IMTA 1995by Philip Greenspun.
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"I estimate that one in fifty girls here has a chance of having a career," noted Francesca Milano, a makeup artist who has seen it all, as she covered over Christina Perreault's chicken pox outbreak. Christina, 5'9", is a 14 year-old from Toronto whose mother brought her down here. "I wanted to get her off horses because she was getting too masculine. Also it is very dangerous," Maria Perreault noted. Didn't she worry about the shady characters of the fashion world?
"In my opinion you can be very feminine and very intelligent. I think a woman should exploit any beauty God gives her. Exploit it. To hell with what people say. The only people who complain about modeling are the ugly women. Well, that's just too bad."
So would she let Christina come to New York alone to work?
"Not until she's 21."
What about college?
"Absolutely. She wants to be a pediatrician or a lawyer. It will be Ivy League for her."
Doesn't Christina miss the horses?
"No," she Mom; Christina shouted "YES!" from the makeup booth.
I came running back to Hearst with one of her "laser" portfolio shot and a few of my images. I barged into a Cosmopolitan Women's Style editor's office. "This is it. We have to use her. The next Cindy Crawford."
She took a short but hard look at the photo. "Philip, how old is this girl? 11?"
"Well, she's 12, but she's already 5'7"."
"Get out of my office."
[left to right: Mistee Howe, Lesli Liles, Erica Nelson. If you want to become famous for discovering them, call the Reflections Agency in Corpus Christi at (512) 857-5414.]
In fairness, it should be noted that colleges like Harvard and MIT aren't all that different when they bleed each student of $130,000, but somehow they manage to do it a little better public relations spin. Also, some of the school directors noted that their students are learning skills that will help them in many walks of life, not least of which is the role of rich man's wife.
Models in training get so used to paying for everything that they forget what ordinary kindness is. One girl from Barbados noticed my preponderance of cameras and asked if I knew anyone who could do a few quick photos for her. She needed them the next day. I told her that it was a nice overcast day, so she should just come outside with me and I'd burn off a roll that she could take to a 1-hour lab. After ten minutes on the sidewalk, I handed her the roll and she asked how much she owed me. When I said nothing, she threw her arms around me with the happy innocence of a child.
More: The International Modeling and Talent Association.