Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Model-turned-actress vs. actress-turned-model

-Into the Gloss remains an infinite source of pedicured-foot-in-mouth. The latest, Erin Wasson, is no exception. There's of course the requisite: "Everything really needs to be paraben-free for me. I mean, because if I’m going to smoke cigarettes, then I need to be aware of all the other bullshit I’m putting into my body." (A little gift to the fat-acceptance, thin=/=healthy community.) And better still, re: a new-agey-sounding facialist: "It’s not about the superficial layer of your skin, it’s about all the deeper layers and what’s going on inside of you." Sounds totally holistic, and not even a little bit like vanity.

But apart from the usual 'wisdom,' there's some actual, well, wisdom. First, on the difference between acting and modeling:

“I got really lucky with modeling. The only casting I went on was with Mario Testino...and then it was kind of, you know, my whole life got flipped upside-down. But with acting now, it’s not walking into a room and being like, ‘Hey, nice to meet you.’ It’s like, you walk into a room and you put on an effing performance, and then you leave the room. In the world of modeling, you just show someone a book and you’re completely objectified from your surface. But with acting it’s like, do you have a fucking skill? Do you know what you’re doing? Did you put the work into it? Are you emotionally available? You can’t even compare the two worlds. Acting is fucking hard. Modeling is easy; you just travel a lot.
This gets at the utter weirdness of a profession existing in which people are hired specifically for their looks. But it also got me thinking of the Kaling-Dunham discussion I had with myself in the previous post. Basically, it's long been the norm (or at least quite normal) for actresses to get their start as models, child models, etc., or at the very least, to have been 'discovered' as models, choosing instead to pursue acting. They first need to prove that they are paid-for-looks-level attractive, and can then go on to portray characters. Then there's Dunham, who is currently a writer/actress and model, with everything going the reverse order. She's being paid for her image because of what it represents, i.e. a cultural product that - overhyped or not - hit a nerve. It's quite different to establish yourself and then get paid to model because your identity sells clothes, than for modeling to be the prerequisite.

Oh, and then I kind of loved this, also from Wasson:
I don’t spend money on clothes. I’m not that person. I don’t do the whole Isabel Marant thing. I love her as a person, and I think what she does is fucking amazing, but am I going to buy into a world of a French woman selling me what I grew up with? Do you know what I mean? Am I going to sign up for that? I’m sorry, but I’m not going to spend $1,200 on a Western shirt and go back to Texas and get it for five bucks.

Indeed. A friend and I spotted a t-shirt of that label going for I believe it was 90 euros, a plain white t-shirt, because people will buy absolutely whichever ordinary crap if they believe a chic Frenchwoman gave it a seal of approval.

-Kei, any other readers with Japan-thoughts, hair-thoughts: is this any good? Or the one in the red container? I was at Sunrise Mart stocking up on yuba after a great lunch at Sobaya, and got distracted in the haircare aisle. Products made for "normal" hair in the U.S. (or, worse, Europe) are all wrong for me, as are the ones made for "ethnic" hair. Maybe Japanese products are the way to go? Shiseido is generally an expensive brand here, but there appears to be this moderately-priced Japanese line...

-Are (black) tights with (black) open-toed shoes taboo? This impacts Belgian-wedding-packing, so if you have thoughts on this most urgent matter, now's the time to weigh in.


Britta said...

It depends of course on the crowd, but I would say in general open toed shoes with tights are taboo (despite being in season a couple years back?). Black/black probably is easier to get away with, and if it's casual I think you could pull it off, but I would probably try to avoid it.

Phoebe said...

I feared as much. In casual situations, I will wear socks-and-wedge-sandals intentionally, as in where the socks are not the same color as the sandals, but what I was thinking here was more something to hide the fact that I don't own the right kind of closed-toed black heels for said outfit. I think the answer may be to paint my toenails and hope for warm, sunny (Belgian) weather.

kei said...

Your most recent post led me to this one, which I had never seen! So sorry! I don't know how I missed it, seeing as it was about Into The Gloss and had a specific question for me. But I think we confirmed together in a later post that Tsubaki is great, and I'm glad it worked out for you (hope it's still working!).

Erin Wasson. She's interesting, because on the one hand I think she talks too much (she was in some video where she kind of glorified homeless people's "style," like as in actual homeless people standing around a bonfire [I recall her invoking that image], not the Olsens' style) but on the other hand I feel I shouldn't judge because she wants to talk and has the opportunity, and that must be rare in the modeling industry when names and faces are famous but nothing else beyond that. I wish Into The Gloss would edit better, too, because every person sounds like they're on a rant. I would think so if she didn't put "[Laughs]" at least once.

Also, $5 =/= $88! Free People is not Isabel Marant but it is also not some random thing you happened upon in a thrift store for a few dollars. Props for recognizing a sham, but it doesn't seem she really gets it. Maybe that's just the way it is up there or out there?