Some people have some very funny definitions of “modeling”. When I say I’m a model, in some it conjures images of glamorous red carpets, perfect hair and eating next to nothing. Others think of porn. Either way, I’m an air-headed girl that is just meant to stand around and look pretty. I am an object that exists for the consumption of others.
I look for jobs in a variety of places. Many of the offers I get from Craigslist and other sites are nothing more than thinly veiled inquiries for prostitution. I can’t tell you how many “wealthy, attractive businessmen” I’ve had in my inbox looking to “sponsor a girl like me”.
On my Instagram, I had one person message me about “promo modeling”, a term usually reserved for models to run convention booths, attend car/boat shows and talk to people, and other legitimate marketing. What this circumstance offered, on the other hand, was “I’ll pay you to go to parties as my date. I’ll pay for you to get your hair and nails done, and spoil you like a princess.” While it sounds lovely to be spoiled like a princess, I am personally offended by offers such as these. At best, it’s someone just wanting a piece of arm candy, because that’s what they see me as. An accessory they can hang on their shoulder like a decoration. At worst, it’s not even a legitimate offer and I end up in a dangerous situation. Almost inevitably, sex is what’s expected from these offers.
The bottom line is simple: models are not sex workers. I am in the interest of creating art. I have a mind, and a personality, and a life of my own. It’s easy to see pictures on a computer screen and dehumanize the subject. Regarding a couple pictures I posted on Instagram from my childhood, I’ve had people tell me it felt “wrong” to go from looking at my nude work to suddenly seeing me at eight years old. It was unfathomable that yes, I was once a child. I don’t even post anything extremely provocative, as it’s not my style, and yet it was still unbelievable that I was capable of being anything other than a sexual fantasy to them.
I, and every other model on the planet, am more than that. I am a person.