Every princess has her Ball, right? Well, mine is the Met Ball. It was the event that marked my success… the milestone I had planned for. For years, I indulged in the stories from the proceeding year’s events- hearing other models discuss their time while sharing dressing rooms in shoots the weeks following. I wanted to be there, even if in the background, and this year was my moment.

The weeks prior I had stayed extremely busy. I spent extra time in the gym, doubled up my esthetician appointments and kept my manicurist on speed dial. I had to put my best everything forward if I expected an invite from any designer.   It’s an unspoken rule in the industry that you do not mention the Met if you want to be invited. No one likes a pushy model. So for months, we pull out the claws – taking the competition directly to the runway – no one admitting that they are vying for that invite.

Upon the suggestion of my agent, I booked a lot of work the last few months, but not particularly because I wanted to. I needed to get my face out there in front as many designers as I could. Walking in some pieces I wouldn’t even take a piss in, I gave it my all just so someone would take me to this damn Ball.

I received two invites.

I decided on the designer I had worked with the most. This would be the largest event I have ever worked at, and now wasn’t the time to start taking chances.

When I arrived at the fitting, I was particularly disappointed by what occurred. I’ve been in many hi-profile shows, but I definitely felt like a walking piece of meat at this one. No one referred to me by my name, I was either “you” or “girl in the xxxx piece”. Dresses got names, but not the models. If the dresses could strut themselves, it was obvious that we’d be out of a job.

The night of the event, I wasn’t prepared for the red carpet. I thought I would be, but I wasn’t. The screaming fans and New Yorkers lined the streets, filling the air with excitement. I found myself breathing deeply to stay calm. Why was I acting like some kind of newbie?

Once at the runway, it was business as usual, the same flashing lights, that same clank of my heels beneath me. Although I knew the whole world was watching, I felt at home on my blinding stage.

When it was over and the crowds died off, I joined some of the other models at a few after parties. This was probably least how I expected it. Behind closed doors and without the flashing lights, some of the most popular celebrities let their hair down and acted like normal people. For some of them, it was probably a good thing because they were actually pretty cool. Most of them were complete jerks however, trashing their clothes, treating some of the models like they were their personal assistants and generally leaving a trail of destruction in their path.

If this was what royalty looks like, I’m sort of happy to be normal.