iconimg Friday, September 04, 2015

Sumedha Deo, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, October 11, 2012
Models have it hard. Sure there are the free designer clothes, hanging out with A-list celebrities and travelling the world, but behind the glamour, these girls deal with a host of struggles. We spent a day at the shoot of The Hunt For The Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2013 that will soon air on NDTV Good Times, and came away with five reasons you need to consider before becoming a bikini model.

BikiniWearing waterproof make-up and hairspray in blazing heat
Models are slathered with bronzers, oils and hairspray from head to toe to get that sultry look. Now, imagine wearing all this in 35 degree heat, under the blazing sun, on a beach with no cover. In these conditions, tanner streaks, hairspray melts and  make-up smears all over your face. So after posing for a shot, you need to redo the whole thing all over again... 30 times a day.

Eating under 1,000 calories daily
Since you’re posing for pictures in about 50 sq cm of cloth, every bit of your body is under scrutiny. While the rest of the unit piles their plates at the buffet, you’re left nibbling on some celery sticks. Then there are also cellulite, stretch marks and other general bikini picture-breakers that you need to constantly worry about.

Posing sexily at any given time of the day
You need to have your game face on at all times. Rain delays, faulty equipment and other such bummers will halt shoots for hours. If there’s a one-hour window of clear skies at 6 am, you need to be good to go with your pouty face even though you’re
nursing a bad hangover from all the tequila at last night’s party. Actually, it’s a bad idea to party at all, since you never know when the cameras might start rolling.

Wearing high heels all day while wearing a skimpy bikini
You’ll be expected to pose on uneven sand and rocks at the beach in your bathing suit in ankle-killing six-inch heels. The barely-there swimsuit will ride up, slide down or just generally make things uncomfortable for you. But you’ll have to soldier on, tugging at the swimsuit, balancing on your stilt-like shoes, keeping the hair away from your face, all the while posing for the lens.

Doing all this while preserving your beauty
Swimsuit shoots go on for weeks. You’ll be spending hours in the sun and wind daily, which means you’ll be colouring reverse on the fairness cream shade scale. After wrapping up every day, you’ll have to make sure you restore all that is lost to the environment and not end up looking like a leathery turtle. Which means you need to invest in expensive creams and shampoos.
With all this to juggle, it’s not a wonder why so few make it to the modelling first class lounge. So the next time you’re ogling a beautiful model, pouting in the surf, spare a thought for all her masked misery.

Photographer Atul Kasbekar’s tips
* Remember that ramp and still modelling are very different arenas.
* The most basic requirements are a good face and toned body. And your mum and aunt are not the best judges of that.
* Long legs are a must even if you’re short. My personal formula is 2/3rd of your body length should be your legs.
*Don’t lay out in the sun too much before the start of the shoot as you’ll be tanning on the job as it is. You don’t want to get too tanned.

(The writer was invited by the organisers to visit the sets of the Hunt for the Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2013)