Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A glimpse into a different world

Yesterday I did something I’ve never done before: I went to a model agency to cast models!

The first girl I met at the agency was a super skinny Amazon woman wearing leather pants and a hat. She (and yes, it was a GIRL!) introduced herself as “Jimmy.”

-Are you a model?! I said in awe. Everything about her was so… “it”-like.

-No, silly! I’m just here to help you cast the models!

-Oh… Eh... right. Of course! 
(note to self: get a male name to drop at super cool occasions. Shall I go for John or Johnny?)

Now, some important notes to tall, just-happen-to-have-hips, western women in China: if you often feel big when walking on the streets of China, then never, ever enter into a model agency to cast models in China. Sure, you won’t feel like a flagpole any more, however, surrounded by women that are way taller than you are (+ super-skinny and drop dead gorgeous -with no hips, seriously?! How is it even possible!?), you’ll feel like a jelly tart.

Now, I have not been to that many (eh, more like: none) model castings in Europe, however, some things still surprised me in China:

* Some of the models wore so much make-up that you could not see what they actually looked like. Their hair was often down, flying around their heads, or super styled in curls. I thought the whole idea of a model casting was to see them “au neutral” so that you get an idea of their raw look and know how they can be styled?

* The shoes, the heels… Like I said, I’ve never felt smaller. However, when someone puts on 5 inches heels (even though they are already 180 cm) and claims they are a fulltime, professional model, I expect them to be able to walk in those shoes… why would you otherwise want to make such a bold statement? Unfortunately, I saw a lot of tripping and even some slips that looked close to breaking-a-foot-dangerous. Careful, Bambi beauties!

* Although I was literally a jelly-tart woman next to these Amazon beauties, they all were so shy towards me! If I was that tall/skinny/hot, I’m sure I would shine with confidence.

Once we had finished the casting and picked our models (yeah, unless some of you already guessed: we are planning a catwalk) all the models threw themselves over jars of candies?! This was rather interesting to watch. First I thought: “wow, those girls are eating candy, just like us, deadly jelly-tarts!” then it hit me that “hm… this is probably their first meal of the day.”

Interesting to get a glimpse into the world of beautiful, skinny models, however, I’m pretty glad I don’t have to do this job every single day.


Tarja said...

Modeling must be hard work. You're not able to eat chocolate every day. That wouldn't suit me =)

In my previous life I did a hair modelling thing in Finland. Next to me was a finnish model stripping all her clothes of. So I watched her perfect body from one meter distance and realized no matter what I eat (or don't eat) I won't be ever that skinny just because of my genes. This finnish model is still amazingly beautifull after having two kids and one on the way...

How old were these chinese models? Were they like real professionals or just random skinny girls? It's just so funny that they can't walk with heels. Isn't that suppose to be a large part of modelling work?

Little Tiger said...

Interesting task to do!
When will we see you on the panel of China's Next Top Model?

Jonna Wibelius said...

Tarja -yeah, I think u need to be born with the body in order to be able to do so. I couldn't either. I faint when I get too hungry... would never b able to starve myself to death.

The girls looked quite young, but not super young... some were obviously more experienced than others. One of the ones we chose had just shot a Prada campaign!! She's gorgeous.

Little tiger -ehhh.. yeah no time soon, haha!!!

Jim said...

You lucky thing, I wish I had that job, I'm sure I would appreciate the scenery!

胡崧 said...

As a guy I honestly dont find girls that skinny remotely attractive. I cringe whenever I think about what they have to put themselves through in order to achieve the "perfect body"

Crystal Tao said...

There is one point on which I would disagree - it is about make-up.
If the purpose of modelling is to demonstrate the clothes, then the attention of spectators should be fixed to theri bodies, and this is what really matters.
I often paid attention that the models for certain collection all have very similar (and - yes - very thick make-up). After watching two or three of them, you unconsciously stop noticing their faces and concentrate on clothes.

So - I think that thick make-up does makes sense in this case.

Joyce Lau said...

They all should watch America's Next Top Model (my secret guilty pleasure after all that serious news editing work).
Tyra will tell them -- very minimal make-up at castings. And they must be able to wear the shoes they came in.

I know nothing about modeling in China, but these girls sound like amateurs trying too hard to be glamorous in the big city. (Maybe not the Prada one, but the others).

Professional models come in with clean faces, plain clothes and their hair pulled back in a ponytail. Look at the polaroids of top models. They are blank canvases.