Saturday, February 19, 2005

recently I found that I am becoming obsessed with being looket at, being watched. Even when I'm immersed in the deepest depression, a stranger's gaze carries the promise of lifting my spirit. It happens most often on the train (locked in one carriage on the 12 minute ride to London Bridge). I don't make a pretty sight when I'm on the train - with my winter cycling gear, light reflector jacket and the like. But when there's a person there i'm intersted in, i find myself taking off my crush helmet, my wooly hat; looking through the window, and hoping that the eyes are resting on me, even for a little while. Sometimes the look of mysterious beauty - direct, flirtitious, examining - comes without warning, unsolicited, when all around me is black water. I think this obessession intensified since i started life modelling.
Life modelling is really interesting. I've been drawing for years but only two months ago I crossed the lines and found myself on the other side of the canvass. It was very strange. Suddenly I felt the dynamics of power at work. I am the only person naked; around me, circling me, are dressed men and women. There are moments I feel enraged, powerless, used. Other times i feel empowered, i'm loving it. I'm asking in my head: why am i the only one naked? why would most of them not even consider taking their clothes off to be drawn? why aren't they interested in makeing themselves present in front of others, in beiing seen by others? one of the best things about being a model is that moment in the break, when I go around and I see how they made me. I learn who i am; sometimes it's harsh and upleasant, sometimes more easy to deal with.
It's a job. I get paid to do this. So even when I feel reclusive and all I want to be is a hermit crab, i have to slip out of the shell, cycle down the hill, go in there and take my clothes off. To be a good model, I think you have to engage with the people around you with your presence. you can't really hide. in this sense it's good for me - and it usually makes me feel better. but then i'm worried, if these looks and attention are not just shaking my balance, and making me dependant on them, a slow addiction starts.

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