Thursday, September 20, 2012

Michela Walters Week 13: Price of Beauty

Picture 1

Picture 2

Michela Walters’s Picture Choice: 1

Title: Price of Beauty

“Chin down just a bit, Elena,” Herb shouted from where he stood, camera poised in front of his face.

She’d been standing in these stiletto heels for the last three hours, wearing barely any clothes to try and get the shot for next month’s Vogue spread. Elena knew she was the most sought after supermodel this year, and understanding the relative short life-cycle of one, she was focused on capitalizing on her fame now while she could.

The assistant came over to fluff her hair and touch up her lips, giving Elena a chance to rest, even if it was for but a moment. She knew how people saw her profession. They were constantly saying things like, “So what, you have to stand there for a few hours and have your picture taken? How hard could it be?” What they didn’t know or usually wait around for her reply was that it actually was strenuous work. She was expected in hair and make-up some days hours before the sun would rise. Her work required her to be in peak physical condition, even if that meant eating fewer calories in a day than most people consume in one meal. She often had to be photographed in skimpy gowns in near frigid weather or in bikini’s taken while she was rolling around in chilly water, all the while plastering whatever expression the photographer or client expected at the time. No, being a model wasn’t easy, no matter what people thought.

Granted, she had always enjoyed her work. She loved feeling beautiful and seeing her face in magazines and on billboards, yet Elena also understood that her beauty would fade and eventually people wouldn’t be paying to see her in anything but the JC Penny catalog, if she was lucky. While many of her model friends and acquaintances lived the party life, enjoying the perks that came with the job, Elena only went out to parties if it was something she felt would further her brand, or a client she was currently working with. She would limit herself to one drink, sipping on it casually through the evening to give everyone the impression that she was as ‘fun’ as the rest of them. In reality, she took these opportunities to scope out key people in the industry. Contacts that she could use when her modeling career was over, people who could give her a hand should she ever need it. Elena wanted to be considered as savvy and successful as Heidi Klum in her post modeling life.

“I think that’s it,” Herb shouted, wandering toward her with a wide toothy smile.

Elena knew what would come next. Even though she was teetering at the top echelon of her profession, she was still often required to make sacrifices to stay there.

Wrapping a warm hand around her slim waist, he lecherously whispered, “See you in my studio in about an hour. And wear those heels.”

Michela Walters is a wife, mother and book enthusiast. She is currently attempting her hand at writing her first romantic fiction novella. You can read her other stories on her blog:



  1. Oh, ick! What an ending, Michela. Cool take on the picture.

    1. LOL - that wasn't where I orginally had planned on taking it, but sometimes the story takes over. Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it.

  2. That last line is the kicker.... tough stuff. Very effective.

  3. Probably a fairly accurate picture for many a model. What a twist at the end there--also likely accurate for some. Nice job!


  4. Ooh my stomach churned at the end of this. Great job.

  5. I felt like that ending was coming...from the title. Things are typically not as they seem, and in any position that puts someone, especially a woman, at a disadvantage, there's always somewhere there to swoop in with greed. A realistic and disheartening look onto her life.