So, I went for my one drink. It was difficult not to like The Model. She was the single most harmless human being I had ever met; once I had trained myself to not stare at her, skin taught over hip and cheekbones, wisps of baby hair falling across her face. Her nails were still rouged from her last shoot, but other than this she wore no make up. Her face slightly glossy from a layer of Nivea cream. Probably bought from a dime-store. She sat, angular before me, an elbow jutting as she sipped a Mojito. “How’s work?” I asked her. This is usually a safe question. “Fine, I did a shoot for Banana Republic, and I have an audition for Gap tomorrow.” She nodded as she spoke, her head looked too heavy for her neck, which was really slender, even for a model.
“Cool,” I said. She was really young, and had travelled a long way alone. I was genuinely pleased for her.
“But my agency want me to loose ten pounds,” she said.
“I have a good face for runway, but I’d be too big for the sample sizes,”
I baulked, visibly. “You’re so not fat,” I said. In the way you would to a slightly plump friend you’re trying to reassure.
“I know, but the samples are so small. My waist needs to be like, 22 inches.”
“What is it now?”
“That’s tiny,” I said, trying to imagine how all the organs would fit inside that space.
“But it’s my career,” she said. “I can’t not do it.”
That night I called Gina. It must have been about three am. “I’m really worried about The Model,” I said, “I think she has anorexia,”
“Duh, that’s like, her job,” said Gina,
“Don’t be mean,”
“Sorry, jeez what time is it?”
“I saw her today and she said she was going to lose ten pounds,” I said,
“What!! That would make her like, minus three pounds, or something. Where the hell is she going to lose it from?” said Gina, trying to picture The Model’s body, minus ten pounds.
“What did you say to her?” asked Gina.
“I said – you’re not fat, but she wants to go ahead anyway,”
“Trouble is,” said Gina, “if she wants to work in New York, she has to do what they tell her, otherwise she’ll be shipped back to Ohio.”
Image: Fashion Sketch, by Connie