Janice Celeste, Sessilee Lopez‘s mom, has written a guide book for parents of budding supermodels called Making a Supermodel, which she self-published on Lulu.com. She’s dubbed herself a “super momager,” and the book details lessons she learned about the modeling industry as she helped manage her daughter to supermodel success. “I am writing this book because I want to help other parents help their daughters become high fashion models,” she writes. “Parents often message me on Facebook to ask for advice on how to get their teens into modeling, and many have no idea what it really takes.” Celeste started her daughter off when she was just 12, and used her last pay check after she lost her job to take her daughter to New York to go on open castings. The risk obviously paid off. And Celeste learned a lot about being a “super momager” along the way.
Some of the lessons and words of wisdom Celeste imparts are obvious, some are funny, and some are a bit tawdry. So we combed through the 70 page tome to bring you the best parts:
–From the chapter titled, “The Truth About Models’ Apartments” we learn that model chaperones don’t really chaperone, sometimes they steal from each other (ahem, “borrow”), and they sleep 12 to a small room.
“Most of the models’ apartments have a female chaperone who is in charge of all of the models and who cares for the apartment. Many times the chaperone isn’t much older than the models themselves. In my experience, it is like not having any supervision for your daughter at all…I don’t recommend letting your underage daughter reside at a models’ apartment unless it is a temporary stay for fashion week events or brief trips overseas. Your young daughter needs parental supervision.
Models’ apartments are tight quarters. There may be up to six bunk beds in one small room, enough to accommodate 12 girls. There is usually one common area, a.k.a. living room, and a shared kitchen and bathroom. Mostly, the models there live out of their suitcases. Sometimes, their personal items will go missing, as the other girls often will “borrow” personal items from one another without asking. The girl who took the item can easily forget she has it, then unexpectedly be on an airplane the next day to some exotic location for a job. She’s gone, and the item she took is gone as well.”
–From the chapter titled “Model Mold-12 Signs Your Daughter Should Be A High Fashion Model” my favorite is:
8. Everywhere she goes, people ask her if she is a model.
–In the section on making sure your future model daughter’s teeth are in check titled “The Perfect Smile,” Celeste randomly calls out celebrities that have veneers (she suggests them as an option “if your daughter is older” and can’t waste time on braces) like Denzel Washington, Hilary Duff, Brad Pitt, Jessica Simpson, and Tom Cruise.
–From the “Model Manual” section in which Celeste compares the way models get paid–90 days net versus vouchers–we learn that it is apparently déclassé as a model to take a voucher on a job and ask for it to be signed, thus enabled the model to get paid by her agency when she presents the voucher. “Sometimes, the agents don’t want the model to use a voucher because it looks like she is struggling and poor, which can get around to other clients,” Celeste writes. “The newest “IT Girl” shouldn’t be struggling for money, and therefore vouchers can dull her reputation. Personally, I like vouchers no matter how wealthy or not my model daughter is perceived to be. She needs her money! It’s expensive to live in Manhattan!” Amen.
–And from the last chapter titled “Dying To Be A Model: Health, Body Image, & Suicide — A Word On Body Image” Celeste reveals some of the drastic measures she’s seen other models undertake to lose weight:
“I’ve seen some life-threatening measures models have gone through to lose weight. Luckily my daughter has never had a weight problem that kick-boxing couldn’t solve. I personally know of one model who dipped cotton balls in orange juice and consumed it to feel full. Later it came out that she had anorexia.