This is not something I have told many people. It’s a bit of an embarrassing story to tell anyone but for the sake of supplying an open and honest blog, so we can get to know each other, I’m willing to share. I once went for an audition for a company named Bravissimo, which you will have only heard of if you are in the giant boob club. I am a regular customer of Bravissimo as this is one of the only companies that do my bra size. I have the irritating combo of having a small back and a large cup, and before you roll your eyes and say ‘oh poor you’ in a mocking tone, as someone in this position, I can tell you I have never experienced anything good about having big boobs. I have literally no idea why anyone would have a boob job and go over a size D. I know, I know, I should be all Gok Wan about it (why a man should be the authority on this I don’t know) and love my body whatever the shape but amongst many complaints it’s bloody annoying that the only bras I can get are at least £30 and have 3 hook fastenings and straps that look like I am trying to tie down a wild animal rather than just keep my boobs in an appropriate place. I would kill for a pair of 32 Cs. I could go to normal people’s shops and get smoking hot bras for half the price and buy shirts and perhaps even wear something strapless.
Now, I didn’t think it could get worse until I got pregnant. I went to Bravissimo to go and get some more bras, as none of my current, enormously expensive range of bras would fit me anymore. I was catching my reflection and seeing that now I didn’t have one pair of giant breasts, but from spilling over the top of my bra, I now looked like I had two. It was time to go shopping.
I drove to the shop which, I usually avoid by buying online but by this stage, I had no conceivable idea what size I might have reached; I must have been hitting records by then. There is nothing worse than being measured for bras, especially as far as I can tell, it just involves a woman, usually younger than me, just watching me change my bra and then jointly discussing whether we think it fits or not. I feel like I could probably do this myself but I have the fear that if I don’t do this I will end up with saggy boobs and wish I’d just let the bloody woman watch me change. When I got to the shop there were big posters of voluptuous women in the window and I thought about how close I had come to be on the giant poster. It was about 10 years ago that, along with my Bravissimo catalog, came a flyer with a cry from the company for women with big breasts to send in their photos. It had the caption ‘looking for real women for a future ad campaign’. I’ve never understood the term ‘real women’ surely all women are ‘real’? We are definitely not a figment of anyone’s imagination.
“This could be the start of my plus-sized modeling career,” I thought, arrogantly.
“This could be what I’ve been waiting for!”
Off I went excitedly to my bedroom where I blew the dust off my camera and set up my tripod and got out an almost matching set of underwear and started posing. I haven’t told this story much because… well mainly because, how bloody big headed!! Just know I am cringing at my 20-year-old self as you read.
Anyway, they really must have been trying to keep it real as they asked me to come in for an audition. Oh to be an arrogant 20-year-old again….
I proudly asked the bar manager I was working for if I could get some time off to go to an audition to be an underwear model.
“My friend saw the advert and sent a picture of me in a bikini,” I lied “I can’t believe she did it, but there you go, they’ve asked me to come in.”
He looked pretty excited by the prospect of a potential underwear model being his barmaid so readily accepted for me to have the day off.
When I arrived at the audition I learned there were only nine other girls there – this only added to my ego.
They asked me to put a rather dowdy looking set of underwear on and asked me to sit and wait with the other girls. We looked like the line up for a Dove advert – all with giant breasts.
How will I explain to my brother when he walks past Bravissimo in Cambridge and sees a 6-foot poster of me in my underwear? I brushed this thought away thinking with all the cash rolling in I could buy his acceptance for sure.
My name being called broke my pondering and I was ushered into a large room. I walked onto a set of about 10 people, men and women, 2 guys with cameras and 3 people sitting with clipboards all looking at me. They took a Polaroid and then started asking me questions,
“What’s your name?”
“And, why do you want to do this, Beth?”
The lady looked up from a clipboard and smiled.
“I appreciate the honesty. OK, first, could you please take a few pictures with the cameraman over there?’
Awkward. I hadn’t really thought this through – I’ve never really done ‘sexy’. I stood in front of the man with my hand on my hip as this is what I remembered what the women in the catalog do. They asked me to lie on a chaise longue. I did my best to emanate breezy on a chaise longue. Then clipboard-lady informed me they just wanted to see how I would do on film, would that be OK? Whoever they pick will film a couple of adverts.
The cameraman came over and I stood and looked into the camera, smiled and flicked my hair about a bit.
The lady with the clipboard told me that would be fine and asked me if I could do a bit of acting. She explained, I had to pretend to be painting a wall and when she tapped her foot, act as if someone had come and in and caught me in my underwear.
I did my best trying to pretend to paint a wall, wishing they had provided props, in my pants. I heard a foot tap. I jumped, stared at the camera with what I felt was a successful mix of fear and shock and then turned, ran at full speed towards the back of the set and dove behind the chaise longue. The entire room belly laughed. It turns out this wasn’t quite what they were looking for.
I peeked out from behind the chaise longue for guidance from the clipboard-lady.
‘That was a very unique take on it, we were hoping for a little more sexy run away with a sort of cheeky grin,’ she said wiping away tears of laughter from her eyes.
She thanked me for my time and told me I should be pleased I’d got this far.
I walked away rubbing my slightly scuffed elbow from where I’d landed behind the chaise longue. My underwear modeling career had come to a swift end.
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