Tall Drink of Nerd: The Hustler
a blogumn by Amy Robinson
Have you ever said “YES!” to something you wouldn’t normally do. because it sounds like a fun and unique experience only to realize that at some point during the experience, you should have known better? That’s pretty much what happened here.
(Don’t worry, this is still the family friendly FaN that you know and love.)
My wonderful friend Raquel called me on a cloudy Sunday afternoon. She had been hired to art direct a photo shoot for the Hustler clothing catalog. As a friend, I was jazzed that she had landed a nicely paying gig. Then came the unexpected. She popped the question; “I need 2 models for the day, would you like to be one of them?” I would be fully dressed the entire shoot. (Even fully clothed though, it is something I have yet to mention to my Mother.)
Let me tell you this before I proceed further. I was 35 at the time, about 20-25 pounds overweight and working a nice, desk-y day job in a creative placement agency. Maybe I was a candidate for the “Dove real women” ad campaign and in hindsight, maybe I should have seen my own limitations and said “Wow, thanks Roxy, I’m flattered, but I’m gonna pass this on to the younger generation.”
Nope, I said “HELL YES!” and prepped for the shoot in 10 days.
The day of the shoot dawned and I was still, as expected, 35 years young and carrying around 20-25 extra ell-bees. But I was ready for the adventure. I packed my car with what I assumed you’d take to a Hustler shoot: gum, fun polka-dotted bras, slutty heels, a paperback copy of The Kite Runner (book club was meeting the following day) and drove down to the Hustler Casino in Gardena.
What goes on Tuesday at 8:30 am at the Hustler Casino in Gardena? A good amount of old ladies feeding quarters into loud slots that crowd the brightly carpeted main room. Raquel met me, and her other model/friend Nicole, in the main lobby bathroom, which would serve as our changing room and make-up area that day. After squeezing my ample hips into the largest pair of hustler denim that the jaded 20-something clothing interns could wrangle, I was ready for my make-up.
‘I’d like to keep Amy natural looking, just a little dewy.’ Raquel requested of the make-up artist. I would love to say that I remember the make-up girl’s name, or create one for her like, Charity or Bambi or something, but I just remember her life story.
Her dad worked in the porn industry, on the crew side. She had been around the porn industry all her life and was trying to break into doing make-up for porn. For being around the stuff her whole life, she seemed rather well balanced.
Charity or Bambi had 5 ‘films’ under her belt, as a make-up girl, so she knew what she was doing. She ringed my eyes with dark kohl liner, slapped on some fake eyelashes, airbrushed peach rouge on my cheekbones and slathered my lips with thick frosting of pink gloss. You can see from the picture above, it was hot as hell, but utterly un-natural.
My look was a similar, but a much more mature version of the make-up for the real porn-star they had come in for the shoot. Jessica Jaymes showed up 2 hours late, sat in the make up chair naked, and talked about how horrible her cramps were.
Here is something else I discovered that day. I’m not a model, at least not a sexy model. My husband mocks me because most of the pictures he has of me, I’m pulling a dorky face. Me and the camera aren’t star-crossed lovers; our chemistry is bland at best. So I posed for Raquel, in various Hustler Tee-shirts, sweatshirts and tank tops (some of which, I honestly have to admit, were adorably cute). I gave her my ‘sexy look’. My ‘sexy look’ has vague air of a zombie smelling a distant fart.
I draped myself over the love seat and chairs in the Hustler Casino lobby, repeating the ‘sexy look’. If you’ve ever seen sexy models and think ‘that looks easy, just lie on the chair and stare blankly’ you are incorrect. Thighs look very strange unless arranged perfectly, if you have even a hint of lunch-lady arms, they will flop into frame. Plus, you need to be thinking the right sexy or blank thing. I was thinking about my book club feedback for The Kite Runner. Maybe I am a good model, because you can really read Afghanistan on my face in the photos.
After laughing our way through the shoot, Raquel wrapped us at 11:30ish. I was handed a check and told to keep the jeans by a hip/trendster guy from Hustler. After a quick de-eyelashing and raccoon eyeliner removal, I spent the afternoon at my day job giving Photoshop tests to job applicants.
About 3 weeks later, I called Raquel and asked how the catalog was going. She gently let me down and said the lighting wasn’t quite right on the shoot, so the Hustler people were going to re-shoot with some different models. I wasn’t surprised, or even that disappointed. In retrospect, I kind of knew going into the shoot that I was a little long in the tooth, and wide in the rear to be a Hustler girl. None of that mattered though, I had a great time with Raquel, it was a little adventure, I made some cash and I had a brand new pair of Hustler jeans.
Just don’t tell my mother.