Frolic Mills wrote:
A little essay I wrote about my observations on models in Second Life. I dedicate it to those who have made it to the top.
THE MODELING SCALE: FROM NEWBIE TO FABULOUS!
The Newbie Model; The Fashion Whore; The Insecure Model; The “Confident” Know-It-All Model; The Good Model; The Top Model; The Fabulous Model. During the span of a model’s career, he or she will fall into one of these categories on the scale. Some move swiftly through to the top and others take longer to advance. Some may get frustrated with it all and quit at any stage. After 6 years of teaching and working closely with models, I believe one thing is certain: If you are currently a model, you are in one of these classifications.
THE NEWBIE MODEL:
He/She has made the decision to become a model in SL, but is completely unaware of what that entails. Not having enough information to know good quality from poor, the Newbie Model actually thinks anything new is fabulous. This person may actually feel warm and fuzzy inside over a freebie (and ugly) blue pair of eyes.
He/She is completely confused over AOs and poses, and walks like a drunken hooker on Hollywood Boulevard. Newbies with money to spend, will have the most expensive and latest AO available, but will have no clue on how to use it. This is the student who stands in class and moves like crazy striking all kinds of poses that make no sense.
His/Her ability to learn and move up on this scale will depend entirely on the model’s willingness to both process information quickly and spend the necessary time to observe other models. Many don’t ever pass this stage, and leave modeling wondering what the hell is wrong with people. For example, a model will tell her friend she was wearing a truly beautiful dress and cannot believe she was not chosen for an agency or some other type of casting.
THE FASHION WHORE:
Just above the Newbie, we find the Fashion Whore. The Fashion Whore is determined to be different and will go to great lengths to prove his/her point. Here, we find the most perplexing of all models. He/She will wear anything that looks like it was purchased from the Liberace House of Crap! This is the kingdom of exaggerated feathers, diamonds, bling, and over-the-top makeup. This person is desperate to make his/her mark, but does it in all the wrong ways.
A modeling teacher confronted with a student fitting this description will stutter a little, not knowing where to begin the critique; the student might be in complete shock wondering why you didn’t appreciate his/her “fabulous” outfit. But this model is higher than the Newbie and once he/she observes a bit better and comes to realize that a model is NOT a circus clown, this student will improve.
THE INSECURE MODEL:
After receiving a severe reality adjustment from the previous phase, this model feels he/she simply doesn’t know anything anymore. This model, as a student, will become any teacher’s worst pain in the ass. He/She will ask the instructor anything and everything! “Is my walk okay?” “Oh, can you please look at my nails?” “Frolic, Frolic, if you have a second, please check out my hips again, I took two points off 5 minutes ago!” And so on. . . But he/she is eager to learn and get it right. I actually don’t mind students like this, because their passion and eagerness are what will eventually make them into Top Models.
Special note to all friends of an Insecure Model: If you happen to have a neighbor or a friend who is in this phase of development, and unless you have the patience of a saint, I suggest you take a high dose of Nervo-Calm. Your friend might move to your house and show you everything he/she has purchased, then proceed to demonstrate to you how one accessory or piece of clothing looks combined with some other thing. When you finally say: “Oh yes. that looks great,” he/she will change it all over again and ask you again and again.
If you manage to survive this stage of your friend’s modeling life, you will become his/her best friend forever!
THE “CONFIDENT” KNOW-IT-ALL MODEL:
Just above the Insecure Model we have the most dangerous position of this entire scale: THE KNOW-IT-ALL! This person, with renewed confidence from his/her previous position on the scale, thinks he/she is now above everyone else. This model feels absolutely certain he/she is always pure perfection, and the opinion of others are met with the thought that they are just plain crazy.
This person now enters any and all modeling pageants and is determined to win them all! He/She may have won a local small pageant and now is 100% sure that he/she is a TOP Model – but unfortunately this title is held only in his/her mind.
This is the student that will reply to a modeling teacher (with a sneer): “If you don’t like it, I am so sorry, but I am not changing it!” This is the model that will create or comment on an anonymous website, bashing anyone if he/she doesn’t win a pageant. This person is insufferable, conceited, and very difficult to work with.
Fortunately, well-rounded social personalities will remain in this level for only a very short time and quickly realize there is lots of room for improvement. Once that realization is accepted, this person will move up the ranks quickly. However, less intelligent models will remain in this level forever and will create problems for anyone who associates with them: Designers, agencies, pageant owners, and other models.
One last note regarding this level. Some models have actually made it to Top Model with this wrong attitude because they listened to the one or two people for whom they have some respect. But they do not last. Due to the fact that they have burned one too many bridges, and by thinking that most everyone is wrong except themselves, they eventually find that no one wants to work with them any longer. It’s a sad story but one I have seen too many times with my own eyes.
THE GOOD MODEL:
Once a model comes to accept that improvement is possible and learns that a model’s job is not an ego trip from hell but a service to fashion designers, we have the Good Model.
The Good Model is neither incorrect nor great. He/She styles well and knows how to select poses that showcase the outfit in a proper way. However, there is something missing in this model. The good model is akin to background music: The music is pleasant but it does not grab anyone’s attention.
Some models stay in this level forever. They are content with their achievements. This model has won one or two pageants or contests and now belongs to every agency he/she ever wanted to be invited into. The Good Model becomes complacent: He/She no longer has the drive to push himself or herself further in the business. His/Her work is acceptable, is done correctly, and is professional.
Models in this level comprise 95% of all good modeling agencies in SL. The other 5% are either lower or higher.
THE TOP MODEL:
He/She has moved on and is now seeking inspiration from the heavens. This model is so knowledgeable about skins, AOs, poses, hair, and any and all accessories, that he/she can and will create amazing new looks. He/She is really in the know and is very willing to try new things. This is the home of the “wows” and “oh-my-gods.” When a Top Model walks down the runway everyone knows it. This model is different, moves differently, exudes confidence, and looks amazing. The crowd goes wild for this type of model.
There is just one thing that differentiates a Top Model from the highest of them all, and this is ability to get it right ALWAYS!
THE FABULOUS MODEL:
Just above the TOP model is the FABULOUS MODEL – These models are easily mistaken for Top Models, as both can look great at any given time. But the Fabulous Model inspires the Top Model and every other fashionista on the grid. While the Top Model can get it right most of the time, the FABULOUS Model has the ability to get it right ALWAYS and often creates new looks that inspire others. A Top Model may get “wows” but the Fabulous Model leaves everyone breathless. He/She is an unstoppable fashion and media machine that keeps the Top Models running like headless chickens.
As of this writing there are possibly some 15 Top Models, but less than 5 FABULOUS MODELS on the entire grid.
May this writing be of help to those who dedicate their second lives to teaching this profession, to designers who put their trust in models, and to models themselves who wish to make it to the top.