By Karin McArthur
Last Friday, Canada’s Next Top Model held an open casting call here in Toronto. And I, along with hundreds of other eager, young women, hit up Fairview Mall to see if I had the chops to compete (that and I was forced to audition for this article).
5:00 p.m. Walked into the mall and saw a group of tall girls wearing stilettos and short skirts. I followed their glistening, greased-up legs to the audition area.
5:07 p.m. Had a mini panic attack after seeing the audition platform. It was in the centre of the mall in front of two judges and the giant line of hopefuls.
5:11 p.m. Headed down the line and found myself wanting to curl up into a ball and hide. You know that feeling when you walk into a room and you can tell that everyone was just talking about you? Multiply that feeling by 150 and add in some evil, judgmental stares from beautiful women.
5:12 p.m. Talked to some of the gals about why they were auditioning. Received the same response from everyone: “It’s my dream to model. I know I can do this. I am Canada’s next top model. Everyone tells me I should model.”
5:14 p.m. Had the guts to ask a girl what she ate that afternoon. She answered honestly — a McChicken sandwich. This prompted a debate amongst strangers in line about salt making you look bloated.
5:18 p.m. Watched the judges and decided I wasn’t going to audition. I concluded I didn’t need someone to pick apart my appearance as I am already quite aware of my flaws.
5:30 p.m. Ate a chocolate pudding while waiting at the end of the line. Welcomed evil stares (jealousy or disgust?) from the slender hopefuls.
5:56 p.m. Saw two girls getting measured by the shows representatives. Disappointed looks on their faces followed. Apparently they were too short to compete. The show requires that models be between the height of 5’8 and 6’0. They were only 5’7 and a half.
6:45 p.m. Crisis! A girl fell and cracked her knee after trying to put on her five-inch gold stilettos. Security was called and she was wheeled away. The crowed erupted in applause and I felt like I was at a soccer game with an injured player finally rising and leaving the field.
6:50 p.m. Anna-Maria, a beautiful 21-year-old from Scarborough, had the fiercest walk I’ve ever seen. But she was a little too short. After a little convincing, the judges approved and the crowed again erupted into applause (this cheesy applause happened every time a girl was approved to go on to the next round).
7:00 p.m. For the purpose of this article, I talked myself back into auditioning.
7:20 p.m. It was my turn to strut my stuff. My heart raced. I had never done a runway walk. Model scout (and owner of the agency backing the show), Elmer Olsen whispered into my ear, “Imagine that you’re wearing a beautiful Yves Saint Laurent knee-length flowing dress.” I tried not to think about all the eyes on me. “You have a Gisele walk,” Olsen said. I realized he was talking about supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Olsen straightened my posture and pushed my upper torso into an awkward position. “Suck in your stomach. Lean back but keep your back straight. Straighten out your neck and … walk,” he softly said to me. And I walked. And I injured something in my back from being in such an awkward position. Olsen said I had a very sophisticated and womanly look (I guess that’s code for a curvy body with child-bearing hips). And with that, my audition was over.
So I’m not cut out to compete in the modelling world. I may be tall enough, but my relationship with food, specifically desserts, is one that will never end. Not even for a chance on a television show and a modelling contract.