I was walking down Sunset Blvd. when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see a tall, attractive man in his mid-30’s standing behind me.
“I’m sorry to bother you,” he said politely. “But do you model?”
He looked so sincere that I didn’t want to snap at him, “No, I don’t fucking model, yes, I know I’d have to be a plus-sized one if I wanted to and would you please fuck off!” Instead, I just looked down and shyly said, “No, thanks for asking though.”
I began to walk away, but he followed me. “Please, wait just a second, I’m a photographer, and I’d love to hire you.” I kept walking. “I pay cash.” I stopped. “Listen, my name’s David, and I’m a photographer for Fetish Models.” I started walking again, only quicker than before, and then I thought about it and stopped. I should at least find out exactly what this man wants to hire me for before turning him down, right?
“What exactly is fetish models?” I asked.
“Well, it’s just like it sounds, it’s for people who have a fetish for certain things. In your case, height and tits.” I cringed and followed his eye line down to my chest to see if one of my boobs had escaped without my knowledge. “We wouldn’t even show your face,” he assured me without looking up. “We’d crop it out of the picture, all I need to see is that body. You’ve got great curves for modeling.”
I knew that I really should have been disgusted and offended, but it was a compliment right? And the closest thing to a compliment I’d heard in a while was from a well meaning older woman who’d said, “You’ve certainly got pretty eyes. Maybe if you wore some eye makeup someone would notice.”
“Well, I really am flattered,” I finally managed, “but I don’t think so.”
“I’ll pay you $5,000 cash for a one day photo shoot if you show your tits in the pictures.”
He didn’t look the least bit rebuffed, instead he just looked me up and down, smiled and said “I’ll give you $7,000 to take pictures of the ass too.” I felt like a flank steak hanging in the window of a butcher shop. A very expensive, yet seedy butcher shop.
“I have to go,” I turned to walk into the restaurant when he pulled a small camera out of his pocket and held it up at me.
“Can I at least take a picture of you?” he asked hopefully. “Even if you don’t want to do the fetish modeling I can at least forward your picture to some other people in the business. I know a lot of people who could help get you started in a modeling career.”
“No, I really have to go now,” I said and opened the restaurant door.
“Can I just take a picture for me to have then,” he pleaded. Suddenly his demeanor changed completely and his smooth voice gave way to what sounded like a slight Southern twang. “I’m not really from L.A.,” he confessed. “I’m not even from ‘round here. I just need a picture to show everybody back home what an L.A. girl looks like.”
Somehow I was more insulted by that comment than the fact that the man thought I would be tempted to take my clothes off for money.
“I am not an L.A. girl,” I seethed and slammed the door behind me. I turned to see everyone in the front of the restaurant avoiding eye contact with me, except for the hostess who just looked annoyed at me for being there. I took my place at the sushi bar between an agent man on his blue tooth trying to close the deal for a “guaranteed smash-hit sequel” and two platinum blonde girls comparing their Prada and Gucci bags. I placed the order for my boss’s lunch and considered how far an extra $7,000 could really go in this city, as I thought in disgust “I am not an L.A. girl.”