The Episode: Season 1, episode 2 (yeah, it’s been that kind of weekend)
The question: If men like Nick are dating models, what chance do ordinary women have? Do you have to be a supermodel to get a date in New York?
This episode is about ‘modelisers’ (womanisers who are obsessed with models). In New York, this is a particular problem because while in other cities, models are confined to billboards, out there they “run wild on the streets” and men can “pet them in the creatures in their natural habitat”.
Now one would think that I couldn’t possibly identify with this scenario but strangely enough it struck a particular chord. Because V and his friends used to be/are modelisers. I didn’t know there was a word for it until I read the SATC book.
See the thing is I met V in Bombay in isolation and he seemed quite normal. The first time I visited his city and went out with him and his friends, I began to get a distinctly uncomfortable feeling. The other girls out that night were all models.
They were 18, super thin (I was thin at that point and began to feel lumpy), hyper dressed and posing and basically twittering. I had always hoped – being obsessed with Vogue and Kate Moss since I was 12 – that models were attractive because they were beautiful and smart but I unfortunatley realised that the cliche was true. These women had nothing to say beyond twitter such nonsense as ‘Ohhh V” and “Shutttup”. I never actually heard a conversation come out of their mouths.
Though maybe as one of the modelisers in the episode said: “Models have brains. They just don’t need to use them.”
That said, they still made me feel insecure. Like Carrie I felt dumpy and basically invisible. I felt that they were smirking.
The other thing is that they seemed to not want to be with other models but with normal, lay men. Including my man. Or maybe pouting and simpering did not mean flirting in their world but just an extension of their working personna.
At the heart of this episode is unrealistic standards of beauty and how women are expected to conform to that. The more images of unrealistically thin women are out there, the more men begin to believe this is the natural state – and convince themselves that it’s possible without purging and chemical supplemets – and that women who don’t conform to it are lazy. And then there are women like me who have internalised the standard and don’t really need a man to egg them into it.
The sad thing about being in these situations – being surrounded by models I mean – is that you begin to be convinced that all men would rather be with them. But the funny thing is that I realised that V could be with them. And he had been. But he actually chose to be with me.
Hmmm. I’ve still been scarred for life though. I still feel I have to be unrealistically thin.
PS: I’m beginning to understand why so many women have a thing for Mr Big. He’s the modern take on Mr Darcy.