My first exposure to the entertainment industry came at the ripe age of 13 when I BEGGED by parents to let me go to Barbizon modeling school. They were reluctant, but somehow I got them to agree to enroll me. I was thrilled. “I’m going to be a model!,” I thought. I dreamed of strutting down the runway in designer duds and posing for the covers of magazines. Little did I know, petite models have no place on the runway and soon, celebrities would be gracing magazine covers. By the time I was 14, I was 5’4 and that’s as tall I was going to get. I would always cite Kate Moss as the exception but even she was 5’7. My studies at Barbizon were not in vain, though in theory I was learning the art of vanity. However, I found that it was more about confidence building and self esteem than booking high paying modeling jobs. I did learn a lot about posing, walking, make up and etiquette though. I will always be grateful to my parents for investing in what proved to be a very worthwhile experience for me. It was the validation and motivation I needed to know that the dreams I had, could come true.
All these years later, I still love modeling. So, it wasn’t like I asked for an expensive drum kit than never played it. I have done many photo shoots in my day and I absolutley love it. To me, it’s just like acting. I’m just playing in front of the camera. It’s about conveying a story. I love having my hair and make up done and slipping into slinky clothes. Its all about the metamorphosis. Whether I’m shooting with Marc Blackwell, Stacey Blackwell, Marco Infante, my longtime St. Louis agent Kevin Long or most recently, celebrity photographer Giuliano Bekor, its all about mood and story telling.
I learn something new each time. With Giuliano I found I still have a lot to learn. Us petite women have to work a little harder to accentuate our small frames. Posing is hard work. I’m not being sarcastic. It hurts. You have to contort you body into painful positions to get the shots right and hold it there, all the while relaxing your face and channeling an inner sexiness. By the end of my shoot with Giuliano my body was cramped but my mind was overwhelmed with joy. I saw the photos and was blown away. He made me feel like a goddess and I got to live out a little fantasy of being a cover-girl for the day. This man has shot big stars like Jessica Alba and now he was shooting little ole me!?? It was an honor to be in front of his lens. I learned very quickly that he is very loving with each of his subjects, superstar or not. We are all works of art to him.
When the photos were selected for Maxim, well that was just the cherry on top. People have varying opinions about men’s magazine. Here is mine: God blessed me with a functioning body. I work hard to maintain that body. I eat right, I work out, I honor it as my temple. So I have no problem showing it off in an artistic fashion. It doesn’t take away my Journalism degree or erase my IQ to be photographed in hot pants and see through top. It makes me feel empowered and sexy. It is an artistic expression that is very freeing. I did the shoot for me. If you don’t like it, don’t look.