I’m going to NYC for a magazine photoshoot!

Please excuse me while I get some stereotypically girly glee out of my system:

SQUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!…Okay, I’m still insanely excited, so forgive me while I flail for a post. I was contacted by More Magazine about doing an interview for their piece on “Young Feminists.” More is an American woman’s lifestyle magazine targeted towards the 40+ demographic (not to be confused with the UK’s More! Magazine, which I’ve been told is a somewhat trashy fashion/gossip mag). Eleven different “up and coming” feminists under the age of 30 have each been interviewed for the special piece, including yours truly. I agreed to do the interview before I found out that they were flying us all to New York City for a professional photoshoot.

If you’ve hung around here for a while, you’ll know I have a horrible fascination with America’s Next Top Model. It’s a terrible show, but something about watching girls be ridiculous and catty without personally being a part of it is extremely addictive. Not to mention some shoots do produce pretty cool photos, and watching Tyra Banks’s newest insanity while screaming at the TV with my roommate is oddly fulfilling.

…I may or may not have watched all fourteen seasons.
*shifty eyes*

So finding out I’m being flown to New York for a professional photoshoot is a bit of a fantasy of mine, a fantasy I never thought would actually happen since 1) I’m not exactly fashion model material and 2) Even if I was, I really have no interest in being a professional model. But to get to do it for a day is frankly awesome.

It didn’t really dawn on me how this is a “real” photoshoot until I started getting more information. They’re doing my hair and makeup. I don’t even wear makeup. I don’t want to be dolled up to the point where I’m unrecognizable – that would be kind of ironic for a piece on feminism – but I’m still excited. I’ve blogged before how one of the big reasons I don’t do makeup is just because I have no idea what I’m doing, so I’m pretty stoked to see what I’ll look like when someone actually does a nice job.

But reality really sank in when they asked me for my sizes and measurements because I’m going to have a wardrobe. WTF. A wardrobe! I don’t know if this caused me more excitement or anxiety. I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal, and I hate clothes shopping. I’ve always joked that I’d love to have a professional pick out clothes for me, but then it dawned on me that I didn’t even know what my sizes were.

I mean, I know how tall I am, and my shoe size… But pants? Uh, 10-ish depending on the brand? “Long” isn’t a legitimate measure for length? What, you want it in inches? You think I shop somewhere nicer than Old Navy? Shirts can range from small to extra large depending on how boob friendly they are. And a dress size? The last time I bought a dress was four years ago when I was two cup sizes smaller, so who knows if that’s accurate.

Anxiety aside, I know it’ll be ridiculously fun. My parents are just happy to get some professional photos of me out of it. I’m going to be thinking of all the stupid ANTM in jokes and “tips” the whole time. Smeyes! Ugly pretty, not ugly ugly! Find the light! Fierce!

Vanessa (roommate and ANTM mocking buddy): I still think you need someone recording the whole thing, it’d be hilarious
Me: It would be! Unfortunately I don’t have a camera crew, and I think my brother and sister-in-law actually have jobs, lol. I’ll make sure to take lots of photos and recount it in its full hilarity
Vanessa: Oh darn. That’s too bad because you could have used it as an application for the next season of ANTM
Me: Rofl, that would be awesome
Vanessa: Yeah, and everyone would want you to win because you’d be the token plus size girl
Me: Yeah, me and my fatty size 10 pants*, hehe
Vanessa: lol

The one downside? Three years of screaming at the TV and thinking “I can totally do that! How hard can it be?!” will finally be put to the test. Uh oh.

So, I can’t wait. I’ll definitely document the experience and post about it afterwards, as it’s sure to be interesting. And I’ll let you know when the actual magazine comes out! At the very least, you can cut out my photo and slap it on your wall so I can pretend I’m something more than a D-list internet celebrity for a day, haha.

*Yes, size 10 is considered plus size on ANTM. I wish I were joking.


  1. says

    Total sympathy on the sizing question. Depending on brand, I wear anything from a size 4 to a size 14. Now I just store bust, waist, and hip measurements on my iphone, show them to sales clerks, and ask for help.

  2. Chelsea says

    typically don’t comment but I needed to share with you that that is probably one of the most awesome pictures on the internet. need. need. NEED. I’m saving it so that I can refer back to it on gloomy days and get all ANTM excited. Smize your way through it, it’ll be awesome. Excited to see how it turns out!

  3. LS says

    Well this sounds pretty awesome! Be sure to let us know when the magazine hits the stands, as I’d love to pick one up. (Also, since I’ve never seen it on the stands, information on how to purchase that issue would be win.)Now, excuse me while I avert my eyes from the overt display of girlitude. =P

  4. Claire says

    Dude! You should totally ask the people who do your hair and make-up for tips and tricks – no more worrying about your ignorance of “girly” skills :)

  5. Robin says

    It will be most interesting if, for a woman’s magazine article on feminists, they want photos which accentuate your boobs or not.

  6. says

    Let me take this opportunity to say women’s clothing size are ridiculous. Somehow someone needs to rebel against the whole fashion industry. Men know what size we are because our clothes are made in those sizes. We can buy pants with a 34 inch waist and a 36 inch inseam. We can buy shirts in small, medium, large, and xl, but dress shirts come in sleeve and collar measurements. How on earth does anyone think that a single number can cover the fit of a garment that includes the entire body? And then there’s that whole petite, misses, women’s business. Like your only a woman if you’re “fat” by fashion standards?/fashion rant.

  7. Jessica K says

    It’s nice to know I am not alone in being a biology majoring, science loving atheist that uses ANTM as a guilty pleasure…

  8. hkdharmon says

    Awesome. You will have to give us a link to any online version. It would be interesting to see you “girled-up”. Don’t let them over do it.

  9. AnthroGirl says

    Yay you! Random comment: my husband told me one day how pretty I looked and that I could be a plus-size fashion model. Needless to say, I gave him the stink-eye while he attempted to explain that he had heard on NPR that “plus-sized” models are usually a size 8 or 10. It’s funny when nerdy guys attempt compliments. ;)

  10. says

    How long are you going to be in New York for? As a resident (sorta, I live on long Island), I could inform you of many awesome places to go that aren’t on the beaten path for tourists.

  11. AnthroGirl says

    Women’s clothing in general is ridiculous. I went in search of a functional pair of cargo pants (for an archaeological dig) and everything in the women’s section was made of crappy, thin material, was all “low rise” or “boot cut” or some such nonsense, was practically skin-tight, and, well, couldn’t actually carry any cargo. I gave up and went to the men’s section because I know I can buy 32/34 that fit me fine (well, provided they’re a bit roomy, since I have hips and a butt that men don’t have). It was so nice to buy a pair of pants that had an inseam that was actually long enough for me. And to have a pair of cargos with actual pockets that wouldn’t immediately fall apart after squatting in a trench all day./fashion rant reply :)

  12. says

    Well, I wouldn’t be so crazy about a photo shoot (well, maybe a bit…), but I can totally sympathise with the excitement over the whole media experience, and the growing fame. On the fairly logical assumption that you don’t shy from the limelight too much, you must be awesomely stoked.Do you ever get worried that the incipient media career might get in the way of the science career? Personally, I hope you have runaway success with both!

  13. says

    Oh, and they need make-up usually to at least avoid you looking ill or wet or like an alient under the lights… I know it’s possible to do makeup to avoid that while still looking mostly ‘natural’… if they want to doll you up but you’d rather look natural, just put your foot down. They asked you, right?

  14. LS says

    Breasts and hips do create a far more complex body type to fit for than men have. Most of my female friends have taken to just skipping the women’s section altogether because of how ridiculous everything is there. Which has led to me developing a powerful fetish for women in drag. So I guess it all works out in the end. =P

  15. daniel says

    I will have to concur. Light does not really reflect off the skin but from inside layers. The more light you have, such as the lights in a photography studio, the deeper it goes and reflects from not-so-attractive skin layers.That property of skin is also what makes it so difficult to replicate in computer graphics (notice that most CGI movies deal with objects or aliens, rarely human beings – except Final Fantasy). The eye is so expert at dealing with that information that it can easily distinguish between real and fake.

  16. PapaJay says

    Congrats Jen! Oh, and on the womens sizing thing. Yeah, that doesn’t help us guys at all when we would like to buy a woman a nice surprise. Remember, there’s a reason they make clothes for guys easy to figure out.

  17. lomifeh says

    This makes me think of the Uncanny Valley. It’s in the animators interest to not be too perfect. People hate that.

  18. says

    EEEEEEE!Also, I think liking ANTM is absolutely fine. If anything, I think it is GOOD for viewers (female and male). They take totally normal looking girls (some are downright odd looking, not the ‘standard’ female beauty), give them professional make-up, professional hair, professional clothes/styling, professional Photoshop, and now these girls look AWESOME.Hiding the reality of modeling gives little girls and boys body dysmorphia. Its good for people to see ‘behind the scenes’, whether that ‘Dove Evolution’ video or ANTM, to see how much work goes into the images we see, to know they arent real.

  19. Bailey says

    Congratulations! That is awesome :)Also, it’s very encouraging to know I’m not the only smart feminist who may or may not be slightly addicted to ANTM….

  20. says

    “…fatty size 10 pants.”Fatty? I certainly didn’t think that when I met you at TAM8. Shame I only had my crappy cell phone cam to get my pic taken with you.

  21. says

    You’ve already been interviewed by Larry King, and mentioned on the Colbert Report. How much more exciting could this possibly be. You’re exactly how I would be if I randomly became famous for something. (I don’t wear make-up either).

  22. says

    Congrats Jen and i do believe you do just fine and probably end up being a little giggly during the shoot cuz of the anticipation and having all eyes on you for a change..You go girl..Who knows u may end up being an movie or tv star cuz sometimes that is how some stars are found…

  23. Doug Sloan says

    If you can’t videocam the whole experience, at least take one of those digital audio recording pens.I find it hard to believe you don’t have someone you trust who could/would tag along and video or photograph the whole experience.

  24. Doug Sloan says

    Supposedly, Shirley Temple was told by her mother before every session, “Sparkle, Shirley, Sparkle!”

  25. says

    I am so ready to go “This is how I normally look. This is how I look with makeup and photoshop. MAGIC!”

  26. Michaela says

    If you run into any trouble, or just want to go to a bar, feel free to reach out! As the daughter of Indianans (including a Purdue alum) who got out, I’d be happy to meet you in Manhattan.mshank twitter or m_d_shank@yahoo.comMichaela

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