I find certain aspects of fashion extremely interesting. The most interesting part is modelling and models.
I remember reading an article by my friend Ravi Shankar Etteth a while ago in which he said something like, “these days you cannot reach the bar counter at parties without tripping over a dozen wannabe models.” No doubt, I found it interesting the way Ravi chose to describe these girls. Also I have realised that what he said was true.
Years later, the scene is still the same. One really has to try hard not to trip as the parties are infested with these wannabes. Why so many? Well, unlike in the west, models are a revered lot here.
Here, there, everywhere!
I really feel sad when I bump into some of these wannabes when I go out. At fashion weeks, they hover around the foyer; at parties they are either at the barstools or on the dance floor; at some cheap parties they are invited as props... one such wannabe even got into a Hindi film (can you imagine?) in a lead role some time back. I remember this one as a ‘loud’ girl who always spoke in high pitch to attract attention.<b1>
For me, models are just walking mannequins. But this is not to say that I have some good friends in the modelling circle. I do. But the undue reverence attached to modelling is some thing I cannot understand. This is something that the ‘white trash’ that land here have also realised now. And they move in the ‘right’ circle and have become part of the city’s social circle sipping wines and posing for photographs.
Potential risk to modelling world
Anyway, what prompted me to pen these lines was that like every season when fashion week dates are announced, I start getting calls either from these aspirants or from their ‘well wishers.’ Recently after much brutal force’ by way of phone calls and requests by way of personal recommendations (“just meet her and then decide please whether you can do something or not. That’s all I am requesting”) from one who was actually ‘avoidable’, I decided to meet the candidate just for a casual chat. She came. And she looked anything but a potential model. I thought she was a potential risk to the world of modelling. She unburdened all her family problems before me and pleaded that I should get her into modelling somehow. <b2>
Sure I can pass on her name to designers, choreographers or any one, I told her. But first of all I have to make sure that the person I recommend, to begin with, should look like a model. “Tell me frankly sir,” she continued, “Can I be a model?” There are many other careers that you can possibly pursue, I told her, but modelling is not one of them. Why do you want to be a model? I asked. “Sir besides money, every one would recognise me and I can go anywhere without being stopped at the entrance. Sir, it is a ‘cool’ job.”
So, family problems, after all, weren’t the real reason for her wanting to be a ‘model’. As I walked her out under the pretext of an urgent meeting, I said to myself, the problem really is not with these girls. After all, it is us who give these walking mannequins all the attention that they don’t deserve.