I've already mentioned my deep desire to be a child star growing up. Obviously, that never happened.
A fierce follower of Seventeen, Teen, YM, Sassy, Bop, Tiger Beat, Teen Beat and 16, I would read the magazines cover-to-cover then scour the ads found way in the back of the mags. I loved sending away for catalogs and free samples, but one ad always bothered me. It was a smallish square black and white ad for The Barbizon Modeling School. The modeling school had to be legit since it had been around since 1939.
I remember calling the Manhattan phone number a few times though I never had the nerve to tell them I was on the chubbier side. I would ask them to send me brochures and they would tell me all about their classes. I think they were very careful about revealing the high price tag attached.
I never did sign up. My mom wasn't cool with the idea. Not to mention at 13, New York City seemed miles away although ten years later I commuted there daily for work and never thought a thing of it.
Ironically the ad often ran on the same page as overpriced fat camp ads for places like Camp Shane and Camp La Jolla. My parents couldn't afford the 8-week program so she sent me to Girl Scout camp instead. Mom also insisted with my luck she'd pay the college-like-priced tuition payment, I'd lose 20 lbs, then gain it as soon as I started school again. No disrespect to Mom, I'm sure that's exactly what would have happened.
That same black and white image of a pretty blond teen (she appeared much more mature and glamorous than me and my friends) along with the Barbizon tagline of "Train to be a model, or just look like one" is forever etched into my mind as is the fat camp ad, really! They're both Scotch-taped on an imaginary scrapbook page alongside the Lisa Frank stickers and Corey crushes I told you about last week.