When she was younger she was a model. She had a mediocre career although she slogged on in the business for years. Her one great job ended with a sadly ironic twist. She had a beautiful figure. One day her agency told her a famous suntan cream manufacturer was casting for a model for their new global campaign. This campaign is famous. The image is iconic because it is always the same– a tanned statuesque woman with a spectacular body in a white bathing suit posed with her back to us while she looks out over some sun-holiday dream landscape– Greece, Morocco, Seychelles… That’s all: Goddess- figured woman with her back to us, wonderful sunny setting, and beneath the photo is the name of the product. She auditioned for the job and got it. The company paid her a great deal of money because the advertisement would be everywhere in the world– in magazines, on posters, buses… She was ecstatic. They flew her to Santorini with a famous photographer and a large crew. The resulting pictures were fantastic.
Within a short time her image was on display all over the world. She proudly placed the pictures in the front of her modeling “book.” The one of your best photographs that you carry to all castings to show potential clients your previous work so they can get an idea of how you look in different roles and poses. At one of the first castings after the pictures came out, she handed her book to the client. He turned to the first page and saw her suntan cream pictures. Smirking, he chuckled and shook his head. He showed the pictures to a man sitting next to him who smirked too. She asked what was wrong. The client said she was the third model who’d come in for that job with these same pictures in their book. All three women said they were the model in that campaign. Indignant, she said but I WAS the model– all you need to do is check with the company. He looked at her dismissively. “Do you really think I’m going to call them and make a fool of myself just so I can find out if that’s your *ass* in this picture?” She told me this happened frequently afterwards when she showed her book to casting directors. Few believed her because it seemed like every model with a nice body and her color hair in Europe was taking credit for those pictures. Her greatest modeling triumph didn’t help her dying career at all.
– Jonathan Carroll