I want you to do a little role playing. Ready?
You’re at the mall (yeah, yeah, no one goes there anymore…but stay with me here). You’re at the mall with your friends, contemplating whether you should buy that pair of pants at Contempo Casuals or go to the food court and get some Sbarro. Your super-geeky friends are ogling a princess in the Disney store (I’m really bringing it back here), when all of a sudden someone walks up to you and tells you that you should be a model.
How do you react?
Admit it. You would be flattered. You might even start plotting out your new profession, the glamour of it all, getting paid for just your looks, people fawning over your beauty, strutting your stuff à la Cindy Crawford, traveling the world to fling your wet hair up from the water as you kneel, spread eagle, in the soft sand.
So for the record, this has never happened to me.
No one has told me I should be a model, at least not recently. There was one time, when I was maybe 12 or 13, when my dad came to pick me up from an overnight stay at a friend’s house, and as we were leaving, my friend’s dad remarked I was pretty enough to be a model. My dad immediately rebuffed him and said the scar on my chin would preclude me from any type of modeling (I fell on a fork a few years before, ok?). For years I’d comment on my non-existent chin scar, until I realized, in retrospect, that perhaps my friend’s dad was just super creepy and my dad didn’t know how to react.
But recently, I was asked to be a model! Can you believe it? Almost two decades after I last ate Sbarro at the mall. Not only that, it was the life I dreamed! I got to travel abroad with a photography team and all kinds of things to wear! My pictures were taken all throughout France and Germany. In the middle of a picturesque street in Alsace, I would stop and strike a pose. Multiple cameras! So glamorous!
There was one downside. Well, technically two.
The subject of my modeling career was not my face, with that fork-pierced chin.
Nope. It was my feet.
Yep. I’m officially a foot model.
How in the world did that happen, you ask? Here’s the story.
For last year’s (not-so secret) Christmas vacation, we traveled with two of our friends, Cass and her husband, Tall Guy, to the Alsace region of France via Frankfurt. Cass and Tall Guy run a marketing company, and as marketers, they’re always thinking of creative ways to work with their clients. One of their bigger clients is Happy Feet Plus, a shoe store that sells “health and comfort footwear that provides relief from foot, knee and back pain.” Clearly the type of shoes you would pair with an outfit from Contempo Casuals.
When we decided to make the trip to Alsace for Christmas, Cass and Tall Guy approached Happy Feet and asked if they had any interest in having photos of their shoes taken while we were there, and Happy Feet jumped at the idea. So days before our trip, the four of us (Double D included) found ourselves at Happy Feet being fitted for all kinds of shoes. A lot of shoes.
Cass had led me to believe (and she in fact believed) that we would each receive one or two pairs. I ended up with five. FIVE. Double D, Cass and Adam ended up with four each. While it was initially exciting to see the shoes piling up, at a certain point I began to panic. I had already bought a pair of boots for the trip, and now I had to pack five more pairs?
Once the trip began, we had photo shoots no matter where we were. Shoe modeling in the airport? Sure! Waiting for a rental car? No doubt! In the middle of a Christmas market in Strasbourg? You betcha! But because we all had shoes, we were all also photographers. This resulted in some pretty hilarious situations throughout the trip. Beautiful cobblestone street? Time for shoes!
While I have hundreds of pictures of shoes, unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of all the weird, side-eye looks we got while taking pictures of the shoes.
So I invite you to enjoy a few outtakes. And for honest reviews of the shoes I received, click here.