Monday, July 12, 2010

Does pretty sell books?

I was once a model, a kid with long, wavy red hair and freckles and as with anyone’s look, it got me jobs and took them away. I auditioned for the movie “Pretty Baby” with Brooke Shields. The character’s name was “Red Top. When I had to look Italian, no one called. It was then I learned my look was important.
As a teenager I was in a Popeye’s Fried Chicken commercial. It was August, outside in New Orleans but the setting was winter in Pittsburgh, so everyone wore overcoats. It was extremely hot and uncomfortable. The director, with a feminine voice and lots of large hand gestures, kept telling everyone, “More teeth please, I need more teeth. This is TV. You have to look pretty, people.” It was then I learned it is better to look good than to feel good.
In college, a girlfriend who was an art student, asked me to model for her class. I was flattered. I thought finally I might be considered good looking. The art class drew what was below my waist. I was thrilled I got to keep my shirt on.
Sitting on a table, leaning backward with my open legs dangling, I knew one day I’ll laugh at this. It ended up looking like most I guess. No one called.
I’m a glutton for punishment. In my chosen profession I have to fight with pretty. Something I, and many struggle with. I’m old and a lot less cute.
It is true, Danny Devito is a major star but he’s an actor. I’m screaming, commercials, modeling, hosting, news anchor, and damn sure the music industry. I remember a voice teacher in 1978 at my performance arts high school told us about something new called a music video. I thought, “Aw crap, not something else you have to look good for.” It ended up ruining the careers of very talented musicians and creating many with nothing but a pretty face. All singers do have nice teeth or at least get them when their career kicks in.
To be an anchor at Fox News is the holy grail of being told you’re hot for television and these 9 and 10’s must be backing it up, they’re the number one news network. I thought the show Ugly Betty was a nice comment, looking into the heart and soul of a young woman as beautiful people surrounded her.
I have my picture on this blog. For me it’s shameless self-promotion. Some use drawings or cartoon characters to remain anonymous and I would think some use someone else’s picture. It’s a mystery and I’m OK with that. I follow because I like your work.
From an early age I was made to worry about the “look.” It was a little easier when I was in radio.
Does being pretty actually sell more books? I would like to agonize over a back cover. I am a glutton for punishment.


  1. No matter how pretty we redheads may be, there will only be room for a select few (Lucille Ball, Nicole Kidman, Ron Howard and even one Danny Bonaduce.) Our looks are uniquely different compared to the blondes and brunettes. Sadly, though, red's don't stay reds forever. We ultimately go...(gasp!)....brown!

  2. You may be a glutton for punishment, but you're in good company. Best of luck on your journey!