A Model's Open Letter: Please Leave My F*cking Hair Alone

When you're a model, you give up a lot of your bodily autonomy in favour of jetting across the world, but sometimes enough is enough...
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When you're a model, you give up a lot of your bodily autonomy in favour of jetting across the world, but sometimes enough is enough...

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One of the strange things about modelling is the incredible independence it gives you – whilst at the same time, having control over every single tiny decision you have to make. So, at the age of 16, I was flying around the world alone, paying large tax bills and being treated on shoots as a fellow adult and equal.

However, modelling also pervades every single layer of your life, removing your own agency from the most basic of decisions. Your clothes, your hair and your personality become your agency’s property - I was sent to Vidal Sassoon and given, basically, a mullet. I was told to ditch my beloved (though, looking at photos now, horribly misguided) ‘grunger’ look of kid’s tops from Littlewoods, enormous flares and rainbow eyeliner and instead wear the uniform of no make up, skinny jeans and a plain black vest top. I was told not to smile in my castings, as it made my face too ‘jolly’ - instead I spent two weeks death staring terrified clients until, rebelliously, I started smiling and being polite again. Girls are even re-named – Jessica became Stormy, whilst my dramatic name-change from Rebecca Pearson was to be....’Rebecca’ (the Pearson being deemed too suburban).

Your bookers, pretty much, rule your life and your appearance. They mean well – everyone just wants to work, and they know best how you should present yourself to clients. It is strange sometimes, though, giving over so much of your life. Here I am, in my twenties - an adult, a graduate, a strong, independent woman, proud bearer of the name Rebecca Pearson - surname and all... sending an open email to my booker, desperately pleading to him to allow me to get a fringe cut. Hope it works (who can resist a hyperlink?)....

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Dearest Igor,

As you know, I have spent a long, long, year growing out my fringe. My initial hope when embarking upon this project was that, by revealing 3 extra square inches of my face, even more of my incredible beauty and eyebrows would be revealed to the world. The bookings would roll in, plus my forehead would finally get an even tan.

Sadly, apart from the even tan, this has simply not been the case. I feel that my generously proportioned forehead is more suited to being hidden by a soft curtain of hair. Case in point:

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Lovely, no?

Case in point 2:

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I think you can agree with me: "MEH."

On the whole, I feel that it's dragging down my face and making me feel, for want of a better word, rubbish. Average. I miss it, Igor. I miss it so much.

Finally, I have had a few comments from clients too, that they regularly booked me as 'fringe girl'. It gives me a 'look' and, like Samson, I feel it also gives me Super Powers. I feel that the world and I are not ready for my naked, exposed forehead.

Please let me know your thoughts,

Rebecca

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