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Two years ago, when my father accepted a new position in Los Angeles, I moved here. Our home is located close to Beverly Hills where many celebrities from the Entertainment live. One day, while walking back home from the French High School that I attend, a photographer stopped me and asked, “Are you a model?" I was surprised as I was wearing my school uniform and did not feel that it emphasized my best appearance and look. He added that I had attractive features and that he would like to try a few photo-shoots. He handed me his business card and left. At first I was flattered, and then I became suspicious. Once at home, I immediately checked his name on Google and discovered that he had an Internet site and a legitimate business with references, photos and commercial/advertising references. So I discussed it with my parents. At first, they were skeptical about this industry and cautioned me about the superficial atmosphere of the modeling industry.

Still, I communicated with the photographer through Facebook. We exchanged messages. He repeatedly mentioned that he had great connections in the modeling industry and that he will make a “star model” out of me. Intrigued, I decided to try and accepted a photo shoot. My parents accompanied me. After all, I was only 15 and they needed some comfort and reassurance. The make-up session was endless: It took such a long time and many layers of foundation. The mirror did not always reflect a picture of me that I recognized. I felt like a fake. I had to pose as shown in magazines: practicing mood swing, from happy one instant to a very sad one within seconds. I felt so strange emotionally and I looked weird, but the end result was very professional. I, who had only been involved in my studies, became aware of the modeling world and discovered the inner workings of this industry. During Easter break, my mother accompanied me to several castings. A modeling agency noticed me and it became necessary to have a complete portfolio of photographs. My hair was bleached and my eyebrows were reshaped to present a perfect look to fashion industry clients. However, when school resumed, it became obvious that I could no longer attend interviews. Due to a timing conflict for an important school exam I had to turn down a casting appointment with a client of the agency. The agency did not appreciate my priority. I was still able to actively participate in “Fashion Week” and modeled for a young creative designer. After three long hours of make-up session that included hair styling, dressing up, I was placed on a stage. Ignoring my presence, fashion professionals discussed me with total indifference to my presence. I had nothing to drink or to eat all day. I felt so empty. It became apparent that this profession was not at all for me. I realized that I had a different life ambition and wanted to enter a profession that will give me freedom of expression. Not one that feeds over measured imaginary dreams.



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