Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pictures of When I Was a Model

I’m twenty-nine; let’s just get that out of the way.  I was eighteen when I had The Scribe.  Yes, I got pregnant while homeless in Hawaii and NO, don’t ask!  That story is coming out in December anyway.  
    Zeke died when I was nineteen.  I had The Hippie at twenty-one.  Needless to say, I grew up young and over the years I've had several different jobs trying to make money until settling into writing.

    When Zeke fought in the hospital, I became extremely depressed, cut off my hair and dyed it black-cherry.  Then after Zeke died I started modeling and even modeled for a swimsuit calendar--not my finest moment.  You can read more about that in The Golden Sky.
    This is me over eight years ago:


This is me now:
Well, a few years ago, I decided to try modeling again, get gigs playing the violin IF I made it through the interviews and lines of people.  In the past though, I’d go to an audition and not get anywhere.  It was just worth it for those few times when I got the well-paying job.  
    I went back to the agency I used to be with and hoped they'd rehire me.


Please note:  This isn't my current body OR my face.  Darn it!  That face is worth money! 
Now keep in mind, I modeled when I was much younger.  Dozens of people sat in the waiting area.  The girls were gorgeous, the men chiseled from stone.
     A lady sat at the desk.  She’s five years older than me, and modeled once.  I know because she’d been put out to pasture right before I started modeling. 
     “I haven’t seen you in years,” she said.  She’s over six-feet tall and had to bend down to hug me.
     Years?  It had been A FEW years, not that many in my eyes.  “I know, it’s been a long time . . .”  I shuffled my feet.  It’s embarrassing, asking for work and I felt totally out of place in an agency like that. All those people in the waiting area heard me.  I glanced down, a bit happy I’d brought The Scribe and The Hippie with me.  I whispered, “Do you think you’d have any modeling jobs for an old violinist friend?  It would be fun to get some extra gigs.”
     Her lips drooped--even though I was twenty-six at the time.  “Elisa, I don’t know how to tell you, but you’re getting older. You’ll be competing against teenagers.”  She motioned toward the waiting area.  My heart sank.  It dropped into my butt, then my knees.  I looked over and a young girl set her magazine in her lap and waved at me.  I wanted to stick my tongue out.
     “Did you see that?” I whispered to the receptionist.  “Did you see that girl wave?”
     “Oh, tell me about it,” she whispered.  “She’ll never go anywhere with that attitude.  She’s already been in three times this week, asking for work.  I gave it to other people instead.  We don’t need her giving us a bad name.  I don‘t know why we chose to represent her in the first place.  She even tried hitting on my boyfriend.”
    “You’re still dating the owner?” I whisperedShe nodded and flashed the ring on her finger.  “Congratulations . . . that is so exciting!” I squealed.
     “Well, I’m sorry,” she said.  “If you were younger, I’d take you in a heartbeat.  You know I would.” 
    I looked at the pictures on the wall--a place my picture had been years before.  Were they hiring teenage babies to model for them now?  I gasped, they were!  They were hiring babies--with boobs!  “Okay, I understand.  It was so nice to see you though.”  I turned to walk out the door, when the receptionist suddenly stopped us.
    “But . . . These are your girls, right?”  She pulled a measuring tape out of thin air.  “These are your girls.  Look at them!  I remember when this one was barely walking.”  She tapped The Scribe on the head.  “Can they play the violin?”
     “Sure we can,” The Hippie said in a five-year-old voice.
    “Yep,” I agreed, “well it was nice seeing--”
    “You can’t leave.  I need to take their measurements.  Now, how old are they?”  She pulled us into a room and shut the door as she asked question after question.
    After that the owner of the agency came in.  He held a clipboard in his hand, grabbed a pen from the collar of his shirt and clicked it into obedience.
    “Elisa,” his eyes never met mine, “how have you been?”
    “Pretty good.” 
    “I see you had another one after your . . . a . . . son . . . Passed.”  Zeke. “I’ll never forget that shoot in the swamp.”
    “Me either.”  It wasn’t the best of memories.  The mosquitoes had loved me that day.”
     “All right girls, can you remember some lines?” 
     My girls looked at each other.  One nodded and the other shook her head ‘no.’  As he continued talking to them, I craned my neck and looked at the paper he held.  It had the girls’ measurements, how they compared to children their age.  Notes about what they’d said, how’d they’d acted.  If they seemed well behaved.  Any concerns about their height and weight.
     Suddenly the owner tapped his clipboard and said, “Elisa, can you come into the hall?  I need to talk to you.”
     I followed him and he shut the door.  He talked very softly.  “Now, I’m only interested in one of your girls.  They’re both beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but one of them has more of what we’re looking for.”
     “Well, why can’t you just take both of them?” 
    “You know we can’t do that.” 
    I bit my lip.  “And what would I tell the kid who didn’t make it?”
    “Just tell her the truth.  She’s not meant to be a model.  It’s just not in her cards.  Plus, she doesn’t have the “it” factor I need.” 
    “Oh, really . . .”  I opened the door and asked for the kids to come out.  “Thanks for your time, but no thanks,” I said, not even asking which girl he had interest in.
    When we trudged from the office, I felt dirty for being there.  I sprinted from the building, took a deep breath and sighed.  It seemed like a different world in that building, where nothing matters except how much money you can make them.  I still can’t believe their callous reactions.  Isn’t it crazy how people can judge worth just by a scale, a measuring tape and few stupid questions?!  They had no idea, what both my girls are capable of.  I couldn’t believe they’d just picked one.
    So, I got put out to pasture, sure it stung, but maybe the pasture isn’t all that bad.  It seems like I learned more that day than I would have otherwise.  It was interesting watching them judge my kids.  It makes me wonder what God thinks of us and the silly things we do.  He sees us all as amazing, wonderful people--just how I look at my kids.  It’s neat thinking about God like that.  To me, it makes life feel brighter, like I can make it through anything.  I guess that’s the feeling of true, unconditional love.  The kind of love God has for each one of us--even if we’ve been put out to pasture!
    For info about my books, please visit my author page HERE. 


  1. Wow, girl, you've had a tough row to hoe, but on the bright side, look at all the material you have for a writing career. Your children sound delightful and I applaud your decision at the agency. You did right. :) I hope you sell millions of book so you can thumb your nose at those creepy people.

  2. So glad you pulled them out of there! One of my close friends' daughters went to New York as a model and was even on the cover of the French Elle magazine, never made enough money to live on and was constantly pressured to lose more weight.....she's over 6 feet and as thin as one can be! She chose to leave that world and become a jewelry maker and cupcake baker (no joke) and is now as happy as can be married to her chef man!

  3. Soooo should have stuck out your tongue hahaha Right call too, if he couldn't take two he can shove it up his gazoo. A world that runs like that should be avoided at all costs.

  4. Sounds like the right choice to me. Probably too much pressure for them at that age, although its equally likely that either the Hippie or the Scribe would be running that place within a week. Those two are not to be underestimated. :)

  5. How sick and messed up! All of your kids are gorgeous but the best part of them is nothing you can see. They are beautiful individuals with amazing spirits and rich characters. The real shame would just to have people see their outward images and never get to know who they are. That would be missing out on a true blessing!

  6. You did the right thing. I've met your kids (thank you for bringing them out here) & Bud & I thought they all were gorgeous inside & out! You & Cade aren't so bad, either!!11

  7. Looking good, even the he/she/whatever picture.

  8. Those girls have the IT factor I require, and so do you. Shame on that guy for even suggesting he would take one and not the other.


  9. Buuuut. Many pictures you have posted of yourself recently look better than those modeling pictures of the past. You actually rock who you are a lot better now.

  10. Good for you for not even finding out which one has the 'it' factor. What is that anyway, I've never heard of the 'it' factor. Modeling has always been a dirty and ruthless world, maybe it's better your girls were spared. :)

  11. You happen to be at the best age now when it comes to beauty! Love the pictures you posted, especially the "Minnie Clone" lol! Glad you walked out of that office, does not seem like the kind of lie you would want for your kids. Shivers at thought---back stage mom----Yikes!

  12. Dear Elisa, the God you believe in is, I believe, giddy with love for the Scribe, the Hippy, . . . and you! That God doesn't create "rejects" from modeling agencies or life. And the wisdom you showed in leaving that office with your two daughters is inspiring. Peace.

  13. Okay, first of all, I laughed out loud when I scrolled down to your "now" picture. And how unfair is it that you can even make disheveled look beautiful? What I absolutely loved about this post though? The fact that you didn't ask which daughter. You just bailed with both beauties in tow. You are seriously so awesome.

  14. Beautiful pictures. I'm so sorry you had to go through any of that. You are such a strong woman, and from what I've read, a very good mother too. I agree with the other posts; shame on that agency for picking just one and saying that. You did the right thing.