Once in awhile things get wacky on twitter. I was recently called a "rich bitch ex-fashion model who has no right to call (myself) a progressive." Aside from the fact that I have never been rich, the statement shows the bias so many have against women who were able to support themselves by their looks. I suppose if I were telling everyone I'd made my living as a high priced hooker, they might not feel quite the same way. But still, it is probably true that women with the certain set of appearance qualifications to make a modest living modeling are not exactly beloved by the rest of the population. Certain assumptions are made about us. I'd like to dispel a few of them now:
1. All models are anorexic
No, most models are born with the genetic goods and eat like pigs. We come from families where almost every member of the clan is tall and thin throughout all their lives. It's in the bones, not the diet.
2. All models are narcissists
Quite the contrary. All the models I knew were deeply insecure and none of them felt "beautiful." It's one thing to be told you're beautiful all your life; it's quite another to see yourself as beautiful. We were a bunch of women who knew we were tall enough, thin enough, but beautiful? Maybe passably pretty, but certainly not beautiful. And no amount of reassurance and constant bookings can make a woman see herself as a beauty.
3. All models are rich bitchs
Some models marry rich men, but most do not. And the few who do, don't generally marry nice guys, since nice guys aren't usually brave enough to ask a model out. Few models make enough over their life as a model to save for retirement. Most models have self-esteem problems just like most women in this culture. Modeling is an expensive and usually short-lived career: they have to keep up with trends in fashion and look the part; they have to buy a new shoe wardrobe each season; they have to purchase the exact undergarments the people who hire them want them to wear to fittings and in shows; all models are contract labor, which means they pay for all the things an employer would pay for any employee. Models need a tax accountant; they pay their agents 15% of their bookings; they have to keep a portfolio updated; they have to get a new headshot or model's card made ever year or as often as they change anything in their appearances, such as haircut or color. As to the bitch part of that statement? I suspect that models are no more or less likely to be bitches than women in the general population.