Being a model is not what it's cracked up to be. I've learned this from experience - and when I say 'experience' I refer to the one-day taster session I had when asked to model for a friend's promotional photo shoot.
Having always been happy with my size and general appearance (apart from the odd 'fat' or 'bad face' day) I agreed, thinking I could rock the model look with the best of them. Oh how wrong I was.
Arriving at the venue - impossibly hip North West London hangout Paradise - my ego was instantly deflated to the size of a pea as if I'd been stabbed with a giant safety pin. Tall, willowy types sashayed past to my dismay, as I lurked, dwarf-like, by the entrance. Those not over six foot tall had the other advantage of being super-thin; size six at most, giving their average sized limbs an elongated appearance far exceeding mine.
I reminded myself that my face was devoid of any make-up and decided to stay positive. An hour in the hands of an experienced face-caker would no doubt bring me up to scratch. I searched frantically for my make-up mood board and realised, upon finding it, that my positivity had been short-lived. Long - and frizzy - false eyelashes. Ghost-white skin. Black lips. Yellow and green eyes. And - worst of all - hair like Kate Bush... gone very wrong. In fact, the hair was closer in appearance to a garden bush. And not a pruned one at that.
I was miffed. Gone were my fantasies of presenting glossy pics to friends and family members whilst they massaged my ego telling me I could be the next Kate Moss. I always knew the theme was 'decadent tea party' but no one had told me I was going to be the Mad Hatter.
Fast forward an hour and I looked like Amy Winehouse. One look in the mirror sent me reaching for the nearest vodka and suddenly I realised why she went so off the rails. Glancing around in horror I noticed the willowy types were strutting past looking uber-chic with fabulous make-up and barnets hairdressed to perfection. It hit me why so many models are on anti-depressants. Proximity to this level of beauty does zero for one's confidence levels. Mine had sunk so low a slug could have slithered over it without encountering any obstacles.
As I contemplated legging it down the fire escape, it became apparent the shoot was about to start. A chiselled man in a beret and breton-style striped t-shirt started setting up camera apparatus whilst a braying Sloane ranger barked at us to take our positions.
Desperately scrambling towards the back of the group, I hoped I'd somehow be able to blend my fright-wig in with topiaries surrounding the stage. But suddenly I felt someone grabbing at my wrist and pulling me forward to the front.
Centre stage and sandwiched between a twiglet and a bamboo stick I had nowhere to hide. Far from a natural clothes-horse I was about as wooden as the piano I was leaning against. It was then I decided to pull myself together. I may have looked like an extra from the Rocky Horror show but there was nothing I could do about it. It was time to loosen up and attempt to enjoy myself.
Minutes later and I was having a whale of a time. The bizarre blue champagne cocktails and ribena vodka had kicked in. Someone had lit a cigarette. A bronzed Adonis had ripped off his shirt and started swinging from the chandelier.
Once it was over I congratulated myself with a greasy burger and chips. Another clear sign I'm not catwalk material. I looked over to see the willowy types on another table tucking into a garden salad and my feelings of jealously suddenly turned into pity. All that time I'd spent envying them when really they were jealous of me... or rather my Aberdeen Angus cheeseburger. So I held my head high and took a huge mouthful.
Calories had never tasted quite so good.