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We have all had the opportunity to tune in the recent TV series, Canada’s/America’s Next Top Models.

Reminds me of the lyrics: ‘I’m too sexy. I am a model you know what I mean. I do my little turn on the cat walk, I am too sexy by far.’

Recently I had the opportunity to interview a real life New York fashion model.

‘Serena’ is a very attractive tall, twenty- one year old high school graduate.’ Her vital measurements: 5' 9 ½ inches tall, bust 34, waist 24 but darn it her hips are way out of line. She told me that her career was on hold because her hip size had ballooned to 36 inches. Anything over the magic mandatory number 34 and the agents aren’t interested in promoting you.’

When Serena was fifteen years old the opportunity presented itself for her to attend the ‘Model & Talent Search Canada’ show that was held in Toronto.

Check out the London’s modeling schools web sites and you will find that they are eager to enroll girls at the tender age of ten to learn all about life skills, makeup & manicures

Off Serena went to the Sheraton Hotel/Toronto with her $500.00 entrance fee in her hand to get a chance to model bathing suits and evening attire on a runway for two days. Agents from New York & Paris were in attendance looking for that girl with that certain special look

‘The agents were searching for girls 5' 10-6ft in bare feet, skinny, long necks/legs, full lips & good skin. It sure helps if you are comfortable with your body and have a pleasing personality. The agents prefer their models to be young. There are absolutely no educational requirements.’
‘The fashion industry is dominated by women and homosexual men. Male models are looked on merely as accessories to their female counterparts.’

‘There is no runway work in London. Toronto has casting calls. If you are lucky you receive & e mail from your agency to try out. If chosen there are the necessary photo shoots & fittings with no pay.’

‘A week-end of posing can earn a model $300.00 gross with her agency taking up to 30% of her pay’.

‘Every quarter inch on your hips can hurt your persona & thus your career opportunities. Many young women smoke marijuana /cigarettes and do cocain to stay thin. Some girls are desperate enough to swallow cotton balls soaked in orange juice to fill their stomachs.’

‘The majority of want to be models live ten in a run down apartment trying to pay the rent. Everyone seems to be poor chasing their dream with only 5% making a decent living.’
Hard to have a positive self concept when you are told repeatedly that you are ‘useless; merely an expensive hanger.’

‘Recently Serena got her big chance to model for two days in New York City. In lieu of pay she was allowed to keep the clothes she modeled’.

I called London’s own Diane Diachina for some advise She was in the fashion business for twenty years. Her advice:’ look at modeling as a part time short lived gig to earn a little extra money. Get a college/university education. Remember the fashion business is a tough meat market were very few find success’

Does Serena’s sad story sound familiar? Please drop us an e mail.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com