I work in two industries: fashion (as a model) and legal (as a paralegal). One industry makes me want to buy everything, and the other supplies me with enough money to do that. The fashion industry dazzles onlookers with a luxurious lifestyle you only see in magazines. Clothes people dream about can become your reality; places you’ve always wanted to see, you can work in. I wanted that lifestyle, and I wanted to live out those dreams.
One of those dreams was to date men so attractive it would make my ovaries explode. I was caught up in that dream, and when I was a newly single 20-year-old, I set out to achieve it.
During this time, my career was taking a new turn: I was getting more into lingerie and began doing more sexy shoots. There was no boyfriend to hold me back or tell me he felt uncomfortable with me doing that; I felt free to do my thing. In these shoots, they had me working with some of the most physically attractive men I’ve ever seen. (If you'd told me when I was an awkward teen that I’d be able to stand next to these guys, I would’ve said you’re lying.)
We would be physically close, joking on set, just hanging out, all while already being half-naked. The shoot would wrap, and we would exchange phone numbers and social media handles. It was usually after this there would be a gradual progression of hanging out off set, alone. Things would escalate from there and get hot and heavy. It’s easy for the intimacy and connection to continue off set, progressing into dates and hookups.
However, this lifestyle ruined me.
Date nights were either confined to one person's apartment or only to going out to events to be seen, to get attention. Some guys wanted everyone to know they were boning this chick, while others wanted to hide the fact we were seeing each other in order to seem single — neither of which is OK. Most of the male models I dated would arrive at fashion events I was at, and while they were there, they completely ignored me. (Who the hell ignores a redhead?!) The male models were so self-absorbed that they forgot that they were not the only ones at the events. I was starting to learn that all the fantasies I'd had about how awesome it would be to date someone so attractive were really dumb in reality.
My view on dating became cynical. I was getting sick of my male model counterparts, and the more I was traveling around Europe and the U.S., the more I was finding it was a universal thing. London, Paris, Dublin, New York, L.A.… Shit was all becoming the same. Meeting the same way, doing the same things, attending the same types of clubs and events. On a superficial level, it was amazing, but on a more intellectual level, it was bland. There was no intellectual conversation, no humorous back and forth, and no connection. Most of the time was spent talking about others in the industry or about the male model themselves (OMG your new spray tan is amazing — yes, your teeth look whiter). Not only was talking about them all the time required, they also expected you to always be impressed and obsessed with them, which, to me, is bullshit.
The last straw was when I fell for a man I met while we were modeling for a commercial. The relationship didn’t work out due to his selfish nature — not caring enough about me as a person or our relationship to consider my emotions. I just know I won’t be dating another male model any time soon. The whole experience made me realize what I want and don’t want, but more importantly what I need out of a partner.
As a model, maintaining a sense of mystery by trying to seem single or flaunting your fellow model partner can really affect your personal life and your relationship, and that’s when there’s a problem. It was no longer about dating and having fun, but rather sex and chauvinistic tendencies. And I will never do it again.