Sunday, January 13, 2008

I Wanna Be a Cowgirl!

I'm watching one of those 'make me a model' reality TV shows. I admit it - for every hour of quality TV I watch, I'm just as likely to watch Rock of Love or some other brain cell killer.

Every time I hear one of those girls say "I've wanted to be a model since I was 5 years old" or "My dad always wanted me to be a model," I crack up.

I didn't even know what a model was when I was 5. And if I did know what it was, I certainly wouldn't have wanted to be one. I was too busy living my messy, Ramona Quimby'esque life.

When I was 5, I wanted to be a teacher, a vet, a zookeeper, an astronaut, president, a cowgirl, Miss America and a writer. I briefly thought it would be cool to be a model when I was 13 - one of those "You think I'm ugly, I'll show you" revenge fantasies. I can't say my parents ever particularly imagined modeling as my ideal future. (To be fair, I'm sure they didn't peg 'internal communications associate' as a dream job either!)

Here's the thing: what do you actually do as a model? You're supposed to be a blank slate -able to become whoever the client tells you to be. You're empty, invisible, hidden behind the clothes. It's a sad profession because you're nothing beyond what you look like on the outside.

I guess it's a natural part of this "I'll do anything to be famous" culture we live in. I just wish young women wanted to do something with their minds, something more than vamp around in low-cut jeans, twirling their highlighted hair and practicing the perfect pout.

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