Monday, February 1, 2010

4.

I have always, always been a twig. Growing up, doctors routinely thought something might be wrong with me, because I ate more than normal, yet remained stick thin. Skinny jokes? I've heard 'em all.

And if the scrawniness wasn't enough, I grew 8 inches during 8th grade. The wicked growth spurt came complete with bad knees and resulted in jeans that could not be French cuffed. Seriously, who is the girl who safety pins her jeans to taper them? That would be me.

Let me put this into perspective - On graduation day, I was 5'10" and weighed exactly 100 pounds.

As frustrating as it was, I was never really tormented, especially by the time High School rolled around. I had plenty of friends, I wasn't picked on, a couple of boys mighta even had a crush on me. Sometimes I nearly forgot about it, but usually, it was right in the back of my mind.

I tried the protein shakes and the two-Whoppers-for-dinner plan, to no avail.

I wanted to be the cute, curvy little thing with a bouncy ponytail and muscles in my calves. I was relatively angst-riddled over the whole skinny minny thing. (Did I mention that both of my parents top out at 5'6"?)

And then it hit me - God must have made me this way because my purpose in life was to be a supermodel! It was the only logical conclusion.

Not a Cindy Crawford or a Claudia Schiffer. I probably wouldn't grace the cover of Cosmo or Glamour. I would be one of the nameless gals who tromped down the runway with a scowl then flashed a grin, right at the turn. I knew enough to know that high fashion models were not Homecoming Queen pretty. Sometimes, they were downright strange looking. I could do strange.

Over the course of my Jr. High and High School years, I had learned every existing fact about those '90's Supermodels and I pored over the "random model" faces in Vogue and Bazaar. I worried that my eyes were too beady and my lips were not puffy enough, but by 1991, the grunge era was ushered in and those minor inconveniences mattered even less.

So, my Junior year of High School, I slinked off, photos in hand, to one of those cheesy Top Model searches at a local shopping mall. I made the cut. I had a few ridiculously silly photos taken (per model search requirements) and months later, black dress in hand, my mom pulled me out of school and drove me a couple of hours away for the big day. The only people who knew were my mom, my dad, my then-boyfriend, and Sarah. To this day, I think the only person I have added to that list is Cory.

There's nothing like ridding the soul of a nearly two-decades-long secret. You should try it.

That weekend would be best described by a series of isolated adjectives: Intimidating. Nerve-wracking. Scary. Ridiculous.

There were hundreds of tall girls there and most of them were not banking on the fact that beauty was not a requirement. I didn't trip during my runway walk, so that was good. The photos I took ended up being the wrong size, so that was bad. They narrowed it down to 10% of the starting group and I did get exactly one "call-back" from an agency that I had only vaguely heard of. I'm pretty sure my knobby knees knocked all the way up to the desk, where a lady with a buzzed haircut and black glasses asked me what my measurements were.

Um....

My measurements?

Well, I have no earthly clue.

The lady kindly thanked me and sent me on my way, never to be heard from again.

My modeling career was over, before it even started. I felt a little bummed. I felt relieved. I felt thankful for that one, lonesome call back.

As for the reason for my Olive Oyl frame? Well, back to the drawing board.

27 comments:

  1. I suppose I lose points for not really recalling this high school experience...however, do I gain points for recalling specifically a similar experience you had in COLLEGE where I believed I lied to someone in Admissions Office and maybe even skipped a class in order to volunteer to drive you (at the last minute)to Chicago for a casting session in my Red Escort, only for us to get barely going past the Notre Dame exit on the Tollroad and then for some reason we decided to turn around and go back...I think you just decided against it. And then I think we probably went somewhere and ate some fattening food.
    And do I get MAD PROPS for being the first to comment on this blog? Whoo-HOO!

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  2. Ha! I knew you were skinny (and I say that in a good way) based on your pictures, but I didn't realize you were that tall (I'm almost 5'9"). I can't imagine being a model would've been much fun anyway, but it makes for a great story!!!

    :) T

    the filing cabinets were $39 ea...they do require quite a bit of assembly, but I love them (they're on wheels too, fyi).

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  3. I have a friend with your build, and I've always been envious...oh to eat whatever you want. Imagine! :)

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  4. Oh girl you are so funny. What I wouldn't do to have a few extra inches. We always want what we don't have...don't we? I think it would be tough though to be super tall. How in the world do you find clothes that fit?

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  5. Loved your story, it cracks me up.
    Never thought that you skinny girls had much to be self conscious about. I am, and always was at the opposite side of the fence;)

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  6. Great story! A good example of how the grass is not always greener, thanks for sharing.

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  7. I'd say you were one lucky girl! I would die to be able to eat whatever I wanted! :)

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  8. What a great story!Thanks for sharing, Have a sweet day!

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  9. Well you grew into your skinny minniness quite well! I've never had that kind of problem. Although I used to long to be short. I always thought short girls were so adorable and perky. Then I realized that if I were short my weight would be compacted and that wouldn't help me much. I guess it's good to learn to love what the good Lord gave us! P.S. I totally would have called you back.

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  10. the title has me wondering... but only a little :)

    FYI, I think you are cute just the way you are! Thanks for spilling the long-kept secret!

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  11. You are one brave girl - young world traveler, going on model calls - - what a great bunch of memories!
    I have to say, I think it must be WONDERFUL to wear all the "skinny as a model" clothes . . . so ENJOY!

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  12. I would have pegged you at about 5'6"! You are taller than me, I'm 5'8" I'm terribly undertall too. Not overweight, undertall.

    I find it so interesting that you felt so self conscience being thin, as much as I did/do being overweight. Vellllly intellesting.

    Girl, embrace your wispiness. Marry it. Buy it jewelry and cool Antho clothes. If you ever need a fat donor....I'm your gal!

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  13. don't worry, I am still convinced that someday we will see you on the santita bag, holding ears of corn and smiling away ;-)

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  14. What a great story and I wish I could relate! Any other secrets you'd like to share with us?

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  15. This is a story that your grandchildren will need to know. And the Sweden story (was it Sweden?). The more I get to know you, I only realize how much more there is to know!

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  16. I knew I had connection of some sort with you. As a fellow giraffe I could totally picture your experience. All the best, Lori

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  17. Being different ain't so bad (after those tormenting jr. high and high school years pass). Now you're in great company and are understood by folks like me - the red headed freckle-faced former band nerd. I call myself a late bloomer. I began to appreciate my red hair and freckles in my twenties. My discovery of MAC makeup helped though :)

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  18. I had no idea you were that tall!! I could tell you were a thin cute little thing, but that talll no! I do have to say that you always look adorable in your photos and your clothes are always well put together, so you certainly got something from those long hours pouring over fashion magazines!!

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  19. I think you're perfect just the way you are :) Tall, skinny, and you can eat anything you darn well want and not workout -- sounds pretty perfect to me. I always wanted to be taller so I could strut on a runway too :)

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  20. That's a great story! I can't say that I relate because I'm rather short and...I have a hard time finding the right word, because I don't like 'chubby'. I'm sure you get the picture. Thankfully life can be good skinny or chubby. ;-)

    Have fun eating!!!
    -FringeGirl

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  21. So funny! I can definitely relate to wishing for a different body type. I'm in a constant battle to not be one of those people who needs to be cut out of their house and weighed on a truck scale!

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  22. This is awesome – you and I are metabolic soul sisters. Although my modeling career was REALLY pathetic, consisting of one stint of mannequin modeling for a store at the local mall. Holy embarrassing! When I was in junior high, I was called down to the counselor’s office because someone turned in my name for my supposed eating disorder. At the time it was such a low blow. I have always eaten a lot, to no avail. Now that I am grudgingly entrenched in my 30’s and have given birth to 4 children, I finally weigh in somewhere around a whopping 125, give or take a few pounds depending on how much food I have inhaled that day. I have made peace with my metabolism, but every once in a while I still find myself coveting curvy legs – mine are still (and hopelessly will remain) sticks.

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  23. want to switch?

    "cute" curvy girl :-)

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  24. You don't look that tall in your pictures. Has everyone said that? :) You look like the all american healthy girl. Frame and all. You make me feel better since my Olivia's Pediatrician told us at her 2 year appt that she would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 5'10 and 6'0 and my mind raced to how she would deal in High School...and of course we all thought...supermodel! :)

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  25. I'd love to be skinny. Never have been in my life. Even at the weight I like to be I'm not skinny. Never will be. Enjoy it!!!

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  26. YOu would have knocked 'em out on Top Model these days!
    This reminds me of a terrible photo shoot my mother took me to during my most awkward adolescent years involving a red plaid dress with many ruffles, some stirrup pants, and one bad perm. There were no call backs in my case. My stomach turns just thinking about it.

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  27. What I would give for an Olive Oyl frame! Not even as a 4 year old was I an olive Oyl! I had the figure you envied - but you do not want it as an adult! So, so, so, soooo hard to keep weight off! Be thankful for who you are (I am talking to myself!)
    -Trish

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