They didn’t tell me I was going to miss prom…. As I watch my friends post pictures on Facebook, I can’t help but feel a tinge of jealousy. Yeah, one of my dresses cost more than the combination of every dress at the event but based on the pictures it looked like a lot of fun.
Fun that I wasn’t there for.
What was I doing? Walking the runway in Miami. I didn’t have to deal with the rain that nearly ruined my friend’s big day. I didn’t have any witty comments to post about the horrible photographer or the lacking food. I could only silently click ‘like’, as their pictures filled my timeline.
I don’t share my life with my friends, but it’s not too hard for them to figure out what I am doing. Every week I get a message from someone saying, “Hey, I saw you on….” It was cool at first, but now I have a cut and paste response of: “Thanks – it was a lot of fun!”
Truth is; it probably wasn’t as fun as going to prom with all of your friends.
When I started modeling, I had no idea it would be like this. I was the girl who hosted sleepovers and played dress up with friends. When I was 12, I was strangely tall. My friends used to make fun of me and joke that I should play volleyball, but I wasn’t into sports. I was into makeup.
So my mom, fed up with me experimenting with her ‘good clothes’ marched me into a modeling agency. I was so excited. You mean I could play dress up all day??
I remember what my friends said when I told them I was going to interview for an agency in Chicago.
“No, way! For, real? You will totally get picked!”
They were so supportive, but deep down I knew they were a bit jealous. When I met the agent, and she looked at me with a certain glint in her eye, I knew something was about to happen, but I had no idea.
She sent me outside while she talked with my mom. As I sat outside, paging through a fashion magazine, I heard my mom squeal loudly.
Apparently, my agent had just sold my mom the dream- the opportunity of a lifetime. Within weeks, I was on the cover of a teen magazine- the next fresh face. By the end of the school year, I was flying to Paris to walk runways.
Needless to say, school had to go bye-bye. The agency arranged a tutor and I was officially withdrawn after 8th grade. My friends were still jealous, but some cried as I explained I wouldn’t be around anymore. I thought I could take them with me, but my agent explained, ‘they weren’t professionals like me.’
Since when did I become a professional? The year before I was a kid.
Quickly, I learned, modeling is not like playing dress up. It is as much of a job as anything else. As my friends posted about their jobs folding sweaters in the mall, I silently wished I could tell them about the makeup artist that poked at my face like I was an experiment.
I love my life, the fame, the money… the clothes…. But I really wish I could have gone to Prom.