my worst fear, realized.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be so many things. A chump wasn’t one of them.

I wanted to be a model, a lawyer, the president, a fashion designer. My parents were always telling me how pretty and smart I was, and hey, it went to my head. I went through an awkward phase or something in High School and in College, and a few years after… and not getting much attention from boys, I wasn’t sure where I fell on the pretty spectrum. That hurt, but it wasn’t my worst fear. I still thought that I was pretty, it had been ingrained in me from an early age, and anyway I was afraid of boys. A few years ago, I wanted to have a go at being pretty again, with some renewed confidence courtesy of the opposite sex. I went to what I figured was the most reputable modeling agency in Richmond, Modelogic-Wilhemina. It is attached to a big name, and Richmond is a very small market. I was so nervous going to it, I mean, what could be more pressure than having someone else judge you on your looks? Was I pretty enough to be a model? That was the question.

As it turned out, that wasn’t really the question. I was being judged on something else entirely.

I brought in some casual headshots, and talked to the agent a bit, giving her my background. I told her that I was a flight attendant, and I found out that I worked with one of her friends. This was a nice connection, but it wouldn’t make me pretty.

They told me they would email me in a few days.

I nervously opened the email. They wanted me to come in again! She said “We feel you have something to offer this market.”

Here I did a bit more digging. I guess I shouldn’t have been skeptical, but I wanted to be prepared.

About a week later, I went back to the agency for a second meeting. At this point it became a sales pitch for modeling classes and comp cards, with a thousand dollar price tag.  And then I realized–this was my worst fear. Being someone considered vain enough to spend thousands on glamour shots, just with the possibility of getting my face out there. They thought that I was a chump.

Of course, they said I could get my pictures done elsewhere, but from what I read online, they were unlikely to accept them. Even those who did pay for their vanity package didn’t necessarily get work. I’m not saying it’s a scam, but just really savvy, fairly ruthless business ploy. They invest no risk in paying for the shots, and in fact make money selling them. And if you do get work from them, they get their commission. Their books are filled with girls who are pretty, but who may never get work, and who the agency doesn’t believe in enough to invest in photos.

I might sound bitter, but I’m only a little.  While being viewed as a chump is pretty horrifying, I didn’t go for it, so at least I have that little shred of self respect.

Although there is certainly a standard of beauty in our society, beauty is still subjective. I’m not really worried about being unattractive, although getting society’s seal of approval via acceptance to a modeling agency would have been nice. Still, besides little tweaks, you can’t really change how you look, bar surgery. But if you’re a vain chump, that’s something of your own creation, and something I will have to battle with for the rest of my life.


RE: The Cheesiest Establishments in Richmond, Va

The problem with this article about Richmond’s Cheesiest Establishments is that it’s supposed to be funny, but it isn’t funny. Congratulations Mr. Morgan. You wrote an article criticizing a bunch of places that I hate and you still pissed me off. How completely devoid of cleverness do you have to be. The only way that this is funny is if it is intended to be not funny, and the joke is that some people find it funny. Is that the joke? Like if I went to see Grown Ups 2 in theaters so that I could laugh at the people laughing because it’s that unfunny. Unless it was meant ironically… so if it was, will someone please tell me. Obvi Mr. Morgan was trying to be funny, but unless he is making fun of people who make fun of “insecure prostitutes,” he’s not funny. I hope that you followed that. You see, even though it’s doubtful that the staff at Off The Hookah are insecure prostitutes, it certainly wouldn’t be funny if they were. That would be super sad. What would be funny is if someone was an incredible enough douchebag to make light of someone that down on their luck. The joke is the article was written in the tone of douchebag, and I guess it is funny if I read it as if it were written by someone like Todd Packer from The Office or that guy in Stepbrothers who tells Brennan to change his face. So I think I’m done trying to explain humor.

I don’t think it’s funny that more than a million people in the US have HIV, even more have other STDs, and almost every woman gets her period once a month.

Amber, did you just have your period at the bar?…Fuck it, I’m a complete whore and live in a trailer.

Was this written by a 12-year old? Or possibly Joel (Sorry, Joel)? There is a clever, subtle way to satirize different social groups, but this isn’t it. A great example would be The Hipster Handbook and Food Court Druids and Cherohonkees by Richmond native, Robert Lanham. I was hoping that Mr. Morgan’s article would be funny like that, that I could read it and say, “yes, that is the type of person that frequents that establishment.” Half of these places I haven’t been to, and the other half I have been to and hate, but I still don’t know what he’s talking about.

* So this is Richmond?…Bluefield, WV is more appealing than this…

What the fuck is Bluefield, WV? Is that supposed to mean something to me? Or do you just indiscriminately hate West Virginia. Mr. Morgan you little shit, I looked up West Virginia on Wikipedia and get this:

Bluefield prides itself on its hospitable climate. Since 1938 the Chamber of Commerce has given free lemonade when the temperature has surpassed 90°F.

So yes, that certainly is more appealing than Tobacco Company, where the Company is Divorced Ricky and his Uncle that’s his same age (45) buying us a round of weak shooters and then dancing coincidentally in the same area as our group of girls who just want to dance with each other, all night.

Tiki Bob’s is super seedy and kind of brilliant. Who could complain when a bar is able to convince girls to compete in feats such as Jello Wrestling, Wet T-Shirt Contests, Sexy School Girl Wet T-Shirt Contest, and so forth? Certainly the desperation is palpable and it seems as though Mr. Morgan has forgotten how to thrive in this environment.

3 Monkey’s is for Bros. If you aren’t a Bro or a Bro-girl, don’t go there.

Cha Cha’s is probably the worst place I’ve ever been, but I haven’t even seen any vag rash. Maybe I’m not looking in the right places.

Mr. Morgan, did you forget that you could be drinking PBR on your porch in Oregon Hill when you ventured in to those establishments? John Lewis Morgan you self-righteous prick.