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My Casting Agent Asked Me If I Could Open My Underwear…

( words)
*For representational purpose only.

This is an open letter to all the predators, model coordinators, and casting agents. Recently, a model coordinator asked me for a photo shoot. He explained to me the concept (it was a body shoot with another female model) and asked me politely if I was okay with the format of the shoot. I said yes. He wanted to see my pictures, so I sent a few.

He said we would have a video call to see if I was fit. I agreed because I understand that somehow it works like that. On the video call, I was asked to open my shirt, which I followed. I was asked to open my pants, and I followed.

And then he asked me if I could open my underwear.

I freaked out. I said no. And for which he had a clarification: “I just want to see if you are comfortable around people when shooting. I told him politely, “Look, it’s not something new that I am doing, and I know the job and where to draw a line. So, stop!”

He understood and said, Okay, your audition is done; I am sending you the details now for the shoot. He never sent it. I understood what it was all about.

We work hard on our bodies to get casted. Every day, we think of how we can improve our acting skills to get featured in advertisements or movies. We get rejected almost on a daily basis and told pitilessly, ‘You do not fit’. Yet we muster the courage and live with a passion to apply and think, “Maybe if I do not fit here, somewhere else I will.”

We starve and do not eat to stay in shape. While our peers and family enjoy biryani and sweets, we are left with oats, eggs, and chickens. We spend a lot of money to be called ‘upmarket’ on shoes, clothes, protein powders, gyms, and what not. We sacrifice and wear a mask even when we are not doing well emotionally. We have a full-time job to survive, and still, we do not give up on persuading our visions.

Our personal lives stink if you are dating a non-model or actor because we are tagged into the category of playboys and people who are not good and trustworthy. If you are seen with other female models, you are categorised as “I tell you, they are sleeping together.”
We cry when we are rejected and deal with all kinds of criticism. At times, we do not even speak of those rejections to anyone because it aches to speak about our flaws, and there is hardly anyone around us to listen and understand what we envision and go through.

We upload a bare body picture, and we get creepy messages from all kinds of genders. As if we were sexual objects.

We upload such images to get work, to be fit, and to tell the circle that we are fit, not to attract your perversion.

We also, at times, stoop to a level we are ashamed of. We face objectivity and are laughed out loud frequently. Yet, we live with the dream. So, if you are trying to exploit a model or actor in lieu of work, please stop. Draw a line. Not fair.

A struggling model or actor

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