Adding to IMA’s prestigious list of Guest Bloggers, we are excited to welcome Adrianne Curry, first winner of America’s Next Top Model. So, if you loved Breaking the Mode, you should enjoy reading her perspective on the world of fashion. Want more? Check out her blog.
What is it about the fashion world that pulls us in? What draws us to these clothes that could probably only be worn on the runway or red carpet? Why are we willing to wear terribly tight shoes just because they look good? Fashion is art. Everything about it, from the clothes, to the make up, to the model. Art isn’t always appreciated by everyone. Each piece will have it’s fans and it’s haters. I can share with you some direct experiences I had through my eyes. I may not know how to create the next amazing trend in fashion, but I do know what it takes to show it off!
I was a huge tomboy growing up,. I wore hand me down clothes, and half the time it didn’t match. Yet as soon as I hit my teens I found myself sucked into glamour magazines. I would stare at pictures of pretty emaciated 14 year old models and wish that I could be them. I would stare at the designer clothes that they got to parade around in and I would go green with envy. How wonderful it would be to wear expensive designer clothes! Seemingly overnight I went from a nobody waitress to a model. I won the first season of America’s Next Top Model in 2003. What is it like to walk head on into the industry? What are fittings, fashion shows, and photo shoots like? Lucky for you, I love to dish dirt, so sit back and enjoy the ride.
At 5’10 and 1/2 and 123 lbs, I was told I was overweight. My first goal was to lose the weight. Sadly, I didn’t have much to lose, so it proved difficult. I moved into a models apartment with 5 other girls at the age of 21. They called me Mom since I was 5 years older than the youngest one! It was this apartment that I got acquainted with the ugly world of models. Our refrigerator was filled with bottled water, a few veggies, and one or two containers of yogurt. How could anyone eat so little? Why on earth would a woman torture herself this way? I promised myself I would never allow anyone to tell me to lose weight. It would be absurd! I was already so small. I found out soon enough when I went on my first go and see’s just why these women were willing to waste away.
In I walk into my first casting. I was asked to try on a few articles of clothing. As I tried to pull the softest material in the world up that wouldn’t budge just above my knee, it hit me. These women starve themselves because these clothes are made for pre-pubescent little girls! The next casting I went to, the person told me to my face that I was too big! In the real world, people say I am too skinny. In this world, I was too fat. I soon realized that at 21, I was an old fart. If I was going to compete in this game, I had to play by it’s rules. I immediately got a gym membership, and started dieting. Due to lack of protein and other much needed fuel from food, I started bruising easily. I also started developing dark circles under my eyes. However, I dropped the weight! When I walked into my agency, my agent hugged me and told me how wonderful I looked. Living dead girl was ready to hit the castings again!
I went out completely bitter and angry at myself for having done what I did. Losing weight like this was against my beliefs. At least I didn’t have an eating disorder. I was still eating! When I walked into my first casting for the day I showed them my walk. Within two days they had contacted my agency to have me come down for a fitting! This was to be my first runway show in Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in NYC. Anyone into fashion know that this is what it’s all about! The clothes slipped on effortlessly. I was a size 2 at almost 6 feet tall. When I saw my reflection in the mirror I made myself a promise. I would not deny my body anything for this anymore. However, I was happy I did it to at least be in this big show. The big night was mayhem. Gay men running around having diva fits over lighting and makeup. Eccentric women walking by to tell you how fabulous the show is going to be. Photographers trying to take pictures of your naked body between changes while people who worked for the designer freaked trying to ensure you didn’t rub your makeup on the garments. All the while your wonderful boys telling you just how damn amazing you look.
When my time came to walk all went silent. I didn’t hear the techno music anymore. I couldn’t see the audience stare me down as I walked. I sashayed directly into the brightest light I have ever looked directly into. I was that beautiful high cheek boned emaciated girl in the designer dress I stared at growing up. I was everything I had ever wanted to be. When I stomped my way back to the curtain I realized that this gig isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. How could I be able to remain healthy yet still model? I was naturally skinny enough when I was 12-15, but I was just too far into womanhood at 21. I didn’t want to give up the glitz and glamour of being able to draw gasps from a crowd once they saw you. As a Leo, I loved to be on stage. The next year I slowly gained my weight back and my jobs lessoned. Then, one day I was getting my hair done in Milan for a fashion show and was starring at a table full of American magazines. Almost every single cover had a celebrity on it. It didn’t matter if it was a movie star or TV personality. When my hair was done, I started flipping through the pages of a few. All the major ad campaigns were being swooped up by celebrities. The best part was the celebrities didn’t have to be stick thin. I had one up on most, since I was a TV personality that could model.
Four months after I returned to the United States I landed a gig on VH1’s Surreal Life. Ever since I have been booking TV gigs. Suddenly I am collecting bigger covers and deals than I had in my past. I found the loophole. I could continue modeling works of art for the public, both on runway and in print. The best part? I didn’t have to lose any weight and I can wear the clothes I see on the runway on the red carpet. I love being able to show off a more athletic body instead of a skinny un toned one. However, the second I am asked to drop 10 pounds to be able to model for a major campaign wearing the next big designer? Where, when, and how?!? Most women have an article of clothing that is too tight for them, but it’s cute so they suck in the gut. Some of us have pairs of shoes that are far too tight, yet we still rock them out. We will suffer for fashion….will you?