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Uh, well, sir, I ain't a for real cowboy. But I am one helluva stud!
February 17, 2009 2:03 PM   Subscribe

The wandering days and bunk-bed nights of Fashion Week’s handsome (male) rookies. "Financially speaking, male modeling is not unlike being a straight-male porn star: The men have always made less than the women, and very few become big names. For most magazine work, models are paid less than $250. Twenty percent of that goes to the agency, which also bills models for their board and expenses. 'Sometimes you get charged for things you never thought of,' says Petey, 'like $30 a month to be on the website.'"
posted by geoff. (53 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
That thing you don't hear is my heart not bleeding for them.
posted by dersins at 2:12 PM on February 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


sounds like there are some fellas what should organize a really, really ridiculously good-looking union.
posted by Hat Maui at 2:14 PM on February 17, 2009 [10 favorites]


They lost me with "Duckie", "Petey", and "Nico"....
posted by HuronBob at 2:15 PM on February 17, 2009


Petey in his bedroom in South Williamsburg

This belongs here.
posted by jckll at 2:17 PM on February 17, 2009


Don't hate them just because they're beautiful.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:19 PM on February 17, 2009


Don't hate them just because they're beautiful.

Certainly not, when there are so many other excellent reasons.
posted by dersins at 2:23 PM on February 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


The saddest male models in the world courtesy of Best Week Ever.
posted by spec80 at 2:24 PM on February 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


By September, Pete had broken up with his girlfriend Sally, moved up to New York, and, like dozens of other fresh boys, spent Fashion Week rushing from runway show to casting to fitting to party to get his face noticed.

The pain and suffering of living on your boyish good looks doesn't really sound that bad. From $5k to $2k for a job (which I believe entails wearing some sort of clothes, and looking a mix of stern, seductive, and youthful) is like downgrading from free First Class to free Business Class. Not as much fun, but still pretty fantastic.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:24 PM on February 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


See, I try to feel no sympathy here, but I really can't manage not to feel a little. Aside from being pretty, these aren't people who've got a ton of other opportunities open to them.

It's hard for me to think that being pretty and on the cover of a magazine while being underpaid, not terribly bright and being systematically taken advantage of deserves substantially less sympathy than a lot of other people who've got a limited and rapidly aging skill set, aren't terribly bright and are being systematically taken advantage of. Yeah, they're pretty and it looks pretty cushy, and when they turn 23 they'll be yesterday's news and nobody will give a shit about them.

I'm not particularly pretty, and envy would be easy, but it's hard not to feel a little twinge of sympathy for somebody who'll have burned through all the opportunities they're likely to have before most of us are finished college.
posted by mhoye at 2:25 PM on February 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


That thing you don't hear is my heart not bleeding for them.

So you do care, then?
posted by gottabefunky at 2:25 PM on February 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


As a former child model, he's right about getting paid practically nothing. I did tons of shows and was never paid in anything but the ugliest and least comfortable clothes imaginable. My older brother was all over the Polo catalog in Spring '89, I think, and he was paid less than a grand. It was good for his ego, at the time, though. Sic transit gloria...I was out of the game before I even turned ten and can no longer rely upon my boyish charms to keep my belly full and stay warm.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 2:39 PM on February 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not particularly pretty, and envy would be easy, but it's hard not to feel a little twinge of sympathy for somebody who'll have burned through all the opportunities they're likely to have before most of us are finished college.

It's terrible, they'll have to work for a living, just like the ugly people. Except they got a few years earning $50,000 (that's the lowest figure they complain of above) without qualifications and student debt. And good looking people tend to go on earning more anyway.
posted by biffa at 2:44 PM on February 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Guys, step away from the haterade here, k? It's an interesting article, these guys are in a pretty weird situation. They owe their entire "careers" to unbelievable strokes of luck. They're barely out of high school and suddenly their the center of attention and hanging out with models and living in Manhattan and there is the unspoken assumption that they'll be dropped the instant they stop being pretty, new, or fuck up. Wouldn't you end up hittin' the bong? Start a painfully earnest "To-Do" list so you're not fired? Oh, and you're given a ton of money that you probably have no idea how to handle. It's like teenage pop stars, it's a really excellent way to fuck young people up for life.
posted by The Whelk at 2:45 PM on February 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


We'll slide down the surface of things . . . Old U2 on the stereo and gridlock jams the streets two blocks from the club and I'm not really hearing the things that are being said in the back of the limousine, just words--technobeat, slamming, moonscape, Semtex, nirvana, photogenic--and names of people I know--Jade Jagger, Iman, Andy Garcia, Patsy Kensit, the Goo-Goo Dolls, Galliano--and fleeting pieces of subjects I'm usually interested in--Doc Martens, Chapel Hill, the Kids in the Hall, alien abduction, trampolines--because right now I'm fidgeting with an unlit joint, looking up through the limo's sunroof, spacing on the sweeping patterns spotlights are making on the black buildings above and around us. Baxter and Lauren are sitting across from Chloe and me and I'm undergoing a slow-motion hidden freak-out, focusing on our excruciating progress toward the club while Chloe keeps trying to touch my hand, which I let her do for seconds at a time before I pull away to light one of Baxter's cigarettes or to rewind the U2 tape or to simply touch my forehead, specifically not looking in the direction of Lauren Hynde or how her legs are slightly spread or the way she's staring sadly back at her own reflection in the tinted windows. "We all live in a yellow limousine," Baxter sing-laughs. "A yellow limousine," Chloe sings too, giggling nervously, looking over at me for approval. I give it by nodding at Baxter, who's nodding back, and I'm shuddering. We'll slide down the surface of things . . .
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:46 PM on February 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


See, I try to feel no sympathy here, but I really can't manage not to feel a little. Aside from being pretty, these aren't people who've got a ton of other opportunities open to them.

How the hell do you know? You telling me there are no male models that are doing this to pay for school, finance a business, etc etc? If I jumped into a thread about female models and said 'yeah these chicks are all dumb...they've got nothing else to do but sell their looks' I'd get ridden out of town.
posted by spicynuts at 2:46 PM on February 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm not particularly pretty, and envy would be easy, but it's hard not to feel a little twinge of sympathy for somebody who'll have burned through all the opportunities they're likely to have before most of us are finished college.

which is certainly a sad situation. on the other hand, I'm not particularly pretty, probably not any brighter than these guys, and don't have any real natural talent for anything. I did, on the other hand, go to college, learn to do something besides being pretty at whatever skill level I could reach and I now have a job that didn't evaporate when I turned 23.

As much as I'd like to see that as my good fortune since being utterly and standardly plain looking inspired me to get a real job, I'm finding it hard to feel bad for someone who took being born with good looks and turned it into an opportunity not to work as hard as I did and continue to do. What's more, I assure you that this article is not showing you an early glimpse into the lives of the coming generation's homeless. These guys will land on their feet, likely through very little work and once again riding on their looks. They'll be ok, those poor male models.

also, if you're not aware that the modeling agency charges you to be on their web site, then you didn't read your agreement before signing it. that's a you problem, not a them problem.
posted by shmegegge at 2:47 PM on February 17, 2009


I'm too sexy for your thread.
posted by gman at 2:52 PM on February 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


A friend of a friend was a model for A&F, Armani and I forget who else. He was constantly jetting off to Paris and Milan. I really didn't feel too badly for him. (Also, he was a really humble and intelligent guy, and if I had been 10 years younger and gorgeous...)
posted by desjardins at 2:53 PM on February 17, 2009


Aside from being pretty, these aren't people who've got a ton of other opportunities open to them.

They could work at a god damned Red Lobster like the rest of us handsome young men.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:54 PM on February 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I thought you worked at an Olive Garden! Stop confusing me - stalking is hard!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:02 PM on February 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Is this the thread where we get to complain about how models portray an unrealistic version of what the human body looks like? Because seriously, the notion that a man should wax his chest, shave his face, and otherwise be hairless is pretty unrealistic and weird. Not even gonna get into the whole "LOL Americans are fat" thing, but it seems like male models are universally broad-chested and unreasonably buff.
posted by explosion at 3:08 PM on February 17, 2009


Demand equal pay for equal work!
posted by grouse at 3:09 PM on February 17, 2009


Is this the thread where we get to complain about how...

No, this is the thread in which I find out that I live mere blocks from a kennel for male-models. Thrill!
posted by hermitosis at 3:12 PM on February 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


No, this is the thread in which I find out that I live mere blocks from a kennel for male-models. Thrill!

"Oh Can I have one!? Oh can I can Can I please!"

"Okay, but you'll have to feed and walk it everyday. I don't want to be picking up his spliffs and designer underwear all the time."
posted by The Whelk at 3:18 PM on February 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


I live mere blocks from a kennel for male-model

Lucky you. [Here's the part where I tried to make a joke about taking the dogs out for a walk but the double entendres were too obscure and the single ones too crude.]

But kennel is so the accurate word for their living arrangement. I'm not going to be one of those gay haters (gaters) who acts like they'd kick them out my bed for eating crackers even if they aren't particularly "my type", and while some of the pictures were annoying, the shot of them all sleeping was so strangely sweet and yet kinkly erotic (like I said, kennel) that I couldn't even read the article with my usual "mock the beautifully dumb" attitude.

Basically, I found the article to be more of a "things aren't always as glam as you might think" rather than "woe is me and my beautiful tragic life" and I found that interesting.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:21 PM on February 17, 2009


You can keep them in kennels now? Shit. Don't tell my wife, we have enough damn pets.

Hat Maui : sounds like there are some fellas what should organize a really, really ridiculously good-looking union.

Nah, there's a lot more to life than that and they plan to find out what it is.

posted by quin at 3:23 PM on February 17, 2009


I think we should all strike a blow for male model equality, or at least try.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:26 PM on February 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


living in Manhattan and there is the unspoken assumption that they'll be dropped the instant they stop being pretty, new, or fuck up.

Aside from the pretty and new part, and the fact that models do not have six-figure student loan debt, this pretty much describes new attorneys at big firms.
posted by The World Famous at 3:28 PM on February 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think we should all strike a blow for male model equality, or at least try.

I saw what you did there.
posted by The Whelk at 3:28 PM on February 17, 2009


Does this mean there's a glut of fabulous-looking men - even if only relative to fabulous-looking women? Because I think I'd have mixed feelings about that.
posted by klarck at 3:54 PM on February 17, 2009


I'd like to help out by hiring one of these models as a stud.

My grandmother is extremely lonely.
posted by orme at 3:55 PM on February 17, 2009


How the hell do you know? You telling me there are no male models that are doing this to pay for school, finance a business, etc etc?

And you're saying all of them are? I'm not saying none, of course not, but I bet they're very much in the minority.
posted by mhoye at 3:55 PM on February 17, 2009


Once their good looks fade, they can always enroll in the Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too (where they teach you that there's more to life than just being really, really, really good looking). Or if that's only for the child models who have grown into awkward teens, maybe there'll be an adult ed branch opening in the future.

If they're riding on their good looks, I hope they're enjoying it. I'm not hating on them, I just hope they're not blowing all their money and time on things they'll regret. And tens if not hundreds of people use modeling as a head start into other careers, so it's not a sure thing that they'll all end up back at the local Red Lobster/ Olive Garden/ what have you.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:03 PM on February 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


The saddest male models in the world

Oh, spec80, that is exquisite!
posted by Turtles all the way down at 4:16 PM on February 17, 2009


I'm not saying none, of course not, but I bet they're very much in the minority.

I will take that bet. Because I try not to make gigantic sweeping generalizations about groups of people based on stereotypes.

I think you need to go back and look at how you stated your original point, because I don't see any qualification in there. Here it is for you, emphasis mine:

Aside from being pretty, these aren't people who've got a ton of other opportunities open to them.


Would you like to edit that comment to "Well I'm sure there are a one or two who have a brain cell or two and have bigger plans but NEARLY ALL of these people that I don't know, have never met, will never meet, and will never get a chance to talk to are shit out of luck because for the most part they are all stupid"? Because when you say 'these aren't people' I don't see any qualification there. I fully expect to see you in the next thread that pops up about female models espousing the same 'sympathy' for those poor, stupid hot chicks.
posted by spicynuts at 4:57 PM on February 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did he really look like this? ... Yes, he did for a time, and that's all that's necessary, to look like that - to be like that - for a time, as time is an eminence most famous for running out on all of us. - Gore Vidal, Palimpsest
posted by Joe Beese at 5:06 PM on February 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Modeling just sucks. (Please excuse the unofficial vid; only full audio I could find).
posted by duvatney at 5:20 PM on February 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Red Eye published an article in December about male modeling in Chicago. There's a lot of catalog work in Chicago. Catalogs don't have the exposure of magazines, but they pay more.

"If you're the kind of person that wants [job] security, wants to know what your future is going to be, wants to know that your job is leading in an upward direction, you're going to be so upset, you're going to be crying in this business," said Wade Gotwals, 40.
posted by nooneyouknow at 5:34 PM on February 17, 2009


Looks like they should have spent less time in front of the camera and instead spent more time at the Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:40 PM on February 17, 2009


Would you like to edit that comment to "Well I'm sure there are a one or two who have a brain cell or two and have bigger plans but NEARLY ALL of these people that I don't know, have never met, will never meet, and will never get a chance to talk to are shit out of luck because for the most part they are all stupid"?

No, I wouldn't. And thank you for helping me make the internet a kinder, more understanding place today.
posted by mhoye at 7:02 PM on February 17, 2009


Wow. Ugly people are a bit bitchy, no?
posted by signal at 7:13 PM on February 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh wow, this is like soooo weird because I just checked my email and there was an update from a "Bulletin of Scientists" which is like a "bunch of goats" or a "herd of cats", and they said that there is like a modeling disease spread from I dunno somewhere and something about animals too, and if it's in there then I guess it's pretty serious.
posted by Zack_Replica at 7:42 PM on February 17, 2009


Wow. Ugly people are a bit bitchy, no?

MetaFilter has a lot of members who never got over being dorks in high school.

They respond quickly and viciously to anything that pushes those lonely-geek buttons, that reminds them of the Popular People -- pretty people, social exclusivity, or even the humble bench press .
posted by jason's_planet at 7:51 PM on February 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Making fun of pretty-boys... so hot right now.
posted by educatedslacker at 8:15 PM on February 17, 2009


In this case, derision toward the pretty people didn't start with us. The patronizing contempt in that article is hard to miss.

As for me, I'm more pissed that there weren't more pictures. How can you go on and on about how cheap the models are and not buy a little of that to share with the class?

Course, I don't really like ogling that kind of hot guy anyway. I'm a mefite gal, after all. Gimme somethin' scruffy, paunchy, reeking of coffee, nearsighted, disaffected, hopefully Marxist. Awwww yeeeeah.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:26 PM on February 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


How the hell do you know? You telling me there are no male models that are doing this to pay for school, finance a business, etc etc? If I jumped into a thread about female models and said 'yeah these chicks are all dumb...they've got nothing else to do but sell their looks' I'd get ridden out of town.
posted by spicynuts at 2:46 PM on February 17


A friend of mine in Business School ended up male modeling to pay for his lifestyle choices even as he fnucked around after graduation living off his roommates. He was the youngest with three older sisters and had just gotten used to living off his good looks. He came across as a real MBA student with career plans etc (when I met him he was 29 or so) but over time one came to realize that school was just his way of avoiding "real" life, it was his third master's degree. After 'working' as an assistant to his brother in law the dentist to get medical insurance etc and living off his gf (who took about a couple of years to overcome the glamour of his good looks and realize our man was a real loser) he's now in a PhD program so he can continue to defer his extensive student loans and live the peaceful non real life.

He's 38 or 39 now.
posted by infini at 8:41 PM on February 17, 2009


Ambrosia Voyeur, check out the photo gallery from the Red Eye article. Red Eye brought enough candy (they actually put the word "mancandy" in the photogallery url) for the class (except for 13; watch out for that one).
posted by nooneyouknow at 12:09 AM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Given my looks, I wonder if I could get paid by top designers to not wear their clothes.

It only sounds like extortion, trust me.
posted by tommasz at 8:36 AM on February 18, 2009


I just hope none of these really, really ridiculously good looking young men die in a freak gasoline fight accident.
posted by owtytrof at 8:46 AM on February 18, 2009


(nice Joe Buck title)
“so he can continue to defer his extensive student loans and live the peaceful non real life.”

I don’t know why anyone would choose working off your looks as a career. It’s like someone giving you candy. Seems nice. But eventually it makes you soft.
Is the ‘easy’ life the best thing to have? Are nice clothes or pretty things, jewelry, whatnot, the best things? (oh, sure crushing enemies, seeing them driven before you and hearing the lamentation of their women seems like the best thing in life too).
Not bad having those degrees. But yeah, you have to do something with it.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:06 PM on February 18, 2009


Those male models aren't being paid much these days:

He was referring to the $10 McDonald’s gift certificate that was part of what models were paid for working the show. (They also got a pair of Duckie Brown for Florsheim shoes.)
posted by needled at 6:10 PM on February 18, 2009



I don’t know why anyone would choose working off your looks as a career. It’s like someone giving you candy. Seems nice. But eventually it makes you soft.


Do you know anyone who does this, lives off thier looks? They're not soft. It's the opposite of soft.

The Models and Personalities I know, they're fucking crazy. Even the stand-up people who (in theory) don't have to worry about how they look, but really they do. How they look, how they take photographs, how they appear are the al-important standard on which they're judged. They work out Every Day. They're always on deits. They go on for werid-ass cures for big pores. They work out. A lot. You always have time. What else are you doing? Why not run a mile now, it can only help. There is always time to fill between shows or shoots, time to wonder if they didn't pick you cause you looked puffy, or sallow, or old (like a 20 year old!) and now you have to work even harder cause 15 year-old russian girls have better skin than you.

They take classes in standing, in dancing, in posture, in Presenting, speech and languages and form and grace. They can't eat like you or me, every bit of food is ABOUT thier carrer and they must, they must, choose carefully. They go full-tilt into anything that might give them a leg-up cause if they don't, if they've made it far enough, the Studio or Agency will send someone to make sure they're running 5 miles a day and eating only yogurt. Taking care of thier investment. The real Models I know, the people on TV and in Magazine alll the time. They're hard as diamond. They've burned a lot of thier nice human stuff away. It takes a lot to be a picture.
posted by The Whelk at 7:50 PM on February 19, 2009


or, to respond directly, I don't know why anyone whould choose working off thier looks. It seems so hard and difficult. It demands you stop being a person.
posted by The Whelk at 7:58 PM on February 19, 2009


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