Proud2Bme | Running from Vanity

Running from Vanity

By Ruby Corley--This last year has been a lot of foundation laying, with the hopes of letting it all unfold, build, and grow with a little more pay off than before.

Some of the changes have varied from joys, like adopting my first pet, Eazy, whom I love so much I could squeeze her to death, to dropping friends that I realized aren't the most reliable (seeing as I just don't have time for flakes) and some big stuff like getting sober, getting an acting manager, and leaving the modeling agency I'd been with for eight years. Oh, and my last and final attempt at New York City.

What affected me the most? Obviously getting sober was a big deal--I got a year on January 28th of this year--and I've realized that when I'm this clear, this aware, and this sensitive, I'm a tiny bit bitter. A lot of things I've attempted to do over the course of my late teens and early twenties have been unsuccessful. I'm not sure if it's just to me, or that the standards I set or compare myself to are extremely high.

Second to getting sober, the biggest struggle was leaving my modeling agency. After two years of trying to get them to SEE me, making appointments and revamping my book, sitting down and talking, taking digitals almost every time I went in (only to still have ones from 2009 up on there website), I left New York with a feeling of defeat. Upon my return, I wasn't getting any attention from the people who were supposed to be getting me work. I know that part of me could be seen as annoying, when asking for my money, or for an advance on my money, or where were all the castings, and why am I not working? But these are the people who were supposed to be on my side. We are meant to work together, right?

Apparently not. I started to wonder: did they send me to New York because they were just simply annoyed with me? Had I not fulfilled the goals they had set before me? Had I missed my opportunity? Was I too old? Wait, too old?!?!?  I'm 23, I thought. This couldn’t be. Every time I went into my agency I felt like I was intruding. I never left with a sense of comfort or love. I left feeling like all the, "you look amazing, I don't know why we can't seem to get you work" was bullshit.

I saw that friends of mine, older then me, were working every day! Every day! Why not me? This of course fuels the worst in me--that I am not good enough. Not good enough to go to a four year college, not good enough to succeed in modeling, booking commercials, or acting.

So one evening I wrote an email to my main agent. I wrote that this felt like it was going to pick up where we left it, no work, no castings, no money, and constant financial stress. This email tinkered on the edge of blame and misunderstanding as to why I wasn't even being asked to come in. I was basically stating the obvious and then giving my personal opinion, which was that it just wasn't working anymore.

However, I've learned that to send emails I write in a fit of rage is never a good idea. So I didn't send it. When I woke up the next morning I got this email:

My Dear Ruby,
I think the time has come to part ways. We all feel so strongly about you and all agree that we love you personally and we all feel the frustration of you not working to what we feel is your full potential.

I think at this point you would benefit from a fresh start at another agency.

We remain baffled as to why we can't get you to work.

And I'd rather have our work relationship end on a friendly and amicable note, since we really do truly like you and care about you.

It would make me so happy to see you do well, even if it means you would be doing it through another agency.

We know you’re frustrated as well, and we really don't want you to be.

By no means do any of us think you should stop modeling, I say find your self a new team, fresh start and go for it!

Let us know your thoughts,

Thanks

Wow. Could this be? I replied, "I feel the same way." That was that. They still owed me about $3,000.00 from September, which they hadn't paid me yet.

I immediately called a woman who books me all the time on shows, an income I rely on. I asked her what to do; she referred me to another agency for runway only.

Holy cow! They were so incredibly nice! They loved models, they loved their girls, and they signed me to their Runway Division and advanced me $1,500.00 upon realizing I only had nine bucks to my name. I made my new agency their advance back within the first two weeks of being with them.

I also set up meetings via a friend with four different agencies for print.

The first one was great, but I had to be with them for runway, so that option was off the table .

The second went all right, however the main lady who I was meant to meet with wasn't even there for the interview...how rude. I had already been with an agency like this, and I was not about to jump ship to another one.

The third one was amazing. All were present, and they GOT me. They saw that I was stressed, tired, scared, and defeated. They saw my potential, saw that I was still young and they didn't want me to be anything other than who I was. I left feeling amazing.

I had one meeting left, and to be honest, I didn't even want to go considering I had basically made up my mind. But, a meeting is a meeting, and I went. I met with an older women, she was the head of this agency. She stared at me, dissecting every little flaw on my face and my body. Her disgust with me was obvious, but for some reason she kept me there. She asked me questions like, "have you ever considered Botox?" With a straight face! She told me I looked older then 23, and that if I smoked (which I do), it had clearly taken a toll on my eyes. The wrinkles I've had since a child, the ones I believed were from laughing.

When I left, I called the third agency immediately. I told them I loved them and I wanted to be with them. On the outside I was happy, but inside I felt horrible. One bad meeting and I went spiraling. The saddest thing is that I let this head women at this last meeting affect me. I made an appointment to get Botox; I went to the dermatologist that day for new eye cream. I applied eye cream to my face about fifty times that night. Fifty times! I was alone in my house ashamed to leave. I looked at myself in disgust, the way that she had.

When it came time to get the Botox, I chickened out.

But it made me realize I cannot do this forever. The standards that this woman was holding me up to were unrealistic. I know that even after the hair, makeup and wardrobe, they Photoshop me. It would be impossible for me to look perfect the way I do in photos, because the person in the photos isn’t really me.

A month ago my old agency finally paid me. They paid me only $1,200 of the total that they have owed. I went six months with NO income! I have been shamefully asking them every week for money that is MINE.

I have worked several times through my new agencies. But I decided, come 25, I quit. People will no longer pick me apart because of my tiny imperfections. I am not getting younger, but I do wish to get happier.

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