I have a confession to make : I am absolutely addicted to National Geographic’s show Taboo.
For those of you that do not know what Taboo is about, its a TV documentary series that has been around since 2002. It is exactly as the name suggests TABOO. It shows an educational outlook into “taboo” rituals and traditions practiced in some societies. Each episode has details a specific topic like marriage or initiation rituals and explores how such topics are viewed throughout the world. Taboo generally focuses on the most misunderstood, despised or disagreed-upon activities, jobs and roles.
Now, I am not sure if this episode has aired on DSTV in South Africa, as I have a habit of only ever catching the end of Taboo when I finally sit down to watch some TV. However, while I was on YouTube, YouTube reccommended this for me to watch. Not sure what YouTube is trying to tell me but here goes nothing…
This is Dell. Dell was working as a delivery man for a courier company when one of his clients stopped him and asked if he’d ever considered being a model. He did some test shots and soon become one of the most in-demand models at the entire agency. There is just one catch : the agency is called “Ugly Models”. The owner, Marc French who recruits “unusual-looking” people for appearances in TV, film and advertisements, explains the appeal of his top model quite simply :
“Dell is not a conventional good-looking boy, you know, he’s got buck teeth, sticking out ears, he’s not what people say is normal-looking, because he’s quite ugly, really. But ugly in a great way and I love his features. I mean I think he’s quite striking.”
Some of the most extraordinary models in the business are a part of this agency in some way or another, like Sultan Kosen who is 8ft1, Elaine Davidson who has 2,500 body piercings and Prince Albert, a retired bank manager who had his first piercing at the age of 75 (he now has 241). Check out www.ugly.org to see more of the faces signed to the agency.
“I think the number one trait an ugly model’s got to have is what I repeat over and over again – to be comfortable in their own skin. I think you could say that I am looking for at the auditions – every kind of character you could think of – from fat to fit, large to small, and I never know what I’m actually looking for until they come through the door. Our models have worked for everyone from Calvin Klein to Italian Vogue and there is a massive demand for them. We have open auditions and the queues go on for miles with people wanting to get on the books. It’s amazing; you have little old ladies standing in line next to Hell’s Angels all wanting to give it a go. The reason that we use ‘ugly’ is because, why not? It’s such a powerful word, and everyone thinks of it in a certain way and it’s so great to have an unusual looking person and put them under the category of being ugly.”
At the end of the day, I do believe everybody has some beautiful qualities, and possibly some of the size zero models should be classified as ugly whereas regular people shouldn’t have to endure the life of being classified as ugly.
I don’t know if I could be comfortable in my own skin if I got recruited to be an Ugly Model, but hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it…
If you never hear from me on PoutPerfection again, its because I’ve hit the big time modelling alongside Dell in Dolce & Gabana adverts and spreads in Vogue.