a Purple Heart medal. Also, I like when models are so thin you can see their spines, so I had the outlines of my vertebra tattooed over my real vertebra up and down my back.

I also have a glass eye, but it’s never been a problem — the glass eye always points in one direction, so I just make sure to look the same direction in the photos. If the photographer’s like “Look over here,” I say, “Dude, it’s the whole head or nothing. What, do you hate disabled people?”

Overall, girls, there really are a lot of models with tattoos, hunchbacks, major surgical scars, pattern baldness, dwarfism, and cerebral palsy. The only important thing is to FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!

the world of "urban" comedy

June 6, 2005

When I hear the word “urban,” as in “urban models,” I kind of think of tough women with nose rings. Women who don’t wear floral prints. Women who didn’t come in on a train from Jersey.

With modeling casting calls, I have often had to read between the lines. A call might go out for women with an “urban look.” Somewhere down in paragraph three, the phrase “apple bottom” would tip me off that I need not apply.

The word “urban” is often — but not always, of course — used to mean “black,” fairly exclusively. This can be perplexing. What if you are of, say, Bengali descent, born and raised in Queens? What if you are black and from rural Pennsylvania? Does Laffapalooza want you?

just in case you’re in Vegas and need discounted boobs

May 19, 2005

From the casting calls on

We are seeking models for a high roller golf tournament. Each selected model for the tournament will receive $2500 towards a Breast Augmentation. Just for registering each model will receive a free face peel, and $1250 towards a Breast Augmentation. Please come to Green Valley Ranch this Sunday from 2pm-6pm to register.

Free face peel? What if I offered you a free whack in the head? Would you take that just because it’s free? What if I offered you half off a fork in the eye?

crouching jen, hidden dragon

April 8, 2005

Last weekend, I did a photoshoot for a movie poster in which I was perched on high heels and contorted into a dance pose (stick your butt out! now put your head back!) for hours. This photo was snapped during a break, when I was crouched, trying to alleviate the backache that lasted days.