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Strange Ride

The visage artist quickly corrected a few details on my face and then I realized the wait was over. We were called to line up for the first outing. The choreographer was there, reminding the girls to, “Crackle and pop, ladies! I wanna see you bounce with energy!” The model in front of me ascended the stairs to the catwalk and struck a pose. I stared at her like a drowning person would stare at a flotation device. The choreographer and designer were there, speaking instructions into my ear, but I couldn’t hear anything over the whooshing in my ears. Then the model strode off down the runway and out of my sight. I felt suddenly abandoned. My eyes darted to the men beside me. They were looking expectantly at me and I nodded. The choreographer put his hand to the small of my back and my whole body tensed. The touch seemed to send waves of heat radiating across my bare skin. He gently guided me a little to the side to let a model come down from the catwalk. “You’re up,” whispered the choreographer and gently pushed me up the stairs…

When I started modeling, I never thought I would end up here, especially because I was a male model. The industry was big on the androgynous look which I fit perfectly. I was walking up and down the stage in all manner of clothing both women’s and men’s and it didn’t matter what my body looked like, as long as I wasn’t leaning too far one way or the other. But nothing lasts forever, and when the industry wanted more masculine models and more feminine models I had to choose. My agent said I had a very promising career but could not see me as desirable for jobs calling for a male model. However, with a few adjustments, I would make one hell of a female one. My bank account had been growing dangerously low and I was desperate, so I took the job and was given some pads and shapers to help. Eventually, the pads turned into hormones the shapers became redundant thanks to surgery. Which is how we get to today. Me, a former male model, debuting as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. What a strange ride.

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