So I will do all three in order of win.
Model Behaviour (modified from Model Performance)
When I was asked to be a model in a runway show, my first thought was, “I shall do my level best not to be 5ft tall.”
But, after all, this was for charity. It was for the women’s Heart and Stroke Foundation, so it was a no-brainer, despite my challenges in the height-al arena. Plus, this was the first year they were having men in the show and my husband was asked to walk the runway too.
With fleeting thoughts of “something to tell the grandkids”, we accepted.
We were each assigned to a designer and they were to create something wonderful for us. It could be short, long, sleek or frilly, but it had to be red. The event is called “The Heart Truth (Canada)” and it was to be held in the fabulous Carlu in Toronto.
When asked by the people running the event if I had any specific likes or dislikes, I said that the designer could do anything as long as my arms didn’t show. That’s it. Just please do not show the upper arms. Please. I show them in the summer in the real world, but not on a stage or on film or, dear God, on the friggin’ runway. My arms are slim, but they have become the sudden victims of the parasite cellulite.
So I am sure that it comes as no shock to you that I arrive for my first fitting to find myself sleeveless. With the midday sun shining through the designer’s window, my arms looked like a lovely low-fat snack to be mixed with the fruit of your choice.
After the fitting, I contacted the producer and begged her for a touch of sleeve. I hated compromising the designer’s vision especially since she was a doll but, after all, it’s the only request I made. I had one more fitting after that and the sleeves were there ... in theory, but all I could see in reality were two sticky-outie things that made me look like Jane Jetson.
In the end, Michelle of Karamea came through and I had sleeves! Only four inches of sleeve but it was the difference for me between confidence and humiliation. As a thank you to Michelle, I worked it for her, babies, I worked it. I worked it left, I worked it right, I worked it as much as a 56-year-old, big-busted, short-waisted, “sleeve slut” could work it.
And if I came to the event without confidence, this group of lovely models would soon make me forget every insecurity I had. Each and every one of them stood backstage cheering and applauding loudly for all the models. It was glorious fun, and the real surprise is that even the long-legged gorgeous ones were nervous sick.
I stood backstage waiting to go on, buoyed by my sleeves and a glass of champagne. After it was over, all I could feel was relief. God knows I couldn’t feel my hands, lips or feet. Every inch of blood had run screaming to my heart. But after a second glass of champers, it all came back!
I’m glad I did it. It was nice being able to knock “runway model” off the to-do list. But mark my words, there are no sleeves in the world that could entice me to do it again!
Barbara: Deb, you ROCKED! I was so lucky to get an invite to this celebration, along with my daughters and dear friend, Charlotte. We all had a wonderful time clapping for the stunning and brave models on that stage. Deb and Colin managed to look both gorgeous and fun at the same time. No one betrayed their nerves. And everyone—both models and audience––seemed to just vibrate with positive energy.
I have to say that I’m surprised you wouldn’t ever do it again, Deb. You looked like such a natural. That said, in your shoes I’d probably be apoplectic, so I do relate.
If you could walk a runway (for charity, in front of an audience of enthusiastic supporters), would you do it? Is it a secret dream, or your worst nightmare?