At 19 years old, between underpaid restaurant jobs, I decided to become a model. I didn’t have dreams of fame and fortune exactly, I thought of it as a good way to make a lot of money, and thought that although my 1.60 meter height would not put me on the runway, I could maybe be used to sell milk chocolate or hair color. I called the only modeling agency I knew of and got a meeting with the queen. I had heard that models always get discovered in jeans and a white t-shirt, so that’s what I wore. When I arrived Betty was in the office with a male photographer, who was to sit in on the meeting. He actually did most of the talking. I explained my plans (no fame, chocolate and hair dye) and they looked at me with pity. After a short pause, the photographer said to me: “listen, you are very cute, really, very cute. But what can I tell you? how much do you weigh?” I told him- 48 kilos. He said that was a little heavy for a model, especially one so short. Also he said I was a little too old to just get started, that I should have come with my mother when I was 13. he said products like chocolate are some of their biggest campaigns, and that those you only do with celebrities. Betty interjected and said that although she cannot take me into the agency, she does have some tips for me: I should stop dying my hair, and I should get a chemical peel, to get rid of the acne scars. She said all the biggest stars do it.
When I left her office the receptionist stopped me and said I owe 250 Shekel for the meeting. I refused to pay and said no one had told me there was a fee. The receptionist argued with me and said “For a meeting Betty you have to pay!” I refused. After a few minutes, Betty came out and told her to let me go. As I walked out of the building, I knew I may be too old and too fat to be a model, but I am no פראיירית.*
*the closest translation in English for the word “frayer(it)” is “sucker” or “dope”