Laud them though we might, most models don’t lead charmed lives. You have the exceptions, of course — Petra Nemcova, Kate Moss, Karlie Kloss — who have done the legwork and the name recognition to do what they really want to do, but for most young models, the game can be unjust and even cruel.
The shady, predatory side of the industry is the one former model Sara Ziff wanted to portray in her new film “Picture Me: A Model’s Diary”, which chronicles five years in the lives of a group of models, following them backstage and beneath the makeup. The movie (or at least the trailer) reveals a world of women who are treated more like robots than human beings.
To promote her movie and her cause, Ziff has been conducting interviews with models as young as 16 (who lie about their age) at New York Fashion Week for The Cut. Sena Cech, one of the models in Ziff’s movie, talked with Gawker about some of her worst experiences as a young model:
I was working for Air France Magazine, and my agency calls me and says, “One of our girls had an allergic reaction midway through a shoot and had to go.” They told me she’d gotten hair in her eyes while they were cutting her bangs. They said “Get down there!” It was really weird when I got there. So they do my hair and makeup. Then the photographer was shooting and he’s using a UV flash, and it burned the first six layers of the whites of my eyes. Six cell layers. It even burned the assistant’s arm.
We’re going to see the film when it premieres today at New York’s Angelika Film Center — and we recommend that all aspiring models do the same. [Watch the trailer below and tell us it shouldn’t be required screening in the waiting room at modeling agencies.] ‘Picture Me’ will also be screened at the Angelika’s sister cinema in Los Angeles on Sept. 24.