Model misery

Look at this girl, she has it made. Sun kissed skin, thin, beautiful body, she sure has it all. But there’s a story behind those eyes.


This is me at 20. My New York agent sent me to Miami to shoot new photos for my book. I had to stay with this jackass photographer, whose name will remain anonymous (he’s a major photographer for all the fashion magazines, Cosmo, Vogue, you name it, so you would figure he would be half way professional).

My stay at this studio was a nightmare. Not only was I in the midst of starving myself to lose more weight, but I was exercising like a maniac, and weak as hell.

Jackass owned this lofty studio apartment in a highrise, people would come and go all day. At night, I had the luxury to sleep on a mattress on the floor, waiting for Jackass to come home, totally tanked, and attempt to jump in bed with me. This scene usually ended quickly with me telling him to get the hell off of me or I would kick him in the balls. Lucky for me he was usually too drunk to fight me.

Ahh, the life of a model, so glamorous.

As luck would have it, a tropical depression moved in. Days past with no sunlight, which meant no shooting. I spent my days writing home to friends and family, swimming, running, and trying not to dig through the cupboards for something I could actually allow myself to eat (I finally broke down and binged on a whole box of Total cereal).

I passed the time chatting with Jackass’s brother, who was not half bad, except his claim to fame was this album cover. Enough said.


When the storm finally passed, Jackass was hung over from the night before, and we headed out to the beach. He proceeded to scream at me “MOVE! MOVE!” as I posed in this cutesy little guatamalan vest and sun hat (great fake smile, if I do say so myself). Passerbys gawked at us, but Jackass paid no mind, all he cared about was getting back inside to take a nap


I wish I could say that my Miami experience with Jackass was an isolated experience, but it was not. Maybe next time I’ll tell you about the Paris photographer who masturbated while he sat behind his camera salivating….but I am not sure you are ready for that one.

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12 Responses to Model misery

  1. Isabella says:

    Aw, Mama…when I saw that picture, I thought to myself, “I oughta feed that girl!” Then I read that it was you — I blushed. :)

    It’s scary that I know my mentorlings will look at your picture and sigh in longing, whereas me (big, black, bustin’ out) just worries about you. I would hug your 20something self, but I’m glad you have the strength to show us this slice of your past.

    Thanks, Mama.

  2. Leah says:


    I absolutely loved this video! I’m 25 and have struggled with anorexia/bulimia since I was about 12. I’m currently in the process of recovering. When I was younger, I used ana/mia sites for the ‘tips and tricks’. I loved that I could lose myself in the site to keep from eating. Now that I look back I realize that I was going to be hungry no matter what and a website wasn’t going to keep my stomach from growling 24/7. It helped me to believe that what I was doing was okay. Even now, I have to be really careful about avoiding these sites. (and they are EVERYWHERE!) It’s such a major trigger for me now. Looking back, I realize how disgusting the pictures are, and I would never want to be that thin, but I was. I had such a distoted self-image that I was always positive I was 50 pounds heavier than the pictures. Now I’m finally able to see myself as I am, and I’m beginning to accept the fact that I could stand to gain a few pounds. The pro ana/mia sites only help to keep you stuck in that cycle. Thankfully, it’s a cycle that I’m finding my way out of, slowly but surely.

    Can’t wait to see more videos!

    Sorry, I tried to send it to you in a message on youtube, but it wouldn’t let me…AGAIN…I didn’t get the e-mail either….Hope you don’t mind that I posted this here.

    Sounds like modeling isn’t all fun afterall. I’m glad I never wanted to go that route! Hopefully these experiences won’t torment you forever! =) Glad to see that someone is finally posting the truth!

  3. Amy says:

    Your storys, blogs.. etc. are really great. Your great.
    Putting storys out there, about what its really like.
    yes theres glitz and glamour but theres all the other things aswell.

    Haha, the photographer at the end.
    what i story that would be.

  4. Abby says:

    You looked so unhappy in those pictures. Though I guess that isn’t surprising, since you were. I’m a member of a support group on live journal, and there is rarely, if ever, a smiling picture posted. Most people look on the verge of tears, or just numb. Looking at them makes me wonder if I’ll be happy again, but it looks like you’re genuinely happy in some of your videos, which is definitely encouraging. I hope you had a happy new years!

  5. mamavision says:

    Thanks for the kind words Isabella, I do look like I need a serious hamburger in that swimsuit shot. All kidding aside, this was a tough post for me. I dug my book out of my mom’s basement over the holidays, I haven’t seen these pictures in years (bless her heart she saved everything, I would have chucked it all). Let’s just hope that some these small insights into the reality of modeling triggers some thought for young girls. And FYI, I am a HEALTHY weight now, and damn I look good! :)

  6. mamavision says:

    Hi Leah! Thanks for taking the time to repost. Your comments are very insightful. Basically they support the latest studies that show the Ana and Mia sites are like “shouting fire.” I’ll be writing an updated post, do you mind if I use your comments (attributed to you)?

  7. mamavision says:

    Hi Amy: Welcome, and thanks! It’s comments like yours that reinforce to me I am doing the right thing by blogging about these topics. Sometimes it is scary though, its like I am really putting myself out there and I never know what I am going to get back. Then again what is really scary, is I literally have to pick and choose what I write about because there is so much out there that hypes Hollywood, media, skinny, thin mania….how very sad. Take care, and I’ll post the story on the pervert photographer soon! :)

  8. Leah says:

    Feel free to use my comment. Looking forward to that new post.

  9. ht says:

    you look goregous!!!!

  10. mamavision says:

    I can see that now, but when this picture was taken I felt like hell. Fat, starving, and not at all confident. So how did I look like that and feel so crappy about myself? That’s what the modeling industry does to you. Imagine walking into a room and every girl looks like you – same hair, same eye color, same height. It’s like the twilight zone. As you look around, you see the other girls are just a little prettier, dressed cooler, and have flawless skin. Then you head over to the agency and your booker makes you get on the dreaded scale. Your agent tells you to keep losing weight, even though you haven’t eaten more than fruit and water the whole day. Yep, that’s the life of a model. Don’t let them tell you any different. It’s a con job.

  11. katie says:

    You look chubby in your pics

  12. Aitch says:

    These types of stories about the modeling industry don’t see much light of day do they?

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