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What would you do for fashion?

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.

Photo courtesy of Adrianne CurryWhat 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?

Filed under: Exhibitions, Guest Bloggers

12 Responses to “What would you do for fashion?”

  • avatar
    Lori Trump Says:

    I have always admired Adrianne Curry’s ability to be genuine. I was thrilled to see this posting on the site. Thanks, Adrianne, for being unabashed and forthright about why proper nutrition is far more essential than dress size, no matter the perceived “reward.” My teenage daughter and millions like her can be inspired by that health-concious philosophy.

  • avatar
    Laurel Says:

    I enjoyed getting the “deep dish” about what Adrianne went through trying to be a “skinny” model. I think every 14 year old who looks at the models in magazines with envy should read this blog!

  • avatar
    Jami Says:

    I love Adrianne and have since the first day I saw her on America’s Next Top Model. She was honestly the only one on there I could actually relate to. Her winning the show inspired me and I’m sure many other young women. I watch her weekly show on every week I can and I can’t get over someone that is a celebrity but still so genuine. It shocked me to see she posted on the Indianapolis Museum of Art page since I live in Indianapolis and have also been her fan for several years now. You should definitely have a day where she comes there for a fashion show or just to hang out. I know hundreds that will be there. 😀

  • avatar

    So, Adrianne…I see a show in the future where you do something to help these models break into their own who don’t make it in the “real skinny” world. Perhaps, you could invent your own modeling/acting/theatre agency to take young ladies into some world where people are more normal and wear normal clothing. Not all size 2 ????? Or, maybe an acting school to help bring out the “happy” feelings of girls who “don’t cut it”…..I can see the show now..title..”Don’t cut it, make it”…some will be fantastic at fashion design, acting, technical, stage makeup, special effects, costumes…..drama….what do you think?

  • avatar
    Kare-Bear Says:

    Kudos to Adri for helping out women of all ages who don’t have the correct coping skills….

    I know I don’t have them down and it seems to be a work in progress…….. I can only try to be true to myself and try to better myself. Wish I just had more options..

    Thanks Adrianne! Fab BLOG! This one really got to me! 😉

  • avatar
    Anthrofreak Says:

    I really love Fashion as well. I think shows like project runway really show people how much vision, creativity, skill and work goes into making garments. And it’s much more exciting that watching someone paint. And women’s fashion is the BEST. Men’s fashion BORING.

    I hope I come back as a tall chick with a bangin’ body in my next life. But I guess I’ll just settle for being tall gay guy with a bangin’ body this time around. lol:-)

  • avatar
    Frantasy Says:

    I am always very impressed with your writing and blogging “skills”, and talent. The question lies, when will you have your own column? Autobiography? I am also intruiged by your business sense and ingenuity. I am hip to you trying to branch off of myspace and getting people to navigate to your OWN site, your OWN world, your OWN space. I think that this is the beginning of something great for you, dahling. This may be the year of Adrianne Curry, if you keep playing all your aces right. I think one of the reasons why we “mesh” so well is because i aspire to HAVE your smarts and work ethic, wisdom of the industry. Your tenacity, and determination, realness. Some girls are aspiring to BE you, to befriend your husband and family members in effort to be in your inner circle. Yes, it is in who you know, and who you network with but starfuckers/users and roaches are synonymous. These girls didnt grow up crying into a magazine, crying when they watch award shows or fashion shows, dying to in or at one. I have NEVER had a question of what i wanted to be when i grew up. These girls dont realize that if you dont have a real TALENT a real PASSION for this industry, then you will be chewed up and spit out and be shunned. The line to be on “reality t.v. is long, someone looking for that “big break”. but if there is no sensiblity, or substance behind someone being a reality t.v. star, then how long would people truly remember you, and what for? Being tossed around by a Bonaduce, like Johnny Fairplay? Being the whore from the Real World house who slept with a guy AND a girl on the first night like Traschelle? Being the girl from American Idol with a drug problem like Jessica? The industry is REAL and not the glossed over one of television, and mags.
    I admire you for telling all like it is. The first comment you ever sent me told me to love the weight i am and you call bullshit on anyone who says i cant eat in order to make it big.

    I will NEVER be a size 2. But there are more slashes that await my career as a model/actress. i love fashion, but im not killing myself for it. Im not having foot surgery because i feel the need to walk around New York in Louboutins everyday, all day to look hot. I also had a hand-me-down life, im no label whore. Im not buying a $1000.00 bag, when i can buy 5 really cute ones. But i will work very hard to make my own mark in fashion, with my name on the lable, the factory AND the plant.

  • avatar
    Breanna Says:

    wow, you are my idol. thank you for telling me that at 5’8″ and 125 lbs that im not fat. i too have tried to model and go figure. . . the clothes didnt go past my knees. I dont know why these “fashion experts” insist on booking models who do not look like women. if you sell womens clothes they should hire models who look like women. Hips, Boobs, ass and all. that is what makes women so sexy. Curves are amazing. Thank you for all that you do. My boyfriend and i LOVE watching you on tv and seeing you in the magazines. <3

  • avatar

    wouldn’t it have been better to stick to your guns? and make a statement for all starving teenagers?

  • avatar
    Adrianne Says:

    no way, it HAD to be funny! I have a morbid sense of humor, and that made me laugh. I wouldn’t imagine too many young girls troll the museums blogs

  • avatar
    Leslie Says:

    Great read Adrianne! Its great to hear truthful experiences., Your very admirable for not letting the money-side/aspect outweigh your beliefs, not everyone has that in them. Its so obvious(I guess not to the majority) that these girls in the shows are clearly NOT EATING, especially with Tyra now that she’s not modelling and has “made it” and doesnt need the $$$$$ from fashion shows anymore shes eating now and is substantially large now. It so sad that these girls continue to starve themselves for the sake of fashion! Its such an immoral, SHALLOW business, but continues to bring in billions!!!! And I guess all the attention and hoo-ray these girls get makes it all worth(NOT EATING)it., SO SAD!!!! Can we say self-esteem issues!!! Not only for the girls, but the designers as well.

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