Saturday, March 07, 2009

a brush with 'fame'

Well I haven't blogged properly for an age and so I thought I'd produce a little anecdote before this blog loses all momentum and I lose interest, which is against the laws of nature that I haven't already.

Being the computer addict I am (as people frequently like to point out to me, leading to an awkward moment where I produce as many possible excuses in as short an amount of time as to why I spend so much time on the internet) I'd seen an advertisement on the derelict Sheffield Union forum, looking for people to model for a catwalk show. I signed up for a few reasons:
1. I'm currently on a mission to try out new things and meet new friends (which is going really well btw)
2. It was for charity
3. I thought it'd all be fat and ugly people doing it because well, it was an offer of modelling for "girls of all shapes and sizes"- read: this is your one opportunity in life to actually model

In my mind I applied the 3rd one to myself- I thought I'm in no way model-esque enough to ever actually model but here's an opportunity to do so regardless of my lack of model criteria fulfilment. And I'm definitely the sort of girl who wishes everyday for the life of Kate Moss.

So before I actually thought ahead to the implications, I signed up. And in hindsight, I am so damn glad I did.

As it turns out, I was wrong about the other people who had applied. Forget fat and ugly, every last girl was gorgeous. I didn't care that I was on the larger side of the average girl modelling or that I won competition against every pubescent boy in the country for most acne, the only thing which made me feel uncomfortable in comparison to the other girls was my height. Don't get me wrong, I love my height. 5 feet 6, the perfect height in my eyes, short enough to wear heels, tall enough not to, nearly every guy is your height or taller and you barely ever get that awkward feeling of dwarf/giant. However, it is most certainly not an optimal height for catwalk modelling.

The worst part of the day was having to wear no make up. Like none. I was one of the few to abide by this law (despite my inner voice having a field day) but there wasn't a shortage of girls arriving with make upped faces and baby wipes.

It was in at the deep end. This was when I realised that not only were many of the other girls the epitome of model, they were also aspiring models who had obviously spent many an hour rehearsing their catwalk walk, and for some, this was just another catwalk on another weekend. I, however, have never practised my catwalk walk. I can barely bring myself to face the mirror for more than 30 seconds and even if I did decide to strut my stuff in front of a mirror, I couldn't on the account of the fact I don't own a full length mirror (and if I did, btw, it'd be smashed to pieces by now). So you can imagine my 'discomfort' when I have to improvise a catwalk walk in front of all these beautiful girls. Obviously this sounds stupid... it's exactly what I signed up for but I promise you, catwalk modelling with no makeup and a baggy jumper is not so glamorous. As I don't wear heels I had to wear the only pair I own- a black pair which are falling to pieces on account of the fact I have worn them to every heel requiring social function over the last 3 years, after acquiring them second hand off Jade. First error of the day- being 5 foot 6 and wearing 1 inch heels on a catwalk next to a bunch of 5 foot 8 models wearing 8 inch heels.

I kept thinking the organisers must have been thinking "oh gosh, why didn't we audition" but I know in reality that it actually didn't matter what your walk was like or how much your bum sticks out and on closer inspection, the average girl was much like me, just winging it and enjoying the ride, the Kate Moss impersonators were actually anomalies.

After practising catwalking, we then got given our clothes to wear. Cue many girls stripping and walking around in their underwear, which carried on for the rest of the day, thank goodness no guys applied that's all I can say. I won't go into detail about the clothes, I didn't like much of what I wore but I did manage to get things baggy over my most problematic areas and all items of clothing which were reasonably opaque in nature.

After what gelt like the ugliest 100 years of my life, we finally got our hair and make up done. My hair went up into some sort of up-mess which I had to avoid pulling out for the rest of the day. The lady tells me I have nice curls then proceeds to use curling tongs on it...? The make up lady destroyed my dreams of sultry eyes and instead decided to emphasise all my worst bits by giving me no eyeliner and red lips which perhaps helped my confidence in that for once in my life I actually looked better without the makeup.

As for the catwalk, it was so much fun. I wasn't at all nervous because to me walking isn't a big deal in comparison to dance shows, plays and music performances I've done in the past, plus I knew I didn't look that great so it wasn't like I faced any deseration to impress unlike some of the other girls who were obvious petrified at the possibility of falling short of perfection. I had to walk on and off 5 times in total, in 4 different outfits. It is a surreal experience (as was the whole day) to have around 150 eyes on you and only you and I'm not sure that I really appreciate that way of life.

Anyway, to avoid talking forever about the day and listing yet more mundane details, I will wrap up with my mentionable reflections. I made a bunch of friends which was one of my key aims, it helped my confidence immensely to join, alone (i.e. without anyone I knew already), a bunch of mainly older and thinner girls to use my body to model clothes and I just loved chatting away to such a diverse group of people. I'm now much more confident in my abilty to go into new and different situations, pushing the comfort boundaries and just having fun doing it all.