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My Modeling Career

by N.P.C about a year ago in Embarrassment
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It was over before it even began.

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Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury. I want to say, in my defense, I was very, very drunk when I decided to say this. On second thought- that’s not a real defense, is it? It was my own choice to get drunk, after all.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, I’m sorry. I have no defense for saying this. I can only apologize for my cringe-y-ness. And may I remind you that I have already served my punishment? Please be kind.

I am what some might describe as “Low Maintenance” in terms of my fashion choices. Others would say that I appear to have “Given Up Almost Entirely.” Both statements are equally apt. I also don't really prefer one over the other.

I go to a hair salon at most once a year. I make an active choice to pick stretch pants over denim jeans literally every day. Yes, there have been a few nights where I used a makeup wipe instead of washing my face with cleanser, and no I don’t ever prime my lids if I feel like putting on eye shadow.

To be honest, I wouldn’t mind putting in a little more effort some days, but as it turns out I have no skill at all in the beauty department. I mean I’ve whiled away hours watching hair/ makeup tutorials and practicing in front of a mirror. I even tried to use a ruler to keep my liner even and straight. It’s all been to no avail. I always end up looking like I allowed a toddler to paint my face. Suffice it to say I usually end up keeping things pretty basic.

It probably comes as no surprise to hear then, that when I have a special occasion to attend I pay a professional to do my hair and makeup. It’s a little pricier, but when I think of all the money I save by not buying new brushes, blenders, and replacement product on the regular I think I’m ahead. That, and the events I attend are few and far between.

The story I’m about to share happened in January 2019. This was pre-pandemic, when large group functions were still ethical. A friend was having an engagement bash in that lull weekend right after New Years and I decided I would get my hair and makeup done at the salon.

The process was just fine, fun even. The women working were bored stiff. It was a slow, cold night with not a whole lot going on. I think I was one of three clients in the whole place and they had hours to go before closing. I was there super early, and I decided I wanted the works.

I endured the pain of threading my brows and upper lip. I got a mani-pedi combo to match my outfit for the night. I got a full face of makeup including false lashes. Two women worked together to cut, color and curl my hair into copper ringlets.

I was already relishing being pampered this way, and then one of the women said to me, “Hey, N.P.C, we’re going to take a few pictures of your hair ok? From a couple of different angles. We post them on the salon’s social media page. You don’t mind, do you? You should follow us!”

Of course I didn’t mind. They did a really great job; my hair looked nice and shiny and bouncy. I don’t get to feel that feeling but once a year. You can hardly begrudge me that! Every now and then we're all allowed to feel good about how we look!

So I went to the party, still feeling myself. And as the night went on and we all got drunker (the bride-to-be’s brother was trying to fight her fiancé), and drunker (the groom-to-be’s dad was dancing with his wife riding his shoulders) I may have mentioned to a few friends and family that my look was going to be posted on a certain salon’s Instagram page.

I may have used the expression “Hair Model.” I may have also done an absolutely atrocious catwalk up and down the dance hall’s shiny parquet floors amid the hoots and hollers of my friends. I mean hand-on-hip, toes pointed; sashay, sashay, sashay.

Guys, I promise you, I meant it as a joke. I was just trying to get a laugh. I know, I was feeling myself and I was hammered, but I wasn’t completely delusional. I am painfully aware that I am not model material. I am prepared to admit however, that in a way that I absolutely detest about myself; I was just a teensy bit proud when I told them, too.

Regardless of my intentions, the problem was I said it. And when the party was over and we went our separate ways, people remembered I said it. When we were all stone sober, they remembered I said it.

They ask about it, actually. Often.

“Was it S**** Salon on Islington? The one by the Chase Bank?”

“Is this the right Instagram handle? Did I spell it right?

“Is that you? That doesn’t look at all like you.”

“It’s not you…?”

The salon never posted any of my pictures.

And even now, a few years afterwards, I occasionally run into people from the night of that engagement party. We catch up, make small talk but I will invariably get hit with some rendition of:

"Remember that salon you said you modeled for? Remember that? They ever get around to posting your pictures? No? I wonder why not. It’s okay, don't be embarrassed. It’s very, very challenging to be a Hair Model.”

I want to cry every single time.


About the author


A human person from Toronto. Still figuring it out. Hoping one day there's less to figure out. Find me in your local book store, in the self-help section. Offer me a hug, then walk away. It's probably for the best.

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