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Friday, April 13, 2007 

Model Material

A long, long time ago, a time when I was super slim with minimum freckles and no wrinkles, I was approached at Lot 10, KL to be a model.

Who? Me? Gosh. Being in advertising, I didn’t think I have the goods to be a model, but I could sure use some tips on grooming and posture. So okay, I went along and attended this ‘training’ held at a hotel.

There were some 30 girls assembled, all svelte and heavily made up, aspiring to be the next Cindy. And it’s not just any desperate girls, some even with royalty background. I remembered one came with a body guard. No kidding man, he had biceps like boulders! He just stood there in his black suit, arms crossed and observed his ‘mistress.’

So. We were taught to walk, stand and twirl. Pose, pause and smile for the camera before continue strutting. We even had a then-popular model as a spokesperson whom for the life of me I can’t recall now. A girl in her 20’s of Malay-Indian heritage, I think.

Anyway. On day 2, we were taught how to tweeze our eyebrows and use makeup. Everyone (except me) whipped out their compacts from expensive handbags and was scorned at the brand we were using. I didn’t have anything to use coz I was young (didn’t use makeup) AND poor (I only had eyeliner). We were tut-tutted to shame and then... WHAM! The direct sales tactic began la dey.

”If you wanna look good on camera, only this brand will do the trick. The matte look is very in and real easy to use! It can cover all your flaws (not all) and enhance your best features! Direct imported from USA, it’s very affordable (compared to a car) and it’s exclusive so you can only BUY FROM US! Only we know what works for you so you might as well BUY FROM US! We are even better than OTC brands like YSL (yeah rite) with makeup brushes and sponges for you! And FYI, we do not mark up the prices (my ass) SO BUY FROM US!”

Not knowing any better, I bought the cheapest set with all the basic safe tones. My level of makeup application went up a notch but I never went back for the training after that. A lady called me and said she could sue me for cheating them of their industrial secrets and breach of contract. I did sign some papers, but I also spent a bomb on their products. She said if I don’t want to be sued, I must recommend some friends to join their training because they are short of models. I told her I’m doing no such thing but please feel free to sue me.

She never did.

Few months later, I was approached again in the same area. And again. And again. Last year, I was approached by a boy barely out of his teens. They must really be desperate to push their products if they think a middle aged woman will fall for this scam!

I’m not sure about today, but the cosmetic brand back then was called Beverly Hills USA. The products were not bad, actually, but the push-pull tactic... WTF WERE YOU THINKING?!!

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