In story 1 (a)MUSE you read, the first instalment in my series about what the world of models really is about. The expectation you have when you sign with a modelling agency, the way you are judged on your looks and what family and friends think about you. My modelling life has become a long journey of exploration. I could have used some tips and tricks when I started out, especially about men…
It’s Friday Night. I just got home. After feeling like I was stalked by my own shadow. Which in reality was just my new magazine cover that I’ve seen on almost every newsstand. My roommate is standing in front of the mirror. She’s ready to go out, but I really don’t feel like it and decide to stay at home. My roomie says; ‘aren’t you the one posing as a Bond girl covered from head to toe in gold metallic paint? What are you going to say to your grandchildren when you’re old?’ she asks. ‘Look this was your grandma!’ Everybody wants to go out with me now, but to be honest I much rather stay at home laying on the couch with my candy coloured pink Paul Frank monkey pyjamas and my hair in a bun. Somehow it seems that that’s not allowed. Pling Pling Pling. Facebook is calling. My inbox gets flooded. Because I’m on The Hitlist. A list that I didn’t even know existed.
After many years of working abroad I remained pretty anonymous in the Netherlands. But at the moment, because of a well-known men’s magazine about money, business, watches and cars, I am ‘hot’ in my own country.
I’m discovered. Not by a scout from some agency this time, but by a specific type of man. On their wish list are the newest models in town. If your comp card (a term used for calling card and photos you hand at castings to possible contractors) hangs on the presentation board of your agency, you are their prey. When you’ve done an important campaign, signed at a big name agency and you have many followers on social media like Instagram and Snapchat, they spring into action.
It starts off reasonably safe with a cold Facebook acquisition. All of a sudden you start receiving invitations for exclusive parties or a weekend in Paris or, why not, spend Christmas in the Bahamas. Of course they know that a model also has her weak lonely moments.
We call these hunters MODELIZERS. They have a ‘defect’, which causes them to only want to date models. The term for these men comes from the popular tv serie Sex and the City. And the most famous international captain of this group, you must have heard of, it’s a well known fact: actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
My roomie keeps pushing me to go out with her. What time tomorrow is my first fitting (going through a new collection) at Calvin Klein? Not too early, I can sleep late. Next important question: What am I going to wear?
In Amsterdam if you wear some good jeans, a nice top and high heels, you are easily overdressed. You should see me and my roomie abroad, all dressed up, we walk into the clubs. Dutch women could take this as an example of how to dress at night from cool Parisians and edgy Londoners. Tonight I’m keeping it simple and choose a black jumpsuit. To complete the picture I put on a pair of 12 centimetre high pumps.
I whisper tonight’s password into the doorbitchs’ ear. We are allowed to walk through the Burgerbar to the ‘secret’ club around the back. Going out and immediately getting in is very easy as a model. In the Netherlands they don’t really follow but in fashion cities you and your colleagues occupy the VIP rooms. You get privileges because you’re a hot girl, something that you had no control over, it remains strange and I have never be able to get used to it. My father always told me: ‘there are no free lunches in life.’ Sorry Dad, not only are the lunches free but so is the champagne. When I go out I never have to wait in line outside in the cold anymore. You’re on the list and club doors swing open for you. You no longer need money for a night out. A club wants nothing more than to have some models in the house.
I can recognize a modelizer in an instant nowadays. One has already spotted us. That’s probably my FB-stalker Roy. His profile picture reasonably matches. On Friday nights this place must be his hunting ground. Within 5 minutes I know everything about him and that his little company is making some good money.
Always the same blah blah stories coming out of these guys, a big mouth but vulnerable inside. Three other models, all holding glasses of champagne, join us. I know (of) them. But he only looks at me and his eyes start to shimmer.
‘Must be your lucky night, right?’ I ask. ‘Yes, I always say, why date the girl in the dress if you can date the girl in the advert for the dress?’ He’s the only one laughing, quite loud, because he finds it a witty remark. ‘Will you lovely ladies join us in VIP?’ The best table in the middle of the room is reserved for us. Everybody is looking at us. I know why, and I get flustered. We provide the entertainment, and that’s the catch.
When we are all sitting down, Roy instantly grabs his phone to, quite professionally, shoot some selfies while being surrounded by the beauties. I notice this and turn my head to hide my face from the pictures. Roy doesn’t notice. He is too distracted now that Tess has joined us. She is the youngest addition to our group. Tess is a ‘new face’ and she has everything in her to become a supermodel. She is fresh out of the egg and for her this is all new. Now Roy wants a picture of him and Tess. He pushes the model next to him to the side. Tess falls for it. It’s always nice if you are in unfamiliar territory to have someone who is kind to you. Roy instructs her to look lovingly to him. She does it. Suddenly Roy cannot be disturbed. He’s busy posting pictures of his possible newest conquest on his Instagram profile. The whole world has to know. It’s pure marketing. For him, but also the club as a way to show that they have free-range models in their club. Even though I turned my head when he took his selfies, immediately I receive a location check-in and a notification on Facebook that I have been tagged.
One hour and a couple of glasses of champagne later Roy is becoming slightly inebriated and therefor talkative. ‘Pinch my arm?’ he asks Tess. ‘I want to be sure I’m not dreaming. She pinches him. ‘Wow,’ he says. ‘When I look around here tonight, I think, damn, you’re really some next level shit.’ He smirks and takes another big gulp of champagne. ‘What I wouldn’t give see my ex-girlfriends face right now. I’m hanging out with the coolest girls in town.’ Nobody answers. ‘Maybe people think I’m superficial, but I don’t care. I date models! And I don’t have to go to bed with you or anything. I just want to be part of the entourage.’ Some girls check their phone to look at what time is. Roy is startled. ‘You are not leaving right? Do you want something else to drink? Do you fancy some oysters? Almost zero calories in oysters.’ ‘Well Roy,´ I tell him. ´One oyster contains 10 calories, just so you know.´
Many happy occasions in this life are connected to food and drinks. We can’t always join in. Especially not now in September. For us, the new season has started. On weekdays we get up at seven to start training, watch what we eat and in the evening around ten o´clock we are knackered and go to bed early. With all the shows and shoots in prospective we have to stay focused. We order mineral water. Roy´s disappointed. The table and a couple of bottles of alcoholic beverages have set him back some two thousand euros. It´s obvious he is trying to keep us their longer.
´Do you know what I like. ´He asks, flatteringly. ´You girls can keep up in a unique scene. I respect that. But enjoy yourselves once in a while. Do you know when I like you the most? When you didn’t get that one job. You have that fuck-the-world-attitude then and those nights are the most fun for me!’ Yeah sure, I believe they are.
Roy suddenly stands up and starts bouncing, out of rhythm, to a club remix of a Whitney Houston song. Softly he sings along ‘I wanna dance with somebody, with somebody who loves me.’ Me and my roomie have had enough of his stories. The club is not that lively, no one is dancing and I don’t want to find my future love in this scene… A look at my phone shows me ‘The Hitlist’ is still on. I see a big name. A famous Dutch actor and presenter. My roomie looks over my shoulder and together we check his profile. It’s really him. Apparently this is the way how he hooks up. Fishing on Facebook.
Hi, I saw you today at the bus stop. Well your poster that is. It’s looking good! He sees that I have read his message. Typing… appears on screen. Come over. Now. Paradiso it is. Its 2.30 in the morning. Does he really think that I come over there now? I suddenly have an overwhelming desire to go to my bed.
Next episode a new one about: Trips abroad are the best thing about my job. I travel again. This time to Ibiza! Where I meet a famous actor.
Translation & advice: David Kok & Sibylle Schothorst