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Stories Models Never Tell: A Book Review

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The Stories Models Never Tell_COVER

 

Christine Hart’s account of her modeling career in her book, The Stories Models Never Tell, is hauntingly intriguing. Hart explains the highs and lows of her days as a model through accounts of her time in Greece, Libya, Paris, and New York. Through the most intimate details, she reveals a side of modeling most of us could never fathom.

Hart explains her career as “unconventional” as she started out in a business geared towards a younger generation at the age of 25. With a bit of luck and a lot of beauty, she was able to establish herself within a business “where models were viewed as perishable goods” (16). Hart found that her age actually worked out best for her, providing a sense of maturity and the ability to look out for herself, whereas the younger girls constantly seemed lost and unaware of the dangers of the world around them.

Within her text, the author paints a picture of the young girls she worked with through ignorance and drive. Money-hungry and success-driven, Hart explained that these models would do anything to make it big in the business, whether that meant sleeping with the photographer, or whoever else could promise them fame.

In one account of her time in Athens, Hart recalled a swimwear shoot that was particularly astonishing. Her fellow casting mate, a young Uruguayan girl, collapsed at Hart’s feet right before the shoot was to begin. She remembered how the young girl just stood right back up, said nothing, and headed straight towards the clueless director waiting for her at the end of the hall. Hart later learned that her castmast had not collapsed from the heat, or even the usual hunger associated with teenage models starving themselves.

 

“At casting, while using the bathroom before changing into the bikini, she saw some kind of white, jelly-like mass, about the size of a mouse, emerge from her private parts… Amaya realized that the white mass was the result of various condoms, covered in semen and fluid, which had been inside her vagina for almost twenty-four hours.” (35)

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Hart told many more stories in this same respect. As the timeline within the book progressed, and as Hart got older, the models got younger, some barely fourteen, and sent off by their families to make it on their own in foreign countries. It was a combination of her age, her knowledge obtained through her college years while attending law school, and her keen sense of morality, that kept Hart from following down the same path as some of these girls.

From one country to the next, Hart provides details of lavish parties, extensive dinners, upscale boat rides, and famous connections. Perhaps the most engaging part of her book, though, retells her tales of modeling in her own country, in New York City. She explained that the modeling scene within the U.S. was much different and more competitive than that of overseas. She said, “Americans are not given to weird, androgynous or masculine looks; they like beautiful, classic women” (87). During her career, living in New York would cost a model at least $10,000, and the physical standards were much more strict than that of overseas.

“In ten years,” she said, “I’ve seen how a U.S. size 8 has given way to a size 4… A height of 175 cm, which used to be enough to walk a show, is now considered insufficient and 180 cm is practically the standard… The aim is to show off the clothing without giving any importance to the model” (120).

Hart’s book sheds light on a wildly desired career path for many young women. Modeling, with its lights, cameras, and exposure, from the outside seems a very glamorous profession. Most young women, as Hart unveils within her text, are not fully aware of the situations they are stepping into by signing their names to the business. In this book, Hart attempts to explain the profession, not through horror nor glorification, but rather through truth and personal experience.

“This profession demands that you forever reinvent yourself,” she said. “The model is a product of society. And the agents sell this image as an ideal worth aspiring to” (106, 90).

Cliché Talent: Alvin V

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alvinv
Alvin V is an up and coming model from New Orleans, who is working hard to get his name and face out into the world. He’s been in photo shoots from Miami Beach to New Orleans. Driven, confident and fearless, Alvin is a fresh face to watch out for. Here he discusses his future modeling plans, favorite music and his dream vacation.
CLICHÉ: How were you discovered?
AV: I haven’t been discovered yet. But it will happen.
If you weren’t modeling, what would you be doing?
AV: If I weren’t modeling, I would be working on starting my promotion business.
What’s your favorite music to listen to during a shoot?
AV: [My] favorite music [to] play during photo shoots has to be a mix of R&B, Hip Hop, & Rap i.e. A$AP Rocky, The Weekend, Rihanna, etc…
What’s your favorite clothing brand or line?
AV: My favorite clothing brand would have to be Polo Ralph Lauren. When I wear it, [I’ve got it on] down to my socks.
What are your plans for the future in terms of modeling?
AV: Plans of mind include but are not limited to getting into a fashion show, being featured on a website, and featured in a magazine–all for the first time.
 
To read the rest of the interview see page 28 in the latest issue!

Lauryn Bocook, Girl on the Rise

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LaurynBocook
Lauryn Bocook is a rising face in the world of modeling. She’s worked with photographers across the country from Los Angeles to New York and continues to land photoshoot after photoshoot. Lauryn’s natural ability in front of the camera has allowed her to work in both the lingerie and swimsuit modeling fields. Here she discusses her dream photographers, and what her plans are for the future. By Laura Anderson
CLICHÉ: How were you discovered?
Lauren Bocook: I wasn’t really “discovered,” I just always had people telling me that I should be a model, and I did a few shoots at a young age and loved it! So I contacted agencies and built up more [connections in the industry]!
If you weren’t modeling, what would you be doing?
LB: If I weren’t modeling, I would like to maybe do interior design, wedding planning, or something with helping people becoming more healthy!
What’s your favorite music to listen to during a shoot?
LB: I love to listen to something with a great beat, such as dance [or] techno. It also depends on the theme of the shoot; if it’s a really edgy shoot, something rock to help me get in the mood, and if it’s a lifestyle Smiley shoot I like to listen to something fun and bubbly!
What’s your favorite clothing brand or line?
LB: I’m super picky when it comes to clothes! If I had to pick, I would say Guess or Bebe.
What are your plans for the future in terms of modeling?
LB: I moved to Miami in August 2012, and the work seems to be dying down there, so I plan to move to LA to get more and better work. I would also like to get more into acting in LA.
To read the rest of the interview, check out page 22 in the latest issue!