Tuesday was my first day at TheGloss! Yeah! I packed my lunch, I wore my cool rag & bone jeans (kickbacks? Anyone?) and headed to the offices in beautiful Midtown Manhattan. I was barely there an hour before they sent me out on my first assignment! And they gave me a camera! And a notebook! I’m not going to be one of those interns who just gets everybody coffee. I have a REAL ASSIGNMENT.
And what is my first assignment? A Maxim open call.
That’s all the information I have going in. In my head (and because I’m wearing a trench coat) I jump at the opportunity to say this is an undercover piece. Undercover how, I’m not sure… but I’ll figure out the details later and maybe score some airbrushed photos in the process. And then glory will be mine! Glory and a Peabody.
It’s easy enough to get into the building. There is an intern outside the building holding a sign “Maxium Open Casting Call.” I was expecting to don spandex and crawl through lasers, but it’s really just as easy as writing down my email address.
Strangely enough, there is not a line of scantily clad women down the street. There is no line at all. There’s barely a group. Its just me, two attractive (in a Maxim sort of way) girls and an intern with a sign.
Still wanting to make sure I leave no sort of trail, I fake a southern accent. I tell the girl at the front I’m in from out of town on a job interview at Pfizer. Why did I choose Pfizer? Because there was no check box for “muckraker.” Ha ha!
She has no idea what she’s in for. Trojan horse in heels. That’s me. Doing what, I’m not sure, but I’m on the job.
At the security desk, the guard looks at the other girls and then looks at me.
“Are you sure you’re with them?”
Wow. Hey, buddy, I don’t think you’re cut out for Maxim either, but not wanting to blow my cover I giggle and bat my eyelashes. The experience leaves me slightly woozy, but it worked because he waves me through!
Up the elevator. Through the doors. A Maxim employee greets us.
“Okay, ladies. This way.”
At this point, there are a lot of flashbulbs happening around me. Somebody else says,“If you brought lingerie you can change into it here, or if you want to, we have some you can use.”
I have two disturbing realizations.
- I’m expected to strip down to my underwear and pose for strangers.
- There is lingerie sharing going on at Maxim.
This is not just a polaroid photo and some quip about what turns you on, it’s a full on photo shoot.
This is where my resolve and this part of the story ends. There are many things I will do in the name of a good story–even a good anecdote–but getting half naked (or half clothed if you are an optimist) is not one of them. You can email me for a full list of my excuses, but I’ll go with the easiest one. I haven’t shaved my legs for awhile. What? It’s winter and my legs are warmly ensconced in these stylish rag & bone jeans.
I very quickly admit that I am from TheGloss.com just, “doing a little story about this Maxium open call”. They didn’t even have to waterboard me. They did, however, very politely ask me to leave because they wanted to protect the participants’ rights. And gave me a card had I any questions.
Also, they wished me a good day.
At this point, I’m at odds with what to do. I know I can’t come back without a story, but I still don’t have one! I decide to interview the girls as they come out of the building. To understand why somebody would pose in borrowed lingerie.
When I speak to the girls, I find that they’re all friendly, funny and extremely down to earth. I become too wrapped up in their personal stories to even remember to ask about the lingerie.
For example, Missy just moved here from Virginia Beach and has her degree in pre-med. She sees modeling as a great thing to do before she goes on with her true calling. She eventually wants to “help people while doing something I love.” We talk about how incredibly supportive her family is. She’s very close with her mother.
Jena is also an actress. After working with a theater company for many years, she is finding the money and the hours better in modeling. Can she sing? Yes. Can she dance? Yes. Can she show me her good side? Yes. A classic triple threat.
Jenna has graced thirteen covers for Men’s magazines. She’s petite, but that has never stopped her from booking a job. When I told her I was too squeamish to pose in lingerie, she replied, “Nobody’s perfect. You just gotta go in there and make it work for YOU.” I believe her.
…They all complimented my jeans.
So I leave without a story, but with a newfound respect for these hard working models/actresses/pre-med students and coffee for everyone on the way back.
I took the time to reflect on my first day as an intern. I learned a lot that day. I learned where the Maxim offices are should I get a callback (fingers crossed). I learned Jennifer likes skinny caramel macchiatos. But mostly, I learned that I’m scared to take off my clothes and pose for strangers. And truly, isn’t that what every internship is really about? Self-discovery.