Are you as comfortable in front of a camera as behind one? Being written about, as well as writing?
I recently found out the answer to this question. Well, the part where I ended up victim of a photo shoot that came out of nowhere and mowed me down like a speeding party bus, anyway.
Not too long ago, I worked a short stint (6-7 months) as the Media Director, Contributing Writer, Personal Assistant, Trained Circus Monkey…for a Bridal Beauty Magazine.
Part of my job entailed helping out at one of the Editorial Shoots. Okay, great. Sounds like fun. I can zip these tall, statuesque, mannequin-like women (you know, the kind that us cellulite-laden, housewifely, bon-bon eating, pushing 40 types envy and try to live vicariously though) into big, sparkly dresses. It’ll be like the Barbie dress up days of old…back before she had 5 kids and destroyed her dreams of becoming a world famous swimsuit model due to the complex system of stretch marks and extra flab that now runs across her stomach and thighs.
Okay, little off track there. Back to the story at hand.
The photo shoot went well. The models were stunning. It really was fun playing dress up with live Barbies, too. Five girls, 3 dresses per girl. One of the gorgeous models happened to be my tall, thin, beautiful, red haired daughter. (Yes, I’m boasting..because, well, I can.) She’s got a body and face that were made to model. I have to wonder if she’s really my child sometimes.
After we wrapped up for the day, our Editor In Chief had this brilliant plan to go back to the site of the shoot the next day and take high fashion photos of our team for the website…and the magazine. “Don’t worry,” she said. “I’ve got it all taken care of. Hair, make-up, glam dresses already picked out and ordered for the occasion, just be there and leave the rest to me.” Well now. This promises to actually be…fun. I can’t remember the last time I felt pampered and…pretty.
So I show up at her house the next day to get my hair and make-up ‘did’ and try my dress on before we head off to the site. Someone failed to mention that I’d be squeezing my chunky caboose into a wide-necked, hideous, teal sequined number (I hate sequins) with no definitive waistline that made me look like 10 pounds of fertilizer stuffed in a 5 pound bag.
Strike one. I’m slightly less excited about the day’s prospects already.
It also could have been mentioned that I needed a strapless bra for this little adventure, as it was the only type that would work with this sequined sack of unsightly. For lack of a better idea, I was crammed into this borrowed corset bra with WAY more room up top than I could have even wished for. How much more room, you ask? Well, when my husband saw the picture, he exclaimed, “Holy Cow, Where did you get THOSE?!”
Strike 2. My discouragement grows.
I sit quietly in my freakish frock (its itchy, too) and await my turn for some serious hair and makeup attention. After all, this tragedy I’m wearing might not be so bad with some decent cosmetic care. So I wait. And I wait. Tick tock, tick tock. Time drags by while everyone else gets taken care of before the person that was actually FIRST to arrive that day. Namely…me. We’re losing daylight here. Can’t worry about finishing up now, gotta head to the site. “Don’t worry”, says our EIC and glam guru. I’ll pack up my make-up bag and finish you up when we get there.
Strike 3. If the game of beauty were played like baseball, someone would have been called out by now.
When we arrive at the site, she pulls down the tailgate of someone’s pick-up truck and has me plop down for “my turn to shine”. Alright, then, it’s about time. I should interject at this point that the only make up I usually wear is a little bit of eyeliner and occasionally some foundation. So, maybe my perception of how I thought I should look was already a bit skewed when my “face” happened. I ended up with this thickly slathered mask on my mug that I thought made me look like the Bride of Frankenstein. Or maybe the Bride of Bozo. Either way, a spider took one look at me and scurried off at warp speed.
Strike 4. The hair. There’s still the hair. I’m clinging to a slowly dying spark of faith that this could still turn out alright.
Tick tock…tick tock…still losing daylight. We have 45 minutes tops before sunset. Oh yeah. You still need your hair done. Why yes, yes I do, thank you for noticing. What springs forth from my follicles over the course of the next rushed minute and a half, is a ratted up, hair-spray caked, poofy concoction that Peggy Bundy would have been proud of.
Strike 5. That’s it. It’s gone. I’ve officially lost all hope. Please, for the love of humanity, just don’t get near my head with a lighter.
We take our places for picture time. The photographer encourages me to smile…BIGGER…with teeth. I give her a grin that flashes the enormous gap between my 2 front teeth in all its glory from having a molar pulled a couple years back thus making my teeth shift due to their new found space. Yeah. Never mind. Close your mouth. Can you at least tighten up your neck muscles enough to hide your double chin? Okay. That’ll have to do as is. Snap.
Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to slink away with the small amount of dignit…nope, nevermind. No dignity left. I just want to go home, have a hot shower, and try not to scare my family before I get a chance to wash off the day’s events.
To conclude this story, NO. Never again. I’ll stay on the business end of any photographic artistry from now on, thank you very much. Leave the modeling jobs to those who are better suited for it…the models.
As for writing, I’d personally prefer making the jokes at my own expense, and everyone else’s, of course, as opposed to reading what others may think of me. Then again, I don’t see how anyone could ever be harder on me than I already am. I happen to be my own worst critic. My own worst enemy at times, too.