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Friday, July 23, 2010

Label me Not.

You know what they say, like mother like daughter. I inherited my pose-y genes from my mum.
Just the other day, she showed me these pictures and said “it’s not only you who have OK!”
Now that her youth is gone, she has lost her vainty in posing, she is at a loss of how to pose. But we saw alittle bit of that revived in our recent Japan holiday pictures. After all, she has to show who's the MOTHER not? LOL.

This is our first every mother-daughter make-over picture taken in 2005. Overly photo shopped, we both looked weird.
This one, with zero photo shop. I like my tan.
And you know how does my very first make-over picture look like? It makes me cringe.
Nubile not? Haha. So you see, even I can look rather different from before and now, so really people should stop judging and assume girls who look different from before and after definitely has some plastic surgery done. Like I said, there ARE temporary beauty enhancements available. That being said, even if Dawn Yang or KK has plastic surgery done, SO WHAT?? They’re not my personal friends but I find them gorgeous, although that kinda makes me inferior sometimes because girls like them are getting closer and closer to being perfect yet I giggle when I think that any man who marries someone who is overly spliced, imagine the shock he gets when their baby come out. Where did the pretty genes go?? *snicker*

So anyway, I know people label me as a model, but seriously I don’t call myself a model. My profession is NOT a model. I’ve mentioned it before here. Got to admit, I am judgmental sometimes. I look down on girls who put FULL TIME MODEL as their profession. Why do they have to proclaim although they’re a student but they’re also a model? And girls who really do full-time model, why don’t they just put UNEMPLOYED when they’re not as famous as Hanis Hussey, a Singaporean who had a 2 year contract with Yves Saint Laurent, and went on to model for Givenchy, Dior etc.

Being a model is all about luck and having the body of a clothes hanger really. I don’t think Hanis is as gorgeous as say VS’s angels, but she had the luck to be discovered by Dick Lee at Lucky Plaza back in the 1980s (perhaps her clothes hanger figure stood out) and she had the wits, mind and attitude to make that career work for her, becoming an international name. That, to me, is a model. You can rightfully and proudly put on your name card, application forms and immigration forms.

If you’ve taken pictures with Club Snap, that’s not a model but a person who loves being snapped. If you’ve done car shows and events, that’s not a model but a promoter.

There’s nothing wrong with engaging in such activities and taking pretty pictures. I have hundreds of said pictures. After all, they immortalize my youth, but I absolutely do NOT have the audacity to proclaim I am a model!

Some people know they got it, so they flaunt it. Many girls dream of being famous one day, and although I wasn’t desperately hankering for fame, I admit I did dream of being a model (jet setting lifestyle, beautiful clothes, working when I want etc.)

When I was 14, I got “recruited” along the streets of Orchard by Shine agency. I was young, and inexperienced. I went to their office and they praised me of my features, it was all very flattering. Then came the sales pitch. They need me to PAY for a portfolio. They need me to pay for the catwalk classes. I might be inexperienced, but I could smell a rat a mile away. I wondered why I had to pay when you “discovered” me? Is that how it works? I gave it the benefit of the doubt, after all, I have never encountered such situations. So I gave up my hard earned savings in exchange for the agency’s composite cards that they asked me to do. That’s how my FIRST make-over photo came about. I’m not sure if it’s the change in times that my make-over pictures look A LOT BETTER now, or that was just sub-standard work.

Ever since that experience, I have NEVER paid for any pictures, or done any sort of portfolio again. SHINE did promise work after I am armed with a portfolio for them to market me, but it didn’t come with a disclaimer that you still have to go for castings, still compete with EXPERIENCED models etc. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t dabble with agencies, or that anyone who asks you to pay for a portfolio, you immediately label them as a cheat. After all, it HAS to start somewhere right? So pay to get a portfolio done if you’ve never had make-over pictures taken. It is something to keep and remember your youth anyway.

What I absolutely LOATHE are the agencies who “recruit” me and after I told them, I have my own set of pictures that I can give it them to use and stamp their branding over, they said…OH WE DON”T DO THAT. IN ANY SANE MIND, WHAT SENSE DOES THAT MAKE??? It’s so bloody obvious that they are then just milking you for that portfolio fee!! It’s not like they’ve already SEEN MY PICTURES, and then give me reasonable comments like “ Oh, this won’t work because so and so. Or we need better lighting, studio pictures etc.” Model agencies take commission after models clinched a job, that’s where they should earn the dough. Or collect school fees if people come to sign up, WITHOUT ANY HARD SELL.

Eventually, SHINE did give me calefare jobs like being a commuter in an EZ-Link commercial. ONE job, and I never heard from them again. Earned back half of what I paid. Didn’t dare tell my mum because she will scold me for wasting money and building sandcastles in the air.

At 15, I got lucky. I was talent-spotted at a TEENS magazine fair in now defunct Exhibition Center. Now, that was for real. It’s all about being at the right, place the right time and meeting the right people. That was where I had my picture taken professionally a second time. It was an advertorial for a hair/make up salon. These are the RAW images.
Pastry white, look like ghost leh! Red top some more. Think the stylist was thinking of the horror movie the night before.

When I hit puberty, skin got very bad. Was demoralized, got fat (52 kg) due to snacking during lectures to stay awake, but was a student ambassador for NP so I helped them take catalogue pictures.
Then i was in some Ch 5 programme. Friends of Carlsberg. I think i am fat.
Then the BIGGEST job came when I was 19. I wasn’t attached to any agency, didn’t pay for any portfolio done (in fact used the pictures I got from the hair ad in TEENS), and got cast for VISA.
And the rest trickle in very slow, super slow. Raffles Country Club, Ciba Vision, DOLCE etc.That’s because I was NEVER a full-time model, I don’t go for castings all day. I have an office job.

Only recently I found that it is my right to request for any professional photos taken of me, even if I am paid. But sadly, it seems like Singapore’s industry don’t practice it. So I never saw some of the ads nor do I have any as keepsake.

So you see, you can count the number of paid jobs I have as a talent. It’s not comparable AT ALL to model Hanis. I am flattered I am labeled a model by some people, but really if you must know, I am NOT a model. But I don’t mind doing “modeling” stuff, if I get shopping money out of it. It is after all a grey line, and who knows I still might get famous some day. :)

Check out this funny music video dissing model wannabes. Watch it before it gets taken off Youtube again! The song is ACTUALLY nice, but i'm not so sure if his dance moves are attractive ;p

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