Roll Model

imagesA friend of a friend’s fourteen year-old daughter asked if she could interview me. She needed a live model for a project I assumed was for school. Come to find out I wasn’t her first choice, just the only one who said yes.

I wasn’t particularly thrilled either, but anything for a kid.

I of course was expecting just that, but instead, got a mini Diane Sawyer. She even insisted on interviewing over tea.

She was so efficient and grown-up, I thought, could she be older, just a little hormonally understaffed? Despite her tight jeans, trim blazer and silver Jack Rogers gracing her tiny feet (like Jackie O wore she informed me), she still had adolescence written all over her.  Imagine a flower that has not quite blossomed, but any minute will burst into a blooming blonde bombshell. It actually made me nervous hoping it wouldn’t happen at the table.

She had her aqua organizer (looked like Gucci) on her lap pulling out a little notebook and pencil, like a cub reporter from the 40s might use. I had visions of her watching old movies with Rosalind Russell and Kate Hepburn deciding, this is the way it’s done.

I wanted so much to take over but knew enough to stop myself, especially when she chose a very pricy tearoom. She even ordered rolls with Nutella, the rich kid’s version of Bosco.

Susannah, this is her gig not yours. You’re only a minor player so mind your own business.

Let’s hear it for 12 Step folks.

It went something like this…

Kid: “So how old were you when you decided to be a model?”

SB: I think I came outta the womb wearing Chanel to be quite honest.” No reaction. Oops,  may we have a lack of humor here? Uh-oh…better change gears Susannah. “I wanted to be one as long as I can remember.”

jot jot jot.

Kid: What was your first big break?”

SB: “My elbow… shit, I did it again…being accepted by Wilhelmina when I was eighteen.”  Wilhelmina

“Kid: “Who was Wilhelmina, another model?”  How could she not know who Willie was  conducting an interview like this… HMM.

SB: “She started out as a model images-2very successfully before opening her own agency that became one of the biggest in the business.” f0508f62b14a943c4184f6dacb0c7f61 (wasn’t Willie a beauty?)

jot jot jot

Kid: “How old was she when she became an agent?”

SB: “In her thirties.”

Kid: “Wow, she was old.” Jesus, if she thinks that’s old that must make me, well…older.”

SB: “It was just a choice she made and a good one because next to the Ford Model Agency, she became the second biggest.”

jot jot jot

Kid: “Are you still working for her?”

SB: “No, Willie died years ago, very young. I still miss her.”

Kid: “Of course she’s dead. She’d be what, about your age?” Okay, did somebody put her up to this? I looked around for Camille.

SB: “Why don’t we move onto something else.”

She suddenly sat very tall in her chair.

Kid: “Did you go out with lots of rock stars?” Not the something else I was thinking of, but this is the first time she showed any real interest, like hoping I’ll say I blew one of the Stones. I decided to be professional.”

SB: “Oh yes, hundreds.”

Kid: WOW.”

SB: ” Wouldn’t you like to know what it’s like being a model, for real?”

Kid: “I already know all that. You pose for Bazaar and Vogue, do the big shows in Paris…smoke, do drugs, hardly eat.” Omigod, who is she describing, Kate Moss before she got out on bond? Cartoon model?

SB: “Well, that’s not really true. Yes, if you’re lucky and work really hard you do get to work for Vogue and the big fashion houses, but not every girl has that happen, and not everyone does drugs…aren’t you going to write that down?”

Kid: “Did you ever work for Vogue?” What could I say, yes…but I didn’t tell her it was a mock Sound of Music piece where I played a nun. But the mere mention of Vogue bugged her eyes out like she was being strangled.

SB: “Tell me something Mindy (I’ll call her), are you thinking of becoming a model?”

This is when she took lipstick out of her Vuitton tote, applied it like a gun moll and said, “You’re damned straight I am. My parents made me to do this as punishment because I shaved my eyebrows hoping you’ll convince me it’s a bad idea.” I wondered what those two little immobile worms were on her forehead.

SB: “Well, have I?”

Kid: “Are you kidding? images-1You went out with rock stars, worked for Vogue. No, I’m gonna be a model, maybe not like you. You are kinda old, but now it’s definite. I’m thinking of calling myself Lynx. You know, a one name-er like Gisele.”

I started fanning myself with a menu.

Kid: “More tea?”

SB: “Do they serve anything stronger, do you know…like scotch?”

She grinned.


Pictures of Wilhelmina courtesy of Google Images











About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Beauty, Fashion, History, humor, kids, modeling, New York City, parents, women, writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Roll Model

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, it wouldn’t have mattered what you had said, she was only going to hear what she wanted to hear. Her mind was made up. Boy, is she in for a rude awakening … or maybe not.
    Very humorous piece.


    • I’m the sucker here, if you will. I was trying to be legit until the rock star ? My ego made a cameo wanting her to assume I was very cool. Yeah…I’m the model who’s famous for body parts…knees, shoulders. My face is usually in the back napping. This girl had that look in her eye…one I know too well.


  2. Hahahaha! I would have done the same thing and then some! Her parents better just accept this strong will and brace themselves for a bumpy ride.
    I have met 2 children in my life who were grown beyond their years and I will admit, it’s difficult to remember that their kids. The first was a 5 year old….yes 5, who brought all her clothes out to the living room and stated “these are hideous, we need to go shopping.” The second one was about 9 and was asked “would you like a sandwich for lunch?” and she responded “I don’t eat sandwiches, I eat meals.”
    If these 3 girls got together I have no doubt they would rule the WORLD!


    • That’s so funny. From the mouths of babes waiting to go to the mall. I’m all for kids finding themselves but boundaries are in order, like I’d love to see the look on that mother’s face when Miss Nutella announces her name is now Lynx.
      Hey, Lynx Nutella, has a ring to it…lol


  3. micklively says:

    You know the golden rule: never work with animals or children. 😉
    (Oh and definitely not with precocious brats)
    Very funny, Susannah.


  4. katecrimmins says:

    OMG! First, your picts are gorgeous! Second, where did this babe come from? Under a rock? No manners at all? She is driven and will be very successful but she won’t be liked. Very funny post.


  5. It sounds like she came into the interview prepared to reinforce her beliefs about modeling, not to learn anything new. She certainly sounds self-confident. I hope the awakening to reality isn’t too jarring for her when she tries to become a model.


    • If I could do it all again, I’d be a student first. Then if I still had that hankering I’d pursue it. but girls her age never want to hear that no more than I did. It’s a business, not a venue for vanity…something I learned the hard way.


  6. musiclucy says:

    Amazing post – really gave me food for thought – I work with young people like Mindy everyday, successful, driven and always thinking they know more than experienced adults 🙂 x


    • Thank you Miss Lucy…as I said to David from Korea, if I could go back I’d go to school. My regrets for choosing to preen and pose over learning are huge. Now, in my fifth decade, I’m an insatiable student reading quite often 3 books a week…consuming history like an ongoing meal. I wish Mindy would choose college…her parents can afford to send her anywhere she was smart enough to get into, imagine that…sigh


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.