They kept the pictures in a desk drawer, along with bent paper clips and dried-up pens. When they had enough, they would make a calendar, picking out the twelve choicest images to print on thick cardstock and hang on the wall. The pictures were of grossly misguided model hopefuls—girls from around the country who were always four-inches off, both vertically and horizontally, shot in badly lit rooms, posing in grotesque positions. The people putting together this rather perverse project were my bookers. Their sense of humor was a little wicked and sick, something I wholly appreciated, but the I always found it unsettling that these poor girls were putting themselves out there, only to be silently ridiculed somewhere on some West Hollywood sidestreet. Then again, they kind of deserved it. Because at some point you gotta open a magazine and look in the mirror and go, “Hey, I’m about 4,000 chromosomes away from being Natalia Vodianova” and then move on with your life. Being pretty professionally is overrated.
And so when Marc Jacobs recently announced his #CastMeMarc campaign, opening up the floodgates for countless selfies and self-promotion, I got a little bummed for the subsequent strangers who were, while technically being offered the potential opportunity of a lifetime—to be plucked out of obscurity and shot by Juergen Teller or something—many would also simultaneously be throwing their self-delusions out there for the world to see. The girls with the DSLs and the fake tits from Vegas, the 40-something with the Twiggy-like eyelashes and the country western coif, the athletic rollerblader. All light years away from the essence of Marc—something you would be able to see if you weren’t perhaps blinded by the appeal of easy fame.
This accidental exploitation is, of course, not at all the intention of #CastMeMarc. (Though if you think that the intention is something purer beyond blantant social media strategy and the company’s genuine democratization of the buisness, you are 100% wrong.) But I can’t help put think of the poor interns who are going to have to go through the first edit of this project and the decades of calendar material they’ll have when they’re through.