Recently, I met a guy, or should I say a guy met me. He hit me up, made the initial approach if you will. The conversation was great. He was cute, smart, and had BODY. He was sexy. Since he approached me, I thought, “Why wouldn’t he want to hang out?” Yeah, hang out means go on a date or even more. When I asked him out, he said he was “Flattered,” and thought I was “Nice,” but he did not date Black guys. What? What does that mean? You don’t date Black guys. How can you not? He said he didn’t find Black men attractive. Hold up! What are you saying, “You don’t find Black men attractive?” How is that? Are you telling me that I’m not fine? Or Gary Dourdan? Or Kanye West? Or Michael Ealy? Or Tyson Beckford?
Last night I attended the finale of America’s Next Top Model Cycle Five. I’m a reluctant fan of the show. I believe the girls that become the second runner-up are the ones that should win. I am a fan of Elyse, Kahlen, Mercedes, Shandi, and Shannon. This season was all about Bre Scullark. Bre was like the girls I grew up with in Chicago. Fabulous, a touch ghetto, pretty, and oh so real. Whenever she was on screen, I was riveted. Though I didn’t see a win in Bre’s future, she made it to the final three. Robbed. Victory snatched from her grasp. I love how she kept it real until the very end. When she lost, the heels came off, and the glasses went back on. You must never forget in your travels who you are. She did not. Tonight my mission was to meet her. I did, and she was just as I hoped she would be. Sublime.
THE TIME HAS COME FOR NEW HEADSHOTS. ALL OF A SUDDEN FOR HEADSHOT IT’S ALL ABOUT COLOR. WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN? THE THING WITH HEADSHOTS IS THEY CAN EITHER BE GREAT AND GET YOU A JOB OR HORRID AND A WASTE OF CASH. A THING YOU ARE SADDLED WITH UNTIL THE NEXT TIME YOU’VE GOT AN EXTRA FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS LAYING AROUND YOU DON’T WANNA SPEND ON SHOES OR RENT. ANYWAY, IT WAS TIME FOR NEW HEADSHOTS. MY FRIEND GABRIEL HAD BEEN ASKING ME TO SHOOT WITH HIM FOR MONTHS. I WAS AMBIVALENT, NOT BECAUSE GABRIEL ISN’T A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER. HE IS GREAT. IT WAS BECAUSE I’D YET TO SEE HIM SHOOT A BROTHER. GABRIEL HAS SHOT LOTS OF CAUCASIAN MEN, BUT NO AFRICAN AMERICANS AND IT IS DIFFERENT. WE NEED TO BE LIT WELL, TO PICK UP OUR SKIN TONES. I ALSO DIDN’T FEEL LIKE BEING IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA. THOSE WHO KNOW ME STOP LAUGHING. I DIDN’T FEEL LIKE HAVING MY PICTURE TAKEN. I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE BEING FILMED; Y’ALL KNOW I WANNA LIVE MY LIFE IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA. I DIDN’T FEEL LIKE BEING A MODEL AGAIN. THE MUTE OBJECT OF THE LENS. NOW WHEN I STEP IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA, I WANNA BE HEARD. I ALSO DIDN’T KNOW IF I STILL HAD “IT.” “IT,” THAT THING THAT HAPPENS WITH THE CAMERA, MODEL, AND PHOTOGRAPHER, WHICH MAKES A GOOD PICTURE. WHAT IF I LOST “IT” OR GREW OUT OF “IT?” I NEVER WORRIED ABOUT “IT” WHILE MODELING. I TOOK “IT” FOR GRANTED. NOW WOULD “IT” HAVE DESERTED ME? OKAY, I’M MAKING MYSELF SICK WITH “IT!”
GABRIEL’S IDEA WAS TO SHOOT ME AGAINST A PINK BACKGROUND. I LOVE PINK. IS IT TOO GAY TO SAY THAT? BEING A STYLIST I PULLED A FEW THINGS I THOUGHT WOULD WORK; A PINK TEE WITH A COTTON BLOOM WHICH I LOVE AND FIND IRONIC BECAUSE OF COTTON AND THE BLACK MAN’S HISTORY IN AMERICA, A GREY MARC JACOBS-ESQUE JACKET DIRT CHEAP FROM URBAN OUTFITTERS, A BROWN LEATHER CUFF BECAUSE IT WAS VERY “YOUNG ACTOR-Y.” MY ROOMMATE ERIC AND I PILE IN THE CAR. ERIC DRIVES ME BASICALLY EVERYWHERE, SINCE I DON’T DRIVE AND NEVER LEARNED. E ALSO INTRODUCED ME TO GABRIEL. THEY HAVE BEEN FRIENDS FOREVER. OFF TO THE VALLEY. ONCE THERE AND INSIDE THE STUDIO GABRIEL STARTS PUTZING WITH LIGHTING AND I START FUSSING WITH MAKE UP. YEAH, I SAID IT. I HAD TO THROW SOME MAC STUDIO FIX NW45 ON THE DOME AND FILL IN MY BROWS. THERE WE ARE AGAINST THE PINK SWEEP AND I’M PLYING MY TRADE, WHICH IS A BIT EMBARRASSING IN FRONT OF MY FRIENDS. ONE HOUR LATER, AND WE ARE DONE. DIGITAL IS THE MOST AMAZING THING. YOU SHOOT, AND YOU HAVE IT. A GAZILLION FRAMES LATER, AND I HAVE NEW HEADSHOTS. I LIKE THEM. THEY ARE PRETTY IN PINK.