Thursday, May 08, 2008

The World Of SJ

In my never ending quest to show you each and every side of the entertainment industry, I have found another guest blogger who plans to wax poetic about the world of high fashion. With all the attention and focus on the right size for runway models I thought I would let you read about the world of a model who does runway shows all over the world. "Discovered" just in the past year or so, she works almost every day, commutes between at least five cities and has been on the covers of magazines all over the world. All before she has even graduated from high school. I bring you the world of SJ.


In my industry, the biggest thing to remember is that you're nothing but a product.

You're disposable until you make a name/brand for yourself. I think with that knowledge, I'm able to better work the opportunities and the people in front of me. The problem is, no one tells you that. They want you to be a mindless walking clothes hanger and focused on nothing else.

Your career depends on the last thing you did and who liked it. Whether it's an editor of a magazine who can put you on a cover or an important photographer who wants to claim you as his "muse". Both bring work and stability in an industry that, by it's very design, is not stable or constant. It's always evolving and there's always a thousand hungry girls waiting for you to become obsolete.

As a little background, I'm still in my teens and I'm a junior in high school. Because of the success and opportunities I've had early on, my agency has urged me to move to Manhattan. My parents are very education oriented and the modeling world is extremely foreign to them, but my agency assured them I would have roommates my own age and constant adult supervision within the apartment and on the shoots, as well as tutors that would supply placement tests approved by my high school.

So, reluctantly, they agreed to let me go. Needless to say, I was thrilled with the whole proposition. I had never lived without my family or in a large city for that matter, and the idea of freedom (even if supervised) was exciting.

Well, things have not been quite as advertised, but I'll get into specifics at a later date.

But I figured a good introduction into the world that I live in would be this past Paris Fashion Week. It was my first real fashion week and to my surprise, I had booked every day solid without ever having stepped foot in Europe before. The agency was thrilled and I was quite pleased with myself. I had only been in Manhattan for a little over a week and I was flying off to Europe to model for the best designers in the game and to walk alongside the girls who owned the scene at the moment. I thought I had made it without even trying! Right.

I arrived in Paris and was told there was absolutely no time to go to the hotel, that I was needed at the first designers location for a fitting. I had one of the agency handlers with me (someone who is provided to underaged girls overseas who are familiar with the area and people), and he quickly ushered me into the backstage fitting area. I met the head designer for the fashion house (a name you all know), and was quickly given the once over by him. He seemed indifferent. That was quite the blow to the ego!

My handler then took me to one corner of the fitting area and proceeded to hand me a glass of champagne, a pack of cigarettes and placed a small bag of cocaine in my hand. He asked me if I knew what it was. I said yes. He asked me if I had ever tried it. I said no. He proceeded to tell me that the cocaine and cigarettes would help me keep my hunger and weight in check and that the champagne will help keep me full. He then turned around and walked away. I didn't see him again until the next fitting a day later.

The moment he walked away, I became instantly paranoid and started watching the other girls intensely. Almost every single one of them kept going over to a table that was situated near one of the corners of the room and had some security detail around it. Each one of them came back out of the corner playing with the noses or immediately looking into a mirror to make sure their nose was clean.

I've always been too stubborn to really give into peer pressure, and although the other girls were barely acknowledging my presence, I was starting to feel extremely uncomfortable. At that point, I started to notice a girl was shaking a bit while they were fitting her. She then started to shake uncontrollably and her nose was bleeding and she had weird foamy saliva coming out of her mouth.

One of the security detail came over to her, but he was brushed aside while they quickly, but carefully, took off the pieces they were fitting on her. When it was finally off, the security took her and put her in a back room. He was getting instructions from one of the designers assistants in French, which I didn't understand. But I was so scared I asked a French girl next to me who I had heard speak English earlier what was going on and being said. She glanced at me and said, "he was told to call the doctors once all the fittings were over".

Three hours later, all I could do was look at the door to the little room. Not a single person went in to check on her the entire time. When my fitting was done, I ran out of the area and jumped into the taxis that were waiting for us. I went straight to my hotel room and cried. It was at that moment, I realized that every single model is nothing until you MAKE people remember your name and face. Until you can DEMAND to be treated as something more than "just another girl". I flushed the cocaine and cigarettes down the toilet and went to sleep.

The next day the show started, and that girl was nowhere to be seen.

44 comments:

Trix said...

Yeah, I care what a runway fashion model thinks or cares about.

Rebecca said...

This posting is a public service.

This industry influences very young girls to lead a very unhealthy lifestyle and it must stop.

thank you for providing SJ a forum. I hope to continue to hear from her.

I DO care. Very much.

emily said...

Wow! That was very powerful. Thank you for writing that and informing us all!

babyface shane said...

can't wait for the next one!

ladyerroneous said...

The modeling industry is incredibly messed up, but I don't feel bad at all for its participants. You signed up to work in a shallow industry, and the perils of the profession are fairly well-documented by now.

And you know what's TRULY fucked up? The fact that young, healthy fertile women are permanently mangling their bodies through drugs and starvation all to garner the approval of an industry controlled by GAY DUDES.

FUCK. THAT. SHIT.

SchmaddaKid said...

WOW! Talk about hardcore. Thanks SJ!

JJ said...

Very interesting read. I can't wait to hear more. Thanks!

captivagrl said...

SJ - document everything in a journal and sneak some photos on a cell when you can. when you make it big, bust the big names. you'll do well if you can look past the ignorance and abuse.

DNfromMN said...

Glad to see you've got a head on your 17 year old shoulders, SJ. Keep it screwed on tight.

surfer said...

Thanks SJ for giving us a peek into your world. That was really informative and exceptionally well-written. You said your parents were very focused on education, and that's reflected in your writing/choice of words. You sound wise beyond your 17 years.

Bebedog said...

SJ - Here is a huge wish and hope that you are able to keep your head on straight, keep yourself focused on the positive and don't give in to the peer pressure of doing the drugs and alcohol.

I hope you have a very long and successful career whether it's modeling or another path you choose.

d said...

Wow, that was fascinating, I can't wait to read more.

Can you imagine how her parents would feel if they heard that the trusted handler was handing out cocaine and cigarettes?

jindi said...
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schneefloeckli said...

Wow, this handler of yours sounds like a real charmer... I wonder what your parents said when you told them.

Kristen S. said...

Great first blog SJ! I hope you manage to navigate the drugs and eating disorders. Good luck to you!

nate said...

This is cool AND scary. I agree with other posters, you sound very grounded and well educated. I am also afraid for you. I hope you maintain your sanity and stay true to who your parents raised you to be.

Good luck! I can't wait for your next post.

Eireman said...

Total utter bullshit. Just an amalgamation of modelling stories from over the years but with too many not-in-the-know slip ups to be a true first person account. Why would anyone believe that a successful busy "runway" model travelling the continents is either reading this blog or posting 'horror' stories about what pays the bills? I'm assuming you all know that this WHOLE SITE and writer is about fictional stories.

Crazy Days and Nights is a gossip site. The site publishes rumors, conjecture, and fiction. In addition to accurately reported information, certain situations, characters and events portrayed in the Blog are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Information on this site may contain errors or inaccuracies; the Blog’s proprietor does not make warranty as to the correctness or reliability of the site's content. Links to content on and quotation of material from other sites are not the responsibility of Crazy Days and Nights.

Brenda22 said...

Wow. I had no idea it was that bad. It's so scary that no one is willing to do anything about it. There are girls dying of anorexia and no one gives a crap.

Captivgirl is right, you should document it all and write a book about it.

zene said...

The poster who said this is fake is right - I can remember reading many articles in UK that are suspiciously similiar - about the time Kate Moss first got clean in 98 or 99. Some of the phrasing is ever so deja vu as well.

Jewels said...

Well, I know what I'd do if I found out my daughter's handler had 'handled' her this way. I'd serve him his own roasted nuts for dinner. (and I'm betting you DIDN'T tell your parents about it...)

This was a very well written account, and scary as hell to read. We all know this is what is happening in the modeling industry, but to hear it from someone on the inside makes it that much more concrete. I certainly wouldn't want my daughter in this indrustry.

parisss said...

I'm not sure if I believe in the guest bloggers, but I do love trying to guess who they are, or could be. So I'm going to be the first one to throw out a name (I was the one guessing America Young so strongly). Ali Stephens. I'm not sure I believe this really is a model writing this, but if it is all true, that is my guess.

Reese said...

This sort of story was very well documented in Michael Gross' book Model: The Ugly Truth About Beautiful Women. It is several years old at this point so it should be an easy library find. This account was pretty mild compared to a lot of what is in the book.

unicorn jones said...

mmmm I agree with Eireman -- I think this is fake. I believed it all the way until she said she flushed the cigarettes down the toilet -- that would completely clog the toilet and is an unrealistic thing for anybody over the age of 12 to do. would've been more believable if you said "left the cigs on a table downstairs"

I would enjoy a true account of the modelling world, though

--uj
http://www.unicornjones.blogspot.com

Pinky said...

This is one of the most disturbing things I've ever read.

Grace said...

If this all sounds familiar eireman and zene, then it shouldn't sound fake -- apparently nothing has changed in the fashion industry at all. And there's no one there to monitor any of this.

She should go back to her parents who value education and actually get one herself.

Relying on one's good looks is fleeting at best, and working hard for one's education gives you that sense of self-worth and integrity: you earned it.

RagDoll said...

Yeah, it's disturbing alright, but ya know whats WORSE?

This story you're reading (which is fairly accurate judging from what I've seen) is about a girl with ACTUAL POTENTIAL. This is how agencies and design houses treat talent with a future, talent who can make them money, talent who has a chance at actually BECOMING a brand someday. The handing of coke/cigs/booze to teens is how they take care of the valuable girls, the good merchandise.....


Which leads me to all the "hopefuls" The girls who don't quite have the right look, the girls who aren't tall enough for couture, the ones whose faces are deemed "too commercial."


THOSE girls, the down-market chicks you see on the tags of your swimwear, or modeling stuff at your favorite online store...THOSE are the girls with the truly bad stories: the girls who "photographers" leave tied up in their studios for hours on end before releasing them, the girls who have to sleep with bookers or clients, the girls who are sold overseas, the girls whose parents are ripped of for their life savings for bogus things like "pictures" or "a book" or "management fees"

If anyone you love wants to model, please look up the big 10 agencies . There's no fee for a go-see in Manhattan. you have to get your own ass out there, but they'll look at you.

They don't charge for pics, they don't want to see the B.S "book" you put together in Idaho, they just want to see THE GIRL.

And if one of the top 10 doesn't sign you to one of their divisions, QUIT. THE. BUSINESS. There's no future, and the poor girl will end up doing porn or hooking. If one of the big agencies doesn't want a girl, she should pack it in and head for college. The bottom of the modeling industry is one of the most absolutely disgusting, borderline criminally depraved environments on earth.

jax said...

tomrrow im going to waste a whole day of my life scoping blogs for inaccuracies. then i''m going to cure cancer.

jax said...
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zene said...

'If this all sounds familiar eireman and zene, then it shouldn't sound fake' You seemed to have missed the point grace - why go to the trouble of making up a non convincing fictional teenage model, crib/steal/take REAL writers' work and present it as your own when a link to the articles in the Guardian, blogs and even books would suffice? Your logic is flawed.

writerw$$$$$ said...

Quite a difference between inaccuracies and making up a character from others' work LOL. Anyway it is true it's fiction just as the author states everyday:

certain situations, characters and events portrayed in the Blog are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Information on this site may contain errors or inaccuracies

glitter said...

Welcome SJ! Interesting first post. I'm looking forward to hearing more from you.

Liebez said...

parisss i thought ali michael!

Dawn said...

I loved the post, whether fake or not - I must agree no one flushes ciggies down the toilet.

I'd give the coke & cigs to another girl who wanted them - isn't that nicer?

bionic bunny! said...

yes, but if it is real (i'll bite, i think it is, and am thoroughly sickened), those of you that have chosen to be vile will chase this girl away.
if ent wants to make something up, why wouldn't he make up a lovely young MALE model? or something closer to his own experience?

welcome, SJ. don't let the naysayers get you down.

IndigoBiatch said...

jax said...
tomrrow im going to waste a whole day of my life scoping blogs for inaccuracies. then i''m going to cure cancer.

Love you, jax!!!! I don't know you but I love you!!! LOL

parisss said...

liebez- I looked at her too. Her mom goes with her to all of her shows, and she was "locked out" of Paris this year because she went from 100 to 105 pounds. So I discounted her on that.

nycer said...
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oxfordshirelady said...

Ah yes jax - so brave you are when faced with facts, simply attack no matter how moronic you sound. Was initally so chuffed to hear that the "young model experience" material I wrote nine years ago was being discussed again. A worthwhile topic in my humble opinion and of course still true today. THEN I read the "blog' and I must ask: are you fucki** having a laugh? Is this fake lawyer actually serious, to take someone else's words, work, sweat & yes - blood and claim it as their own? I'm probably more amazed that Americans are that STUPID as to believe such a vapid, simpering and stilted version of what I wrote years ago. That people are actually guessing as to the identity of a non-existent character as if it were REAL is astounding. Simply put, fuck off. Can you not understand that this has to be a bad joke and you are morons? Google The Guardian for the subject, really fucking simple, even for 'y'all'.

oxfordshirelady said...

Just me again. I've been forced to view this site as my work was stolen and posted as a "guest author" of the fake model story. Are you people that lonely, uneducated and bored that you will beieve ANYTHING posted by the obviously emotionally disturbed personality disorder sufferer "entertainment lawyer"? As a nylon with fantastic bi-continental legal friends, I have many options for remedy but all my male friends in NY & LA are leaning towards violent persuasion, Discuss, we'll vote as BLOGGER/YAHOO is very amenable to copyright infringement and accountability.

p m said...

jax, you crack me up!

and oxford, you sound like a bitter hag
find another site to read.

Harriet Hellfire said...

1 - I am not shocked or surprised at all by this story. Sorry, but none of this is new.

2 - Oxfordshirelady, if this is really a copyright infringement on your work, shouldn't you be spending more time with your lawyers and less time insulting people on a blog you claim is fake?

J said...

Yeah, sounds like a bunch of crap. Thanks Ent...just when I've started to wonder again whether you might be the real thing.

someone said...

This story is so cheesy and lame. I am embarrassed for the writer. And if WD is Dominique Swain, I know someone who used to live perpenidicularly to Vermont who used to twist the glass pizzle with her back in 2001.

SmokeYourselfThin said...

OK, I'm new here, so forgive me if I make a bad first impression, but Oxfordshirelady, can you PLEASE SHUT THE HELL UP with the tired, cliched "stupid ugly American" garbage? Really, nobody cares about you, and how you are supposedly some author of some post that Ent supposedly ripped off. AFAIK, you are just another anonymous internet person, probably a troll, so forgive us if we don't automatically believe you just because you SAID you did something.

And bringing our nationality into this is just asinine, and ignorant as hell. I'm assuming you are English, so how would you like it if we ugly Americans called the English tea-swilling, limp-wristed snobs with terrible teeth? You don't know half as much as you think you know, and coming on here and talking shit about Americans and name calling is not going to garner you any support. Just a little FYI. Not that you care, since we're all just arrogant, fat, lazy, stupid Americans (even though without our help in WWII, you'd be speaking German right now and heiling Hitler), but how about you just shut the hell up already? Nobody cares. That's all.