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.