The Non-Expert


Experts answer what they know. The Non-Expert answers anything. This week we look into the immortal question—what do I do with my life?—and find the obvious answer.

Have a question? Need some advice? Ignored by everyone else? Send us your questions via email. The Non-Expert handles all subjects and is updated on Fridays, and is written by a member of The Morning News staff.


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Question: I can’t figure out what I’m supposed to do with my life—how do I figure that out?

Answer: First, get off the couch. Go on, get up. Now walk to the bathroom. Switch on the light, rub your eyes, and take a good, long look in the mirror. Still not sure what you should do with your life? Look a little closer. That’s right: you are going to become a model.

This is pretty much how all models get their start. Whether you’re 14 or 34, there’s no better time to start modeling than right now. Pity those poor hacks who enter the working world! Don’t get caught up in all that greed and self-absorption. This isn’t the ‘80s, after all. Take the high road: be a model.

There are four easy steps you will take in your journey to becoming a model.

1. Create a Personality

There are models, and there are supermodels. Anyone, model or not, can tell the difference between regular and super by name-count: models have two names, supermodels have one. Everyone knows who you’re talking about when you say Cindy or Naomi, even Kate. Choose your own adventure: Are you going to be regular, or super? Do you want to scrimp and save as a mere model, not knowing whether your break is swathed in Balenciaga on the cover of next month’s W or buried inside the thermal-sleepwear line in a Sears sales circular? Or do you want to be a supermodel, charging $700 an hour to strut down your choice of runways, to grace the covers of every magazine in the world, if only you could make the time? To have a personal assistant you could maybe even legally kill?

Well, that’s up to you, really. But if you’re going to become a supermodel, you’ll need to pick a single name that everyone will call you. Choose something original and memorable, like ‘Hogarth’ or ‘Doris.’

2. Learn How to Walk

This is where the classic walk-around-the-room-with-a-book-on-your-head routine comes into play. First, choose the right book. Nothing too heavy—after all, you might strain your neck, and you don’t have modeling insurance yet! You’ll need a hardback for sure; A paperback will either slip right off or flop down on either side so that it just kind of molds to your head. Choose a novel, but nothing too contemporary; Modern Library should be fine. After all, you don’t want that flash-in-the-pan image associated with your modeling career.

Stand at one end of a room. Have a clear path ahead of you for at least ten feet; this is your runway. Balance your book on top of your head. Now walk—keep those legs astride, those arms flowing! Keep your pace! Shoulders back, chest out! Look forward. Keep your neck straight, back straight. When you get to the end of the room, spin around 180 degrees—making sure the book doesn’t fall off your head. Keep your posture! Those who can ‘spin’ the book on top of their heads when they make their turn—so that the book appears to stay stable despite the body having changed directions—have proven, later in their careers, to get at least one more yacht per year than those who can’t ‘spin’ the book.

3. Be in the Right Place at the Right Time

There are all sorts of stories about models being ‘discovered’ in random places: in an airport, in line at the grocery store, in the waiting room of a modeling agency. These stories are all absolutely true. Therefore, it would be advised for you to hang out in these places. When a friend needs to be dropped off at the airport, volunteer to drive. Even walk inside, if possible. New security measures won’t let you reach the gates without a ticket, but there’s no reason you can’t stand around baggage claim.

What about signing up at a modeling agency? A perfectly good idea, and a great one for someone who’s as hot as you. Really, how can you lose? It’s not like modeling agencies are filled with equally-as-hot people that might convince you that you’re doomed, that you might not really have what it takes, that there is no way you can match up to these other hopeful models. You know, on second thought maybe modeling agencies aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. After all, how can you pick a diamond out of a pile of cubic zirconia? No, best to stick to airports when looking for the big break.

But you shouldn’t be hanging around any grocery stores, because you shouldn’t have been eating any food during all this anyway.

4. Keep a Strict Diet

It’s obvious that you look good. After all, you’re a model. But how do you keep looking good, show after show, shoot after shoot? Upkeep, that’s how. Many think that models stay so thin by nurturing any of a number of eating disorders. While this is not unequivocally untrue, it can be said that most models actually do eat, just not the same types of food the rest of us like to consume. Many models, for instance, stay thin by eating sand. Any kind will do, just as long as it’s fine-grained for easy digestion. It might not be the healthiest option, but it didn’t kill you as a child, so it probably won’t kill you now.

Keep in mind, though, that some people will try to convince you otherwise, that instead, you should drop that five-pound bag of Mojave Gold and hop in a stall to tickle your thorax. You may overcome their nudges and sidelong glances, you may not. But either way you will win. For if you succumb to their hints and pressures, simply flush the little pile of sand you just threw up, rise, and depart the stall. Now go over to the mirror, wipe your eyes, look into the mirror and know: you are going to become a technical writer.


Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack