And Now, I See.

14 01 2008

I’ve been gone for a while. I didn’t want to write until I’d snapped out of the funk illustrated in my previous entry. As you can see, that took quite a bit of time, but I have a new epiphany to share with y’all.

I was watching, of all the damned things, America’s Next Top Model. A marathon of said show, to be precise. It wasn’t my fault; my best friend was glued to the set when I arrived for a sleepover at her house. (Don’t ask me why a Harvard grad would lower herself to such drivel, ’cause I got nothin’.) Soon enough, yours truly was sucked into the spectacle as well; it’s mind-boggling what transpires when skeletons and egos collide.

A memory skirted around the edges of my consciousness as I pondered which of these coatracks needed the biggest helping of my Paradise cookies, the memory of a phone call from a modeling agency about 13 years ago. Seems this gentleman saw my senior picture in my high school yearbook, and thought I’d be a good recruit. Suspended between befuddlement and horror, I semi-politely told the caller that I was not at all interested, and turned my attention back to the day’s installment of Pinky and The Brain.

I’ve recalled this moment only a few times in the years since, never quite able to fathom why I, of the dyed-black hair and alabaster skin, received this proposition. It wasn’t a mass-marketing thing; none of my other female friends were called. But as I watched these mophandles transform from hum-drum to heart-stopping I suddenly understood: It’s the canvas, not the paint, that makes these ladies able to become the perfect subject for the lens to capture.

I often look upon the blank canvas that is my unladen face with disdain. My lack of natural coloring, nearly invisible lashes and brows, and angular features make me neither dainty nor stunning. In my own opinion, they make me invisible, to the point that I consider myself a chameleon; people often tell me that I look like a completely different person from one day to the next. But lo and behold, the tawdry excuse to show skinny girls catfighting in next to nothing made me see that this ability to transform my blank canvas into whatever visage is necessary and fitting for the day is a huge, huge gift. It is the single most important quality the judges sought out in the show’s participants.

And it’s something I’ve taken for granted my entire life.

Until now. 😉